10 books set in the West End

Glasgow has produced some of the UK's most talented writers, many of which call the West End their home. We had a look around for novels set in this beautiful part of the city, with a little help from some of our social media followers.

West End in the literature

Alex Gray's Lorimer series
Set in Glasgow, Alex Gray's successful books about Detective Chief Inspector Lorimer features many West End locations. Alex Gray was born and raised in Glasgow,  and has been said to bring Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin does with Edinburgh.

Zoe Strachan's 'Spin Cycle'
Set in a West End launderette, Spin Cycle goes against the trend of setting novels in some of Glasgow's grittier neighbourhoods. Zoe Strachan, just like Louise Welsh, works at the University of Glasgow, where she is a senior lecturer in English literature.

Louise Welsh's 'The Cutting Room'
Louise Welsh's debut novel is said to capture the essence of the bohemian West End. The story centres around auctioneer Rilke, who comes across some violent and highly disturbing photographs from the 1950s in the attic of a house he’s clearing. The book was praised by critics as one of the most captivating novels of the year.

R.J. Mitchell's Thoroughgood series
A history graduate from Glasgow University, Detective Sergeant Thoroughgood resides in the West End and is an avid Partick Thistle supporter. The fourth book in the series was released in May, and is a prequel to the previous books, set in 1989. Having worked for Strathclyde Police, Mitchell became a full time writer in 2001. 

Jane Harris' 'Gillespie and I'
This novel takes place during the 1888 International Exhibition in Glasgow, which was located in the Kelvingrove Park. It follows the young Harriet, who arrives in Glasgow and befriends the Gillespie family. Jane Harris was born in Belfast but raised in Glasgow and her first book, The Observations, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2007.

Alasdair Gray's 'Poor Things'
One of the West End's most famous residents, Alasdair Gray is a writer and artist. His 1992 novel Poor Things takes place in Park Circus, a prestigious West End address.

Catherine Carswell's 'Open The Door'
First published in 1920, the novel is set partially in the West End, as well as Garnethill, where the main character, Joanna Bannerman, attends the School of Art. Carswell attended the University of Glasgow before women were formally admitted to the university, and is best know for her fictional biography of Robert Burns, which caused outrage in the 1930's.

Guy McCrone's The Wax Fruit Trilogy
The three books follows the life of the Moorehouse Family, who move from Ayrshire to Victorian Glasgow, where they experience life in the West End. The books were released in the 1940's and sold in more than one million copies.

A.L. Kennedy's 'So I Am Glad'
Set in a Glasgow flat share, this book is set around Partick. It follows Jennifer, whose new flatmate believes himself to be the reincarnation of Cyrano de Bergerac, transferring from 17th century France to urban Scotland.

Peter May's 'Runaway'
The story takes place in Glasgow's West End and London, following five teenage friends who went to London in 1965 to pursue their music dreams. Three of them returned, but are forced to confront their past when fifty years later, a brutal murder occurs.

There are plenty more books set in the West End, such as 'Kelly's of Kelvingrove' by Margaret Thomson Davis and 'Sitting Among the Eskimos' by Maggie Graham. Got a suggestion? Comment with your favourite West End novels.