Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Ailsa Craig, Kilmarnock, Benidorm, Shanghai

The Man Who Loved Islands

The Man Who Loved Islands

Why a Booktrail?

1980s, 2014: The sequel to the Disco Days trilogy

  • ISBN: 978-1910633151
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller used to be inseparable; not only were they childhood friends but fledgling business associate as well. Time has not treated either of them well however, they haven’t spoken to each other in over 10 years and are both lonely and rather depressed. They appear destined never to meet each other or the other members of their band again.

But it seems as fate has other ideas. A chance to reform their band, The Miraculous Vespas, comes up and the opportunity seems just too good to be missed! They’ll all have to bury the hatchet and learn to forgive and forget of course if they are to have any chance of success.

This is going to be a one-off Music Festival—The Big Bang—which will take place on a remote, uninhabited Scottish island?

Travel Guide

The David Ross guide to Ailsa Craig

I’m very fond of Ailsa Craig. I always have been. It’s quite mysterious and inaccessible but also very fascinating. Its history is amazing.  The setting needed to be slightly absurd to fit with the way the story develops. A tiny uninhabited and generally inaccessible island, just off the west coast of Scotland, as a venue for a one-off music festival featuring a reclusive band who aren’t speaking to each other, and have to play on a floating stage…and for it all to happen, the organisers have to actually buy the island first..! That’s a great premise for the ending, don’t you think?

Research was easier this time as I’ve spent a lot of time in the locations. The characters are now pretty well-developed so its easier to know how they’ll act in the situations I put them in. The one bit of detailed research I had to do was on the Ailsa Craig itself. Although the premise might seem absurd, it has to be believably conceivable. For example, I knew the island had been put up for sale a few years ago, but had had no offers. So the fictional Bobby Cassidy offering £1m to buy it under those circumstances was feasible.

Kilmarnock – Reforming the Vespas?

I still think someone might pay them a fortune to reform again. Nostalgia is a very profitable industry.

Despite this, I’m actually a bit of purist when it comes to bands reforming. Although it felt like a death in the family at the time, I’m glad Paul Weller split The Jam when he did, and I wouldn’t want them to reform and spoil that legacy. Same for The Smiths. But if pushed, I’d love to have seen David Bowie in 1973, with the Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars tour, so for a whole host of other reasons too, I’d want Bowie back among us. The balance of all sense of normal, people-focused world order became totally fucked up when he died. He was clearly the glue holding the entire world’s common sense together.


Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

The first two books in this series are full of laughter, Scottish banter and a lot of musical references, so would the music still be playing at full volume in book three? Why yes of course. This is the third and brilliant ending to the Vespas trilogy and when I think of all the Scottish words and jokes I’ve learned along the way!

It’s hard to describe this novel really but a  Trainspotting in the musical world would be close. Written largely in the Scottish dialect, I felt drawn back to the Ayrshire landscape I’d gotten to know so well in books one and two. This time, people are older and have moved further way – so it really is like catching up with old friends and foes in some respects…Blinking funny all around – Oh and oh the locations to match!! – Shanghai, Benidorm and Scotland of course! This is a worldwide tour, a fascinating finale to the Vespas musical trilogy.

It’s a cracking tale and I’ve throughly enjoyed being along for the ride with the Vespas and I think it’s great that the author has come back to visit these characters when their lives have changed, they have gone their separate ways.

It’s been a clever journey and this worldwide tour, the concert on a remote Scottish island is a great climax to a musical and literary treat

Welcome back to the Vespas! This third part of the trilogy is like revisiting old friends and laughing and crying with them after catching up in the only way the Vespas can – with music and a huge dose of Scottish wit

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Man Who Loved Islands

Author/Guide: David F. Ross  Destination: Ailsa Craig, Kilmarnock, Benidorm, Shanghai  Departure Time: 1960s

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