Scoosh is a beautifully descriptive story of a teenage boy and the adventures that he and his gang, The Hole in the Mint Gang, embark upon during the summer holidays. It's a detailed account of their unrelenting desire to make as much as money as they can by any means possible whether it be beach combing, petty theft or entrepreneurial genius. The stories of their schemes are brilliantly written and they make you wonder whether Angus himself may be talking from experience, let's hope so.
My friend has a theory, the magic shoe theory, whereby some people are born with magic shoes that walk them seamlessly through life avoiding all pit falls and mind fields. Scoosh is such a person, and his magic shoes are used for relieving people of their cash but also to resolve injustices in his home town. He's a typical teenager who's moral compass regularly points north to good before shifting quickly to south and leads him towards general mischief and naughtiness. He is very much an X-rated Oor Wullie.
This is very much a coming of age tale; set at that strange time in a teenagers life where one is no longer a child but as yet is not considered an adult. Angus directs the reader seamlessly through the stages of Scoosh and his girlfriend Lolly's development as they explore their new found sexuality and at the end of the book they both become adults.
My favourite line in the book: bangers and mash are no good without a tin of baked beans. The great joy of this book is that it transports you back to your own childhood and you find yourself smiling knowingly at the wee things. The beauty of this story is very much in the wee stories that remind you of your own childhood/adulthood. For me bangers and mash were really no good without a tin of baked beans.
At times the book seems very innocent and then suddenly becomes graphic, a theme which I think fits perfectly to the emotion and changes that are occurring in it's main character and his friends.
I very much enjoyed reading Scoosh, being a huge Oor Wullie fan it really did fill a hole that that comic had left when I stopped reading it fifteen years or so ago. Angus has a very clear writing style, at no point during the book did I feel lost or confused. The story is both funny and serious. I found the relationship between Scoosh and Kodak, his old painter friend heart warming and I found myself a wee bit jealous that my own summer holidays weren't as fun as this.
This isn't a book you will regret reading.
Scoosh is available now on Amazon