If you follow the Scottish literature scene, it’s hard to ignore Chris McQueer’s influence. Starting off as the guy who wrote short stories on Twitter, he released his first book, a short story collection called Hings, last summer which was well received and became wildly popular. After the success of his first book, his latest project was highly anticipated from fans and no doubt a huge weight on the young writer’s mind. It was in all this hype – and in the writer’s case, apprehension – that his second short story collection was released: Here We Fucking Go, or HWFG.
Published by 404ink, the same publisher who released Hings, HWFG is a short story collection made up of nineteen different stories. While McQueer is well known for his comedic writing style, he plays a little bit more with darker and weirder premises in this, sometimes even going as far as flirting with macabre topics. In these stories, fans will recognise returning characters from McQueer’s previous book, like Sammy and big Angie. The stories range from an adventurous holiday to Craig Tara to an internet game taking a turn for the realistic.
It also should be noted that McQueer experiments more with his writing in this book. One of the more interesting stories is when McQueer goes full-on Limmy, addressing the audience to an unlikely topic before going back to his stories. It’s a very strange and sudden change which fits the tone of the rest of the book. It’s worth noting this because it’s unlike anything else in the book, but oddly fits right in.
Fans of McQueer’s work may recognise some of the stories in HWFG. Two particular examples of which are Leathered and A Weekend in Twitter Jail. As well as being included in this book, Leathered had a limited publishing run with Glasgow based publisher Speculative Books, and A Weekend In Twitter Jail is a hilarious fictional account of when McQueer briefly had his Twitter deleted because of a certain footballer.
HWFG is a different beast from Hings. His first book feels a lot more light-hearted compared to this one. It feels very reminiscent of Acid House by Irvine Welsh, switching between stories which range from laugh out loud funny to just downright weird. HWFG is a darker perspective into McQueer’s imagination, and at some points, it may feel like you need to take a break from it. However, it is still written with the same style and traditional Scottish humour that helped McQueer blow up. It’s very funny and is absolutely worth picking up.
HWFG is due to be released on November 8th.
A deliciously dark, weird and twisted product from a creatively talented mind. Well worth a read.