Niall Sellar – Books of the Year 2017

Sellar photoI’ve recently moved to Glasgow and have now finished working my way through William McIlvaney’s excellent ‘Laidlaw’ trilogy. I’ve just moved onto Denise Mina. Her latest is The Long Drop, which brings a murderer and his victims’ father together for a night of drinking in 1950s Glasgow. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but was intrigued by Norman Ohler’s Blitzed (translated by Shaun Whiteside), which is an amazing tale of drug use in the Third Reich, and the extent to which it may, or may not, have shaped important political decisions of the time. Julian Barnes’ The Noise of Time is a short novel that details the life of Shostakovich and his relationship to those in power; and by extension, the artist’s role in a totalitarian regime. It’s slim, but multi-layered, and I suspect I’ll be revisiting it again at some point… 

Denise Mina, The Long Drop (Penguin, 2017)

Norman Ohler, Blitzed, translated by Shaun Whiteside (Penguin, 2016)

Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time (Jonathan Cape, 2016)


Niall Sellar is translator of the Babylon Berlin series by Volker Kutscher, on which the blockbusting TV series is based (dir. Tom Tykwer).

Next: Ruth Martin