The Hope That Kills Us: An Anthology of Scottish Football Fiction

By Adrian Searle


'The Hope That Kills Us' brings together specially commissioned stories from some of Scotland's best contemporary writers. Each story examines, from its own unique viewpoint, the participants, observers, experience and emotion that feed our nation's obsession with football.

Year of Publication


This book of Scottish football short stories was first published in 2003, but certainly stands the test of time. Editor, Adrian Searle, assembled an impressive first-team squad for this anthology, with the likes of the aforementioned Alan Bissett playing alongside Alan Spence, Des Dillon, and Denise Mina amongst others, and there are some sparkling performances from the team, along with some great photographs capturing various aspects of Scottish football. Amongst the short stories is one from Gordon Legge called Hand of God Squad, which, upon re-reading, reminded me fondly of his short story collection, In Between Talking About The Football, and what a great writer he was (is). I just wish that he had written more. - Paul Cuddihy 


This book of short stories features some of Scotland’s top contemporary writers, each writing on a subject close to the hearts of many Scots. With contributions from among others Alan Spence, Denise Mina and Alan Bissett the collection is varied with the stories focussing on both the participants, observers and emotions that make up our  national obsession. - Duncan Wright