Freight Books Freight Books
Three Craws by James Yorkston

Format: paperback, B Format, 198 x 129mm, 272pp

ISBN Code: 978-1-910449-76-9
James Yorkston

James Yorkston is one of the UK's leading singer-songwriters with an international following.

Read more about the author

Three Craws

by James Yorkston


A thwarted artist returns home to rural Scotland in this bittersweet slacker debut by an acclaimed, internationally-renowned singer-songwriter.

Johnny’s return from London to stay with best friend Stevie is the final admission that his dreams of being a great artist are dead. In Victoria Bus Station he meets Mikey, a low-level dealer, who is from the same area. As Johnny tries to get his life back on track, living in a tiny cottage with Stevie, Mikey won’t leave them alone, a constant presence destabilising everything around him.

As Johnny tries to hang on to the only job he can get, Mikey’s actions threaten his livelihood and Stevie’s sanity. In a blackly comic climax, events take a sinister turn. Can Johnny and Stevie survive the consequences or will they be dragged down by their unwanted ‘friend’?

Three Craws is a beautifully evoked portrait of contemporary rural life for those dealt a meagre hand.

Praise for Three Craws 

Three Craws is assured, funny, and tragic all at once. Brilliantly captures the quirks and paraxoes of small town Scottish life.’ Doug Johnstone, author of Gone Again, The Jump and The Dead Beat

‘Atmospheric, absorbing and darkly funny. Every bit as skilful as his songwriting.’ Lauren Laverne

‘A Fifer returns home from London with bad company in tow. Terrific stuff.’ Ian Rankin

Three Craws is a subtle, insightful, and occasionally very funny look at the way small rural communities can sometimes smother their own, pushing people away while simultaneously pulling them back, demanding success while secretly hoping for failure. Yorkston has written a House With the Green Shutters for our times.’ Scotsman

‘James Yorkston’s facility for an insidiously absorbing yarn isn’t restricted to his songwriting. On Three Craws, he uses it to masterful and often hilarious effect, detailing a world with which we are all (too) familiar: one which occupies the yawning chasm between the lives we desire and the lives we have to accept.’ Pete Paphides

‘His prose has tremendous energy and rambunctuous rhythm.’ The National

‘Yorkston has weaved together a rustic and close-knit tale of the aftermath of broken dreams.’ Books and Socks

‘Yorkston tells a story that is gripping, that transfixes the reader. The language is beautiful, the story is compelling. What more can a reader want?’ David Kenvyn

‘Evocative’ Scottish Field

‘This work is filled with precise Teuchter terminology: authentic and refreshing. […] Yorkston has a ready-made readership in his loyal musical fanbase, but his post-kailyard treatment of rural Scots’ lives deserves to be read beyond only them.’ The Skinny

‘A rural take on Trainspotting themes, this book is funny and tragic all at once.’ Scots Magazine

‘There is a lyricism in his use of everyday language which is rare and believable, and he uses his musician’s ear to master the phraseology not only of how his characters talk to each other, but how they ‘talk’ to themselves… a welcome new voice in Scottish fiction.’ Scots Whay Hae!