Mr. Alfred is an elderly school teacher dogged by a sense of failure. The rejection of his poetry, his nightly escape to the pub--all contribute to his malaise. Perhaps most harrowing is his innocent but obsessive love for Rose, one of his pupils. This 'affair' is maliciously reported and he is torn from his familiar job and transferred to an even rougher school. Against a nightmarish background of gang warfare and public desecration the story reaches a frightening climax...
Year of Publication
Mr Alfred is a sensitive elderly schoolteacher who spirals into madness through a combination of drink, the rejection of his poetry and an unwise infatuation with a pupil. Friel’s tragic novel unfolds against an apocalyptic backdrop of feral gangs and fearful graffiti, and achieves a Joycean linguistic inventiveness as Alfred’s values, beliefs and even words begin to fall apart. -- Stuart Kelly
George Friel (1910-1975) was a Scottish writer. He was born in Glasgow as the fourth of seven children, and was educated at St. Mungo's Academy and the University of Glasgow. After a period of service in the army, he spent the rest of his life working as a teacher in Glasgow.