With the threat of a storm hanging over the streets of Glasgow I made my way to #TheIronHorse on West Nile St for the launch of “Checking Out of the Hotel Euthanasia” from Gerard Graham and published by Ringwood Publishing, a small independent Scottish Publisher, based in Glasgow, dedicated to publishing quality works of Scottish fiction and nonfiction around the key national themes of politics, football, religion, money, sex and crime.
Although the book isn’t my normal crime fiction genre, I was pretty intrigued by the theme of the book and the fact that Gerry used to sit on the Board of Trustees for the organisation I work for!
Gerry gave a packed audience an entertaining and witty overview of the book despite its quite controversial subject matter. Set 21 years in the future, in a world where consumerism enters into the field of assisted dying, “Checking Out of Hotel Euthanasia” is a humorous exploration of euthanasia set in Glasgow with a cast of bizarre but quintessentially Glaswegian characters providing the backdrop for this thought-provoking novel. As well as the dark comedy element of the book it delves into the emotional, moral and political elements of assisted dying. Hotel Euthanasia offers its guests the opportunity to design and customise their perfect decadent death in an environment where their every final dying wish can be granted!
Checking Out of the Hotel Euthanasia is an always funny, often farcical, sometimes scabrous take on a serious subject, assisted dying. Swiftian in style, approach, and content, it relentlessly assaults the hypocrisies and muddled arguments around both sides of the euthanasia debate with a challenging combination of dispassionate calm and outrageous humour. It will offend many, amuse even more, and leave no-one untouched. It is a major contribution to the political and ethical debate already underway about the best response to a growing clamour for the legal right to end one’s life on one’s own terms.
Gerry’s inspiration for the book comes from his own delinquent mind combined with his decision to move to America with his wife Barbara. Their first port of call was Naples in Florida, which was described as the “Disneyland for the elderly” and it was here that the concept of the book was born.
Questions from the audience came fast and thick and covered issues such as Gerry’s own thoughts on the subject matter (you need to read the book to find out!); his background in Social Work which not only helped with the development of characters within the book but also the idea of enablement and empowerment for older people where Gerry played a key part in policy and decision-making , unpacks the whole idea of choice and the questions over choice versus coercion and provides an opportunity to open up the wider debate about where society goes from here in relation to the right to choose when to end one’s own life.
It really was a fascinating and thought-provoking launch and despite the subject matter, it was not at all depressing! It certainly left me with plenty of food for thought and I’m looking forward to reading some of the reviews for the book. If you have read it I’d love to hear what you think?
One thing’s for sure, the Trip Advisor reviews would make for interesting reading!
If you want to find out more about the book and Gerry’s thoughts then check out his website:
You can buy the book in paperback and Kindle version from Amazon – links are below: