In this searing collection of stories, people try in various ways to escape the violence and depravity of urban Scotland. A brutalized child rescues his sister in the only way he can imagine. An alienated, drug-addicted boxer fights to live and then lives to fight. A family man slashes faces for money. Lovers, killers, the desperate and the mad search for meaning, or someone to hold, or something to eat, in some of the meanest streets ever rendered in fiction.