Book Review: Andrew O’Hagan’s attempt to capture the state of Britain edges into caricature

In the 650-page Caledonian Road, the Scottish writer tries to weave together strands of London as it cautiously emerges from the depths of the pandemic

Andrew O’Hagan: despite the somewhat unconvincing characterisations, his bildungsroman Caledonian Road is an enjoyable read with significant twists and turns


Caledonian Road

By Andrew O’Hagan



Billed as Britain’s ‘state of the union’ novel, the Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan’s Caledonian Road has a lot of ground to cover, and in this 650-page doorstopper he attempts to do so with 59 different characters. Only one, however, captures the reader’s attention.

When we meet them, London has emerged from the depths of lockdown but its residents are still being cautious, with mask-wearing and travel restrictions ...