Hope, loyalty and love are tested to the limit in this psychological coming of age/ murder mystery

"Small Fish Big Fish is the poignant coming-of-age story of Stephen McBride, a seventeen-year-old desperate to escape the strife and poverty of the town where he and his family live."

Swinging sixties


The "town" in the novel is Ferguslie Park, a suburb of Paisley, just south of Glasgow in Scotland. In it's heyday (during the 1960's, when the novel is set) there were around 13,500 people living in 3,500 units of housing - row after row of three and four story housing tenements crammed together to accommodate as many families as possible.

Ferguslie Park was built in the nineteen-thirties and forties to cater for people being cleared from Paisley’s slums. Many of the families living there were unskilled low paid manual workers in irregular employment. Some lived in extreme poverty and others were commonly thought of by the authorities as hopeless cases, dangerous and requiring supervision and control. Council policy at the time dictated that the victims of increasing poverty and unemployment in the Paisley area be re-located to Ferguslie Park. This resulted in a disproportionate number of drunkards, wife-beaters, child molesters, thieves, and murderers in the area. Gangs of youths ranging in age from 15 to 25 roamed the streets at will, unimpeded by police who were rarely seen except in dire emergency.

Multiple deprivation is the term used by the Scottish Government to describe a measurement of employment, income, health, education, access to services, crime and housing. Ferguslie Park has twice been named number one on the list of most deprived areas in Scotland.


A story of the bonds of friendship and love; of despair and hardship; of supportive families and abusive ones; of rising above and sinking below; of the moral and emotional effect that growing up in a dog-eat-dog world can have on youth—Small Fish Big Fish will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

Note: Small Fish Big Fish is a work of fiction. Stephen McBride and the characters in the novel are fictional. The location is real.

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The cover of Small Fish Big Fish was designed by Spiffing Covers (U.K.)

Small Fish Big Fish trailer - 

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