Francisco Garcia at The New Staesman:
Memorial Device captures the glorious, drug-infused chaos of the Eighties post-punk scene in the small towns in North Lanarkshire, near Glasgow. With a vast array of characters – a revolving cast of freaks, dreamers, and burned-out, pissed-up or long-dead visionaries – Keenan depicts a time and place that existed, and the lingering reverberations of a legendary band that didn’t. “It’s not easy being Iggy Pop in Airdrie,” one character opines.
Subsequent novels by Keenan have since arrived at a dizzying pace. First came the Gordon Burn prize-winning For the Good Times (2019), an unhinged tale narrated by Sammy, an incarcerated IRA foot soldier who recalls the exhilarating anarchy of his life in 1970s Belfast. This was followed Xstabeth (2020), a ghostly continent-striding coming-of-age story, of sorts. Monument Maker (2021) was something else entirely, an uncompromising, 800-page postmodern epic, which seemed to record the full David Keenan cosmology.