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The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle

In a Scotland beset with depression, Willem is one victim among many. He loses his job, his mother dies and he is forced out of the flat they shared. Seeing no other option, he takes to the streets of Edinburgh, where he soon learns the cruelty felt outside the confines of his comfortable life. Stories from his past are interwoven with his current strife as he tries to figure out the nature of this new world and the indignities it brings. Determined to live freely, he leaves Edinburgh, hiking into the Scottish Highlands to seek solitude, peace and an unhampered, pure vision of life at nature’s breast.

The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle is at once a lyrical, haunting novel and a set piece in the rage of an oppressed, forgotten community. J. D. Dixon’s sparse, brutal language captures the energy and isolation of desperation, uniting despondency and untrammelled anger in the person of his protagonist.


“A brave book that demands to be read… One of the best accounts of homelessness that I have read. Drink deep of this book.”


“A gritty and somewhat dark story about Willem, a man who lives in a world limited by his intellectual capabilities. This book was certainly a sad and hard look into how society views and treats those who don't "fit" into the parameters of what is considered normal, and how individuals tend to reveal the worst of humanity when it benefits them - no matter the harm to someone who can't fully defend themselves. It left a very melancholy and depressing feeling when I finished it, but had many insightful truths that are around us every day.”

Am At Home

“A lyrical, haunting novel.”

The Book Cove

“What a find. This book is seriously good. I mean, seriously. I'd recommend it to anyone, whatever your usual genres of choice. J D Dixon has a real gift, the innate sort that cannot be learned from classes. The book is raw, rough in places, and sometimes shocking. It's also immensely sad. It's just - great. One of the best debut novels I've ever read.”

Terry Tyler reviews

“If you have a taste for gritty, unrelenting realism, this twenty-first-century allegory is well worth your time.”

Book Jotter

“This is a brilliantly compelling read: the author’s stark but totally gripping style, the twists and turns of the story, the layering of the protagonist’s character and the many other characters that people this book and the multiplicity of themes, all make The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle a novel that stands out…unrivalled in my opinion, especially as it is a debut novel. But it also hits home… hard. This is a harsh indictment of our times, of our country, of our humanity.”

Judith Barrow

“Will keep you engrossed at every turn… This gut-wrenching novel… This book is a must-read for everyone.”

Underrated Reads

“One of the strengths of this story is how it requires the reader to think about how we treat those who are disadvantaged and homeless, how we expect them to observe rules which suit us without being flexible in trying to meet their needs.  How far can a person be pushed before they transcend the usual accepted limits?  Is Willem’s behaviour understandable?  Is it possible to read this story without feeling some sympathy for Willem and some empathy for the situation he finds himself in? Five stars.”

Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Reviewer

“Certainly a gripping if uncomfortable read which I would have no hesitation in recommending.”

G Heard (Reviewer)

“Gritty. dark, vivid - this was a one sitting read. A wonderful but difficult tale of depression-hit Scotland.”

Katy Belben (Reviewer)

J. D. Dixon Buy