I bought this book on the strength of Lanark only to discover that it was very, very different.
First off, this book is heavy on stream-of-consciousness. I find these books are often hard to get into, and this one was no different. The first half of the book follows the narrator (who is but is not Alasdair Gray) as he tries to write a short story involving several female characters. But he never really gets the story together - instead the first half of the book is punctuated with the narrator's drunken ramblings, memories, and (sexual) fantasies. There are quite a few funny moments, sad moments, and exciting moments, but on the whole I found the first half to be a bit inaccessible. Its style reminds me a bit of Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground.
But halfway through the book, after a stream-of-consciousness-exploding-climax, Gray dials it back a bit and embraces a more conventional narrative. The short story with the women begins taking form and making sense, and things get quite enjoyable. There are moments of profundity, sadness, humor - by the end of the book the beginning makes more sense.
Gray considers this his best work. I'd have to disagree. His first novel Lanark was absolutely amazing. But 1982, Janine is a good book - maybe even a great book - by one of our greatest living writers.