Tag: Alternative

Irvine Welsh – Filth | Review

Title: Filth

Author: Irvine Welsh

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 404

Rating: 9/10


Irvine Welsh - Filth

Irvine Welsh – Filth


Filth is one of Irvine Welsh’s finer novels, and that’s saying something. I usually try not to go too deeply into the story line when I’m reviewing books, but I think that it’s warranted in this case – I’ll try to avoid spoilers, though.

In this book, we follow what happens to Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson after he heads off to Amsterdam, to “kick off Christmas with a week of sex and drugs”. In this sometimes seedy setting, he finds himself looking into a murderer, whilst dealing with a severe case of gastrointestinal distress – he has a tapeworm, and interestingly enough, it forms a sizeable part of the narrative.

In fact, it’s interesting to see how Welsh deals with this – he uses all sorts of different tricks, including unusual layout techniques, to represent this, and it does actually play a key part in the unfolding of events in the novel, although I’m not going to tell you any more than I’ve already told you. What I will say, though, is that our protagonist here is interesting enough to keep you riveted right up until the end of the book, and you’ll end up feeling sorry for him, even though he is a little bit of a bastard.


Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh


If you’re new to Irvine Welsh’s work then this is a pretty good place to start, although I always find it hard to choose between them – I also haven’t had the pleasure of re-reading any of his work, and I’ll probably never get round to it. Luckily, I have a lot of it still to look forward to, but Filth is one of the best that I’ve read so far. The cover design is also awesome, and it’s a nice added touch – even though they say that you should never judge a book by its cover.

Overall then, I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a new, alternative read, especially if the idea of a slightly bent copper with a bunch of personal problems appeals to you. At the very least, I found him easy to relate to, even if that does say more about me than it says about Robertson. I know what it’s like to have a dodgy stomach, although a tapeworm has never talked to me. Come to think of it, I’ve never had a tapeworm.


Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh


Click here to buy Filth.


Irvine Welsh – Trainspotting | Review

Title: Trainspotting

Author: Irvine Welsh

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 344

Rating: 8/10


Irvine Welsh - Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh – Trainspotting


Well, this is it – this is the book that catapulted Irvine Welsh from being an unknown Scottish author who used to be a heroin addict into being one of Britain’s foremost contemporary alternative writers. It was also turned into a movie, which has since become something of a cult phenomenon.

In many ways, I feel as though Irvine Welsh’s novel has been overshadowed by the success of the film, which is a shame – I read the novel first, and I preferred the novel, and yet so many film afficionados talk about the movie without ever reading the book. And it’s not even as though there are too many differences – it’s just that the novel is harder to read, because the Scottish dialogue is spelled phonetically, rather than spoken aloud.

I thought that Trainspotting was good, but not great – it convinced me to read more of Welsh’s work, but it’s since been surpassed by some of the stuff that I discovered, and I only just decided to give him a second chance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I did – I just don’t necessarily think that Trainspotting is the best introduction to Irvine Welsh’s work.


Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh


Loosely speaking, and without going into too much detail about the story line, it follows a group of friends who are addicted to heroin, and it follows their adventures in urban Scotland as they try to live their lives without dying or getting arrested. I don’t want to go into specific incidents that happen, because the fun of this book comes not from the story line but from the interactions between characters. That said, if you can get past the difficulty of the language then you’ll enjoy this – it’s hard not to.

Which brings me to the question of whether I’d recommend this or not – I think I would, but not to everyone. It’s a matter of taste, but you’ll like it if you have a taste for the unusual and obscure.


Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh


Click here to buy Trainspotting.


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