Tag: Florida

Irvine Welsh – Crime | Review

Title: Crime

Author: Irvine Welsh

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 346

Rating: 9/10

 

Irvine Welsh - Crime

Irvine Welsh – Crime

 

Crime is another one of those not-so-rare Irvine Welsh books that’s just an excellent read, despite his unorthodox approach to spelling, grammar and punctuation. Welsh is never exactly easy to read, but I think that here, he’s at his most lucid, and the story line is easy for anyone to follow. Put simply, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is on holiday in Florida, trying to take a rest and recouperation break from a child abuse case which threatened to derail his sanity. Unfortunately, things are never that simple in an Irvine Welsh book, and he ends up getting himself mixed up with a bunch of paedophiles, who he quite rightly wants to bring to rights.

Irvine Welsh is considered by many to be a writer of ‘drug books‘, but that’s not necessarily true here – fair enough, drugs are mentioned, and used by several of the characters, but it’s not a central part of the story line. No, that’s reserved for organised crime, and paedophilia rings in particular.

Detective Inspector Lennox is probably one of my favourite Irvine Welsh protagonists, particularly after this novel, and all of the characters that he uses are well thought out and well developed. In fact, I’d say that he’s at the top of his game here, and that this is a pretty good place to start if you’re new to his work, or a good pick for a second book if you’ve read Trainspotting.

Overall, then, Crime is a cracking hybrid thriller with some typical Welsh-isms thrown in, and it’s well worthy of the 9/10 that I gave it. I only didn’t give it a 10/10 because there were times when I was reading it that I kind of hoped for it to hurry up, or for me to get through the pages quicker. It’s also a challenging read, and it’s definitely not for everyone – that said, if you do like it, you’ll love it. Welsh is a bit like Marmite, for some people. But not me!

 

Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

 

Click here to buy Crime.

 


Charles Bukowski – Hot Water Music | Review

Title: Hot Water Music

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 221

Rating: 7/10

 

Charles Bukowski - Hot Water Music

Charles Bukowski – Hot Water Music

 

Like the majority of Bukowski’s prose, it’s difficult to separate the fact from the fiction and to figure out how to classify the work – so, as always, I’m adopting the Jack Kerouac approach and classifying it as both. Hot Water Music is a collection of the poet’s short stories and covers the usual subjects – booze, women, the horses and the daily struggle that writers face when caught in the crossfire between editors and the typewriter.

Interestingly, Bukowski’s books have influenced a whole generation of musicians – there’s a punk band from Florida called ‘Hot Water Music’, and the names of some of his poetry collections (like ‘Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame) have been used as the titles of albums and songs by various bands across the globe. It’s rare to see such unprecedented influence translate between two different genres of the arts.

I didn’t enjoy this much as I’ve enjoyed most of Bukowski’s books, but it’s still worth a read for fans – it’s just not the best work to start on. Ham On Rye comes highly recommended, and I’ve always preferred his poetry to his fiction. That said, you can do a lot worse – proceed with caution, and enjoy yourself.

 

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

 

Click here to buy Hot Water Music. 

 


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