Tag: Minor

Robert Webb – How Not to be a Boy | Review

Title: How Not to be a Boy

Author: Robert Webb

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 330

Rating: 3.75/5

I was surprised by this one because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting. I’d heard a lot of really good stuff going into this, but I had a few issues with it. Perhaps that’s not surprising because I’ve always had a strange relationship with him. When I first saw him in Peep Show, I didn’t like him much, but I’ve since come around to have a healthy respect for him, although I prefer David Mitchell.

I think the main thing that hampered my enjoyment here was Webb’s writing style, which is pretty idiosyncratic. Because of that, I think that you’ll either love the way that he writes or it’ll kind of grate on you, which is what happened with me. Still, that was just a minor thing and a matter of personal preference, and not enough for me to recommend against it.

That’s because it is actually a decent little memoir, particularly because of the way that it asks a lot of questions and goes out of its way to confront some of the ways in which our society has inherent biases about the two sexes. I guess you could say it’s pretty woke, and it knows it’s pretty woke, and in many ways that’s the point of it.

So while I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as I expected to when I was going into it, I still can’t really complain. It was pretty good at doing what it set out to do, and there was also plenty of food for thought too. It’s also pretty dark, at times surprisingly so. Robert Webb has been through a lot and so it’s kind of awesome to see that he came out the other side and was able to turn it into something positive. So there’s that, I guess.

Learn more about How Not to be a Boy.

 


Irvine Welsh – Porno | Review

Title: Porno

Author: Irvine Welsh

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 486

Rating 4/5

 

 

This is a heavy old read, but what else would you expect from Irvine Welsh? In fact, because the print in this thing is so small, it felt as though it was longer than it was, so I ended up reading it over the course of a month or so, 25 pages at a time in bed. It’s pretty weird bedtime reading, but it was also a good way of doing it because it meant that the story unfolded in real time.

This is the book that the second Trainspotting movie is based on, and indeed it is a sequel, at least in that it follows the same characters. In this one, Sick Boy decides he’s going to make a porn movie, and we follow what happens as he starts shooting and editing the thing. Renton comes back from Amsterdam to help with the funding, and Begbie has been released from jail and is out for blood and vengeance.

There was good and bad to this, but I think that the good mostly overpowered the bad and made this one worth reading. My main complaint with it would be the ending, and even then it’s not as though I didn’t like what happened. It’s more that it felt rushed, especially the last ten pages or so, but then I’m also not sure I could have kept on reading it for too much longer.

 

 

What I did like is that we get to see a whole bunch of familiar faces including “Juice” Terry Lawson, who’s one of my favourite of Welsh’s creations. I also feel as though there were one or two minor characters that I’d come across from Welsh’s short stories, although I couldn’t swear by that. He builds these super realistic worlds which are arguably so realistic because he grounds them in our reality.

So all in all then, I was pretty happy with this one, although as I said, it’s not one that I’d recommend going into lightly. The tiny print and the Scottish dialect combine to make it a challenge, although Welsh also does a good job of spacing out the dialect-heavy sections with other sections that are written in regular English. These sections also allow us to see what’s happening from a few different points of view, and that’s cool because it allows us to get a different take on what’s happening.

Would I recommend this? Sure, if you’re an Irvine Welsh fan, but you ought to read Trainspotting first. I also don’t think that they’re the best of Welsh’s books (my favourite is Marabou Stork Nightmares), so it’s not exactly the perfect place to start. But if you’re a fan of Welsh’s writing then you’re going to get more of what you love here. And I’m glad my cat picked this out.


 

 

Click here to buy Porno.

 


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