Tag: Renton

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.

 


Adrian Baldwin – Stanley McCloud Must Die! | Review

Title: Stanley McCloud Must Die!

Author: Adrian Baldwin

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 368

Rating: 4*/5

 

Adrian Baldwin - Stanley McCloud Must Die!

Adrian Baldwin – Stanley McCloud Must Die!

 

The first thing I have to say about this book is that it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. When Baldwin calls it “dark comedy for grown ups”, he’s not wrong. In fact, his work reminds me of what Irvine Welsh would sound like if he tried to write a sitcom, and there are definitely references to Welsh’s work here right down to a Renton reference and a Scotsman called Dougie who gets up to all sorts of shenanigans.

There is a plot here, but the plot almost comes second to the characters, although both are a lot of fun here. It’s an odd book because there are basically two different story lines taking place at the same time. The first plot follows a chap called Stanley McCloud who’s diagnosed with a terminal illness and who makes a bet with a bookmaker that he’ll live to his next birthday. The problem is that she decides to try to kill him off early so she doesn’t have to pay up.

While all of this is happening, there’s also a second plot which follows a serial killer called the Head Honcho, and that’s kind of why I wanted to read this book. One of his victims is named after me and so I wanted to find out how I died. I wasn’t disappointed. I also read this as part of Todd and Dane’s Indie Readalong, which is an initiative I’m running with a friend over on YouTube.

All in all, this was a fun book and while it started to drag a little near the end, I think that’s just a byproduct of its length. For an indie book, it’s a startlingly well-written and well-edited work that, while it might not be for the mainstream, is a great addition to the indie landscape and one which deserves more readers. Sure, there are trigger warnings for pretty much everything imaginable, but that’s hardly surprising. I mean, I’ve read Baldwin’s work before and this was more of the same. A lot of fun – but also pretty much crazy.

 

Adrian Baldwin

Adrian Baldwin

 

Click here to buy Stanley McCloud Must Die!.

 


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