Author Topic: Irvine Welsh  (Read 3711 times)

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2018, 02:51:46 PM »
Have you considered reading books yourself like a grown up? Welsh books even do the voices for you.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2018, 03:42:00 PM »
I do most of the time, but I tried reading while I was driving and there were some people who took exception.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2018, 08:15:42 AM »
Something else I’ve noticed recently: are Irvine Welsh’s novels increasingly a list of hotels he’s stayed in and restaurants he’s been to?

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2018, 01:58:34 PM »
But the main thing he needs to do is to sack Tam Dean fucking Burn

That's just reminded me, on listening to 'Filth' a while back there's a bit where he has to sing 'who ate all the pies' and clearly not knowing the tune, just makes up his own, and of course sounds ridiculous.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2018, 08:02:04 PM »
He does that a lot, notably with Golden Years in Trainspotting. It's infuriating. He's totally unsuited to the job.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2018, 12:55:09 AM »
Is Renton based on Welsh himself? I think in porno, Spud is revealed to be the author of Trainspotting, but I don't buy it. Spud is simply too frazzled to put pen to paper in any organised kind of way. Some autobiographical details for Welsh match up with Renton- got into the property market in London, moved to Amsterdam. I'd always assumed Renton was more or less him.

Controversially, I think Trainspotting is one of his weaker efforts. Porno is a far better book, and Glue better still. Trainspotting looked like a set of notes, sketches for a novel and in places felt like the product of a creative writing course.

I really like the patchwork nature of Trainspotting, so it's horse for courses I guess. I agree about Glue though; a fine work and probably the most underrated.


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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2018, 12:44:13 PM »
I’ve been “getting round” to reading to Trainspotting for the past decade or so. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. I have no intention of reading Filth after seeing the film which I found to be utterly hateful and pointless.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2018, 01:09:12 PM »
I’ve been “getting round” to reading to Trainspotting for the past decade or so. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. I have no intention of reading Filth after seeing the film which I found to be utterly hateful and pointless.

The book is more hateful than the film by an order of magnitude. Page after page of bile and nastiness.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2018, 10:31:56 AM »
It's really good though. Fascinating character study and weirdly compelling.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2018, 08:32:50 AM »
It is, but I don’t think it’s his darkest novel. Crime exceeds it by a mile, and Marabou Stork Nightmares is hard to re-read.

I usually re-read his novels several times, but I could only read Crime once.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2018, 09:48:52 PM »
The bit in 'Crime' where he nearly chokes to death on a live moth shook me up a lot more than the paedo stuff

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2018, 08:22:08 AM »
Anyone else read the Sex Lives of Siamese Twins? I'm struggling through it at the minute. The plot's engaging enough to keep me going but Welsh can't write American dialogue for toffee. As great as he is at writing Scots dialect, he's just as bad at writing Yankee Talk.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2018, 08:28:19 AM »
It’s the only one I haven’t read. He seems very much out of his depth when outside Scotland, and I don’t know if I’ll bother.

Are there lavish descriptions of expensive restaurants and hotels that Welsh has obviously become accustomed to?

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2018, 10:54:56 AM »
So far, no. See, I thought from reading The Blade Artist (and the relevant bits in Dead Men's Trousers) that his soppy way of writing Americans came from hating them.

Maybe that's not the case. Every character in this book speaks in what still feels, 90 pages in, like plain old bad dialogue. Maybe Welsh just doesn't work outside of Scotland.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2018, 11:03:26 AM »
I got the impression from The Blade Artist that he was pretty taken with the United States. I think you might be right about his schtick not working outside Scotland, although Nicksy was quite a well-observed character and the cross-channel ferry stories of Skagboys were some of the better parts of the book.

He just seems a bit dazzled by California in particular.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 12:23:35 PM by Paul Calf »

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2018, 05:04:48 PM »
Maribou stork nightmares is not a book anybody needs to read more than once. I'm not sure I needed to read it at all, bleak even for my taste.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2018, 08:28:56 PM »
I really liked the descriptions of dysfunctional scheme family life and Roy's double life as a casual and as a biscuit-arsed office boy. I forced myself to read that bit first time, but skipped it on the re-read.

I mean, fucking hell.

Same with the dog massacre in Glue.

EDIT: And the Jonty-Jinty corpse fucking in A Decent Ride. Almost made me vomit when I read that.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2018, 11:42:11 PM »
Managed 150 pages of Siamese Twins but can't continue. Better things to do on the train. One conversation in particular where both parties started sentences with "c'mon" was what done it.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2018, 12:52:34 AM »
Read Marabou Stork when it came out, and genuinely thought the rape scene was written from a feminist anti-violence point of view. I think if he published it today, after all the rubbish he's put out in the interim, I'd just assume it was yet another piece of shlock horror nonsense.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2018, 09:40:49 AM »
Considering the plot (and especially the ending) I think that's probably what he was aiming for. He does have an eye for the gaudy and horrifying though.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2018, 09:51:11 PM »
It's weird how I have re read American Psycho a few times and it's way more graphic than 'that part' in MSN but I dunno, I don't think I could put myself through that again. Maybe because American Psycho is so absurd and unreal yet MSN is believable. To be fair I don't think I'll ever spend my time reading American Psycho again either.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2018, 02:54:27 PM »
The book is more hateful than the film by an order of magnitude. Page after page of bile and nastiness.

Thinking about this, it is counterbalanced by the dark, dark humour and the deeply unloveable narrator though. It really reminds me of Money. Weirdly, I think it’s better than Money, while realising that I’m wrong to think that.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2018, 02:01:08 PM »
Dead Man's Trousers was rocky. I liked the DMT bit (I'm sure the acronym is entirely accidental) but I'm fully aware it was probably included for fanservice. It absolutely smacked of what he admitted: Trainspotting 2 (the fillum) got him to continue. Like he's milking it, pushing the characters people want out there.

Porno was alright, read it again and I liked Sick Boy's characterisation, but this new 'un handwaves much of that book, this spoiler in particularly irked me:  Renton cops to Sick Boy that after Porno he was ripped off by Nikki... And Dianne. Eh? Where the fuck did that come from? Seemed a lazy way to not have to address how that book ended or those female characters, or write as them heaven forbid, or even plainly explain what happened with Renton and Dianne. It screams Copout.

I love Filth, and Acid House is a good read. Glue is the best, but not my favourite. Trainspotting is fantastic, and I think one of the elements he's struggled with is plot - a book of essentially short stories didn't worry about it, and it positively gleams compared to the plodding plots of later works.

The next one is about a mass shooting in the US - Uh oh!

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2018, 02:42:24 PM »
After fucking Crime, a story about a mass shooting would feel like Barbara Cartland.

I might just avoid his US books from now on. I didn't read Sex Lives...; did I miss anything?

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2018, 08:04:27 PM »
I couldn't even get more than a chapter in. I don't read Irvine Welsh for the American stuff, I've decided - because it's boring, he's boring when he does it.

Even... What's the other one... Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, is set in Scotland, but the main character fucks off to California for a bit.

We get it, Irvine. You like it there. But write what you know... Unless it's fucking boring. Suppose its difficult - if he writes about Scotland he's being unoriginal, but his Yank stuff leaves me cold. Even his America characters like the rich fella in A Decent Ride seem basically just 2D sketches.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2018, 02:20:34 PM »
I got the impression that his American characters were parody, at first, like Melanie in the Blade Artist. When I got through 150 pages or so of Sex Lives (before abandoning it), I realised he just can't write them well.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2018, 03:27:15 AM »
Yeah, was going to say the same thing. Sometimes his prose is so painfully mannered and his dialogue so laboured and soap opera lite that for a long time I assumed it was sort of arch comment on something or other. It just contrasts so poorly with his writing in Trainspotting.

I did like in DMT when Begbie called someone a puff before falling into a pained retrospection about his homophobic language. The joke worked quite nicely there.

Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2018, 10:04:28 PM »
I'm shit at reading fiction and trying to change it so bought MSN and Acid House a few weeks ago. Just finished Marabou. Some heavy sections, but a fairly compelling read. Enjoyed how it gradually ups the intensity as it goes and the dual narrative aspect is interesting. First full novel I've read in a long time in any case.

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2018, 05:17:30 AM »
Acid House should be a good read. His short stories can work well (see: Trainspotting) and he gets a bit experimental, though ploughs the furrows you'd expect.

Since DMT he's had the odd interview saying there may be one more book on the Trainspotting lot. Even a prequel. Right. Sick Boy in the womb

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Re: Irvine Welsh
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2018, 02:18:12 PM »
I heard the prequel is going to be a visual novel set in a Japanese high school called Doki Doki Punny Eccy.