With the Christmas season upon him, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson of Edinburgh's finest is gearing up socially—kicking things off with a week of sex and drugs in Amsterdam.
There are some sizable flies in the ointment, though: a missing wife and child, a nagging cocaine habit, some painful below-the-belt eczema, and a string of demanding extramarital affairs. The last thing Robertson needs is a messy, racially fraught murder, even if it means overtime—and the opportunity to clinch the promotion he craves. Then there's that nutritionally demanding (and psychologically acute) intestinal parasite in his gut. Yes, things are going badly for this utterly corrupt tribune of the law, but in an Irvine Welsh novel nothing is ever so bad that it can't get a whole lot worse. . . .In Bruce Robertson Welsh has created one of the most compellingly misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction, in a dark and disturbing and often scabrously funny novel about the abuse of everything and everybody.
"Welsh writes with a skill, wit and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing in decades."—Sunday Times [London] "[O]ne of the most significant writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit, and force, and in a voice which those alienated by much current fiction clearly want to hear."—Times Literary Supplement "Welsh writes with such vile, relentless intensity that he makes Louis-Ferdinand Céline, the French master of defilement, look like Little Miss Muffet. "—Courtney Weaver, The New York Times Book Review "The corrupt Edinburgh cop-antihero of Irvine Welsh's best novel since Trainspotting is an addictive personality in another sense: so appallingly powerful is his character that it's hard to put the book down....[T]he rapid-fire rhythm and pungent dialect of the dialogue carry the reader relentlessly toward the literally filthy denouement. "—Village Voice Literary Supplement, "Our 25 Favorite Books of 1998" "Welsh excels at making his trash-spewing bluecoat peculiarly funny and vulnerable—and you will never think of the words 'Dame Judi Dench' in the same way ever again. [Grade:] A-. "—Charles Winecoff, Entertainment Weekly
Another scabrous, lurid, blackly comic novel from America's favorite Scottish enfant terrible, this one does for present-day Edinburgh what James Ellroy does for 1950s Los Angeles. Welsh begins with a detective's investigation into a murder--the death of a Ghanaian ambassador's son--and turns it into a vivid exploration of the detective's own twisted psyche and seedy milieu. Detective Bruce Robertson finds himself preoccupied not with the murder but with his own genital eczema, sadistic sexual antics involving any number of girlfriends and prostitutes, his increasingly chronic appetite for coke, alcohol and greasy fast food and, finally, the parasite that has taken up residence in his intestines. Welsh effectively plays off Robertson's bilious narration with the coolly insistent voice of another entity--the tapeworm, who seems to be the repository of Robertson's childhood memories and what is left of his superego--as the detective spins out of control, wasting himself in increasingly risky games of erotic asphyxiation with one of his mistresses (ex-wife of another detective), machinations to undermine his colleagues, and misanthropic rage: "Criminals, spastics, niggers, strikers, thugs, I don't fucking well care, it all adds up to one thing: something to smash." Even for readers who have mastered Welsh's Scots dialect, such an eloquently nasty narrator can be exhausting. As in the past, Welsh himself sometimes seems rather compromised as a satirist by the glee he takes in his characters' repulsiveness. Yet if this hypnotic chronicle of moral and psychological ruin (funnier and far more accessible than Welsh's last full-length novel, Marabou Stork Nightmares) fails to charm a wide readership, it will not disappoint devotees. Editor, Gerald Howard; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Stick to American television friend; clearly British books & films aren’t where it’s at for you. Pikeys, they are called Pikeys.
Like giving one the Parkies from SNATCH a pen!!!!
I have a feeling what I read had the potential to be pretty awesome. It's like giving one of the Parkies from "Snatch" a pen.