Friday, September 22, 2006


Yesterday I posted an item at Spot-on about the film version of Trainspotting as the best anti-drug film around.

I've not read the book, but that won't stop me from scribbling about it here.

The publisher isn't shy about singing the novel's praises:
Trainspotting is the novel that first launched Irvine Welsh's spectacular career—an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating episodic group portrait of blasted lives. It accomplished for its own time and place what Hubert Selby, Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn did for his. Rents, Sick Boy, Mother Superior, Swanney, Spuds, and Seeker are as unforgettable a clutch of junkies, rude boys, and psychos as readers will ever encounter.
And its reception was enthusiastic:
"Blisteringly funny...relatively few writers have rummaged through this particular enclave of British youth culture...even fewer have dug there so deeply."— Mark Jolly, The New York Times Book Review

"Irvine Welsh writes with skill, wit, and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing for decades."—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity and About a Boy

"Irvine Welsh is the real thing—a marvelous admixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone), and almost archetypal universality."—David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest

This bio of Welsh could stand updating.

The Guardian's profile of Welsh is worth checking out. There's this quote from the writer:
"It might just be because I'm fucking lazy or whatever, but I've no fucking respect for the writer's craft. It's a lot of fucking nonsense. It's all application. It's nothing to fucking do with skill."
And this note under "Influences":
Welsh has been much compared to Celine, and although the media has fed the myth of an unschooled natural literary phenomenon, he has namechecked authors such as William Burroughs, Alex Trocchi, Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, William McIlvanney and Alan Spence in interviews - while always insisting that music, such as Iggy Pop's, has been his greatest influence.
--Marshal Zeringue