Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Irvine Welsh's five best crime novels

Irvine Welsh is the author for Trainspotting and other works.

At FiveBooks, he discussed crime novels with Daisy Banks, including:
The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh

Your next choice is a thriller set in Glasgow ­– The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh, who is no relation to you?

No, she’s not, although funnily enough our mothers are very good friends! I think she is a very interesting writer. To my mind she is not really a crime writer. She is a very serious literary writer working in crime. She is a bit like Dostoyevsky in the way that she uses the existential thriller and the crime genre as a way of exploring individuals’ relationships with society.

She has this very interesting protagonist Rilke, who is this predatory homosexual, and that’s the kind of character you don’t really see in standard British crime books, because the people in there are normally white male divorced alcoholics who listen to jazz. So, for me, that is interesting. The plot line is basically the same as that terrible film 8mm with Nicolas Cage but it is one hundred times better written.

It shows a very different side to Glasgow from normal.

Yes, it is about someone who finds a snuff movie and he wants to find out whether it was a mistake. When he is chasing the crime it goes into the underbelly of Glasgow and is very atmospheric. It makes Glasgow seem this very dark Gothic and Victorian city, which it obviously can be. You have beautiful descriptions of walking through parks and the mists and fogs. There is a lot of spectral imagery conjured up. Rilke is this kind of walking cadaver stalking through the town.
Read about another book tagged by Welsh.

Also see, Louise Welsh.

--Marshal Zeringue