Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
As soon as I heard about The Blade Artist, and that Irvine Welsh was bringing one of his most iconic characters back, I knew I had to read it. There was no way I was going to miss out on the return of one of my favourite literary creations. The good news? Begbie has returned and he is bringing a whole world of hurt with him.
As ever, Welsh’s writing offers a keen insight into the innermost workings of his protagonist. It is fascinating watching as Jim Francis devolves back into Francis Begbie. The process begins as soon as he steps of the plane. The longer he spends in his old stomping grounds the more their hold affects him. It’s a post-modern Jekyll and Hyde, his language regresses and the thin veneer of fragile civility he has expertly crafted is soon cracked. Scotland isn’t California and Jim has to reassert his old personality to survive. Francis ‘ Franco’ Begbie has to be given free reign.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
Well, at one time, you’ve got it, and then you lose it, and it’s gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed, or Irvine Welsh.