Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
This is such an amazing story and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the movie, or dark stories full of many characters. I’m sad that I discovered the existence of this story after watching the movie, but it’s still amazing. For those who don’t speak Scottish slang daily, there is a helpful guide in the back that has saved me numerous occasions while reading this story.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
This book was completely asinine, shallow, self-absorbed, contrived, and just about everything else that seems to be wrong with modern novels. Though Welsh has some impressive technical skills (truly getting inside his character’s heads is probably his strongest) this alone does not an artist make. Welsh is no novelist, and perhaps this work would have been better served if it had been chopped up into short stories. There are long stretches in this novel in which nothing, absolutely nothing happens, during which one wonders whether this is his idea of “realism” or if he just didn’t know exactly what to do with 300+ pages to work with. Furthermore, even those scenes in which “something happens” do not serve to reveal anything to the reader about truth, life, and the other things that art, at its best, should give us. The only thing Welsh seems capable of telling us is “these people do herion cause they don’t have anything better to do.” Well, fine—but I don’t really want to spend 350 pages reading about something that I could have told you by page 1. On top of that, Welsh’s “humor” is of the most trite and predictable varitety. I suppose this is probably the perfect book for the masses illiterati out there who’s idea of art is something which merely serves to validate their own self-absorbed existence, rather than expand and enrich it; but for those readers out there who demand something more–do yourself a favor and find a better book.