The first Irvine Welsh novel in three years 20040922
Irvine Welsh is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently Porno. He lives in Dublin.
Welsh, who will probably never live down Trainspotting (1993), gets considerable comic mileage from dual Edinburgh protagonists and their disparate perspectives. Danny Skinner is the bad boy of the local restaurant inspection office, partying hearty, keeping irregular hours and doing just enough to keep a tenuous hold on his job and on longtime girlfriend Kay, a dancer. The arrival at the office of eager-to-please Brian Kibby, a virginal nerd fresh from university, completely throws off Danny's game and draws his unmitigated ire ("Another fucking clone, another Foy arse-licking sycophant"). As Brian's father lays dying, Danny, who never knew his father, sets out to discover his father's identity; meanwhile, smarmy celebrity chef Alan De Fretais, with his filthy kitchen, brings things to a buddy-movie flashpoint. With plenty of plot movement-Danny journeys to America; Brian falls prey to a mysterious illness that requires Danny to really function at work-and rich characters, the novel keeps the reader entertained with a full-bodied (those kitchens are hot and cramped) view of life's ironies. It's eminently filmable, but not in the manner of its illustrious predecessor; Welsh's expansive storytelling and archly imaginative humor now suggest a more aggro John Irving. 7-city author tour. (Aug. 7) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Irvine Welsh: " The poet laureate of the chemical generation." - "The Face" " Welsh writes with a skill, wit and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing for decades." - "Sunday Times" " A pure writer, producing staggering feats of storytelling... the skill of a master." - "Independent" " One of the most original writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit and force." - Nick Hornby, "Times Literary Supplement"
Don't be misled by the voyeuristic title to expect a feast of food and sex. Actually, this is a tale of hate between two young Edinburgh Environmental Health officers-Danny, an alcoholic who blames his addiction on the absence of a father, and Brian, a shy model railroad enthusiast who resorts to masturbation to release his sexual fantasies. Brian finds Danny intimidating, yet Danny thinks that it is Brian's effeminacy that drives him to feel this way. Mysteriously, every time Brian lapses into pain from an unidentifiable virus, the otherwise healthy Danny experiences an identical pain. Scottish writer Welsh does a commendable job of weaving a common thread between rivals, but he fails to project the same fresh and witty voice he presented in Trainspotting, instead preferring to concoct a novel following a more popular recipe that includes punk music, video games, drugs, religious upbringing, politics, voudou, and murders. The result will arouse the adrenaline of some readers but will leave die-hard Welsh fans hungry. Recommended for public libraries.-Victor Or, Vancouver & Surrey P.L., B.C. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.