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Our hero, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, is a cross between Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant and John Belushi in Animal House. His task is to nab a killer who has brained the son of the Ghanaian ambassador, but bigoted Bruce is more urgently concerned with coercing sex from teenage Ecstasy dealers, planning vice tours of Amsterdam, and mulling over his lurid love life. He's also got a tapeworm, whose monologue is printed right down the middle of many pages. Here's one of this unusually articulate parasite's realizations: "My problem is that I seem to have quite a simple biological structure with no mechanism for the transference of all my grand and noble thoughts into fine deeds."
Welsh's real strength is comic tough talk and inventive slang. The murder mystery helps organize his tendency to sprawl, but the engine of his art is wry, harsh dialogue. At one point, his books hogged the entire top half of Scotland's Top Ten Bestsellers list--and half the buyers of Trainspotting had never bought a book before. The reason is not that Welsh is the best novelist who ever got short-listed for the Booker Prize. It is that he is that rarest of phenomena, an original voice. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
I would definitely recommend this to a fan of Irvine Welsh, it is magnificently gritty and hilarious. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Thomas de Gruchy
Trainspotting is possibly my favorite novel of all time. Porno, although not as good was still an excellent read... but Filth was horrible. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2009 by Matthew Gervais
No contest. Pure filth. I felt like I had been kicked in the kidneys by the end of it. Never had such an intense physical reaction to a book before. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2006 by Mel
Welsh's very best, in my opinion.
This novel takes us through the miserable life of a very dislikable lead character. Read more
The entire first chapter is about a fart, I think. I had to try to read it over and over so many times because of the incomprehensible scottish slang. Read morePublished on June 20 2003
While this book at times is basically shock value.the over all ambition of the novel is to profile a particular type of person who has lost all morality as a result of the life... Read morePublished on May 15 2002
I recently read Burroughs' Cities of the Red Night, so this is no longer the most disgusting thing I've read. But it still is the most satisfyingly filthy book I can think of. Read morePublished on March 27 2002 by Gordon Smith
Welsh, in the grand tradition of authors such as William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, uses his art like a scalpel to lay open for our examination some of the more unpleasant and... Read morePublished on March 22 2002 by Elvis Christ