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In Welsh's (Trainspotting) gritty proletarian universe, everyone from God to Madonna (the Material Girl, not the Virgin) speaks tough, working-class Scottish dialect: "That cunt Nietzsche wis wide ay the maark whin he sais ah wis deid," confides a prickly, pint-hefting Almighty in a Glasgow pub. "Ah'm no deid, ah jist dinnae gie a fuck." Nihilism and self-absorption characterize the nearly indistiguishable junkies, football hooligans and petty thieves who narrate these edgy, preponderantly first-person stories and one novella. Like fellow Scot James Kelman (whose salty vernacular Welsh's dialogue echoes), Welsh's predatory characters are society's dregs, hard-luck losers pinned to seediness by the empire's decline and by their own low expectations. The plots address this unrelenting grimness with shocking violence or twisted comedy. With the former, Welsh lacks Kelman's chilling incisiveness and tense dramatic control; he's somewhat more successful at broad satire and manic, high-concept humor. When it works, it's hilarious: "Where the Debris Meets the Sea" features inventive turnabout, as fanzines and tabloid TV programs about Scottish lorrie drivers feed the sexual fantasies of Madonna and friends. More often, though, the satire lacks teeth, descending instead to weak sarcasm. The title story's inspired premise (an acid tripping malcontent and a yuppie couple's newborn swap souls) fizzles out in conventional, trite pokes at political correctness, men's groups and upward mobility. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
— GQ magazine
“The collection as a whole is sick, horrific, occasionally moving and very funny.”
— New Statesman
“Another season in Hell with Irvine Welsh, and God, it’s invigorating.”
— New Statesman
This book literally reads itself and for those people with a short attention span this book is perfect, being a compilation of unbelievably detailed short stories always ending... Read morePublished on April 25 2002
Like all of Welsh's books, Acid House is a far from pleasant read. That said, like a car accident, this book is difficult to look away from. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2001 by Plato Fish
Irvine Welsh is amazing! This collection focuses mainly on the experiences of people familiar with the world of drugs, but you'll relate to them to a frightening extent. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2001 by Terra Bell
Wow,what can I say about the talents of Welsh as a writer...Start reading and you 'll find yourself immersed in a bizarre world of surreal fantasy, scathing wit and black humour... Read morePublished on June 23 2001 by susi vudan
A young man loses his job, home, and girlfriend, meets God in the pub and turns into a household fly. Read morePublished on May 16 2001 by Nathan
Irvine Welsh had quite some success with Train Spotting. However he has gone to the well once too often with this collection of stories. Read morePublished on April 25 2001
Welsh is truly stunning in this work. Only by reading it can one truly appreciate it. There is reference to several other works, but Welsh twists the stories around to prove his... Read morePublished on July 27 2000
Although I am a big fan of Irvene Welsh, I must say this was my least enjoyed read (and indeed a couple of years later a very boring film). Read morePublished on June 23 2000 by A Customer
I loved The Acid House. I've read each of the stories multiple times. Welsh takes you on an amazing journey with each of these stories, as the impossible becomes possible. Read morePublished on June 19 2000 by Rach