“Back up your mates, don’t hit women and, most importantly, never grass – on anyone.”
This is a book I rate very highly indeed and has rapidly become one of my favourites by Irvine Welsh. Essentially, it’s a coming of age story on an epic scale, based around four main characters, Billy, Carl, Terry, Gally following the group of friends from the 1970s right up to the 2000’s.
Like a lot of Irvine Welsh’s other books, drink, sex and drugs is a running theme a long with Scottish dialect which can take a while to get your head around but it is definitely worth persisting with.
As with Trainspotting, Welsh builds fantastic characters which you follow from their early years right through to their mid-30s, each with their battles which are some how interconnected with the other character’s story.
Throughout the book their are some fantastic laugh out loud moments but also some poignant ones which made me not want to book to end and left me thinking about it long after finishing.
One of the main characters is Terry ‘The Juice’ Lawson who I’m very familiar with from other books, so for me it was interesting to read of him as a youth. Not only did I cringe at some of his antics but he was also responsible for a lot of the laugh out loud moments experienced.
Even now, Welsh’s writing is extremely refreshing. It doesn’t pull any punches, some sections of the book will shock but at no point will you ever put it down. Keeping in with his other books it contains snappy dialogue with very dark humour.
Disturbing, vulgar, hilarious and heartbreaking…what more could you want?