It accomplished for its own time and place what Hubert Selby, Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn did for his. Rents, Sick Boy, Mother Superior, Swanney, Spuds, and Seeker are as unforgettable a clutch of junkies, rude boys, and psychos as readers will ever encounter. Trainspotting was made into the 1996 cult film starring Ewan MacGregor and directed by Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave).
There are some sizable flies in the ointment, though: a missing wife and child, a nagging cocaine habit, some painful below-the-belt eczema, and a string of demanding extramarital affairs. The last thing Robertson needs is a messy, racially fraught murder, even if it means overtime--and the opportunity to clinch the promotion he craves. Then there's that nutritionally demanding (and psychologically acute) intestinal parasite in his gut. Yes, things are going badly for this utterly corrupt tribune of the law, but in an Irvine Welsh novel nothing is ever so bad that it can't get a whole lot worse. . . .In Bruce Robertson Welsh has created one of the most compellingly misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction, in a dark and disturbing and often scabrously funny novel about the abuse of everything and everybody.
Welsh writes with a skill, wit and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing in decades.--Sunday Times [London] [O]ne of the most significant writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit, and force, and in a voice which those alienated by much current fiction clearly want to hear.--Times Literary Supplement Welsh writes with such vile, relentless intensity that he makes Louis-Ferdinand Céline, the French master of defilement, look like Little Miss Muffet. --Courtney Weaver, The New York Times Book Review The corrupt Edinburgh cop-antihero of Irvine Welsh's best novel since Trainspotting is an addictive personality in another sense: so appallingly powerful is his character that it's hard to put the book down....[T]he rapid-fire rhythm and pungent dialect of the dialogue carry the reader relentlessly toward the literally filthy denouement. --Village Voice Literary Supplement, Our 25 Favorite Books of 1998 Welsh excels at making his trash-spewing bluecoat peculiarly funny and vulnerable--and you will never think of the words 'Dame Judi Dench' in the same way ever again. [Grade: ] A-. --Charles Winecoff, Entertainment Weekly
"A beautiful tale, awash in the seasalt and sweat, bait and beer of the Havana coast. It tells a fundamental human truth: in a volatile world, from our first breath to our last wish, through triumphs and pitfalls both trivial and profound, what sustains us, ultimately, is hope." --The Guardian The last of his novels Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the most enduring works of American fiction. The story of a down-on-his-luck Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal--a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream--has been cherished by generations of readers. Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of adversity and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic. First published in 1952, this hugely popular tale confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature.
J.M. Coetzee's latest novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, is now available from Viking. Late Essays: 2006-2016 will be available January 2018.In 1720 the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe is approached by Susan Barton, lately a castaway on a desert island. She wants him to tell her story, and that of the enigmatic man who has become her rescuer, companion, master and sometimes lover: Cruso. Cruso is dead, and his manservant, Friday, is incapable of speech. As she tries to relate the truth about him, the ambitious Barton cannot help turning Cruso into her invention. For as narrated by Foe--as by Coetzee himself--the stories we thought we knew acquire depths that are at once treacherous, elegant, and unexpectedly moving.