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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  5,692 ratings  ·  141 reviews
With three delightful tales of love and its ups and downs, the ever-surprising Irvine Welsh virtually invents a new genre of fiction: the chemical romance .

In "Lorraine Goes to Livingston," a bestselling authoress of Regency romances, paralyzed and bedridden, plans her revenge on gambling, whoring husband with the aid of her nurse Lorraine. In "Fortune's Always Hiding," fl
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1996)
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Trainspotting by Irvine WelshRequiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.Junky by William S. BurroughsScar Tissue by Anthony KiedisTweak by Nic Sheff
25th out of 163 books — 352 voters
Some Are Sicker Than Others by Andrew SeawardGo Ask Alice by Beatrice SparksEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott StevensCrank by Ellen HopkinsA Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Substance Abuse & Addiction
66th out of 474 books — 1,099 voters

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Community Reviews

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Il mio secondo Welsh. Il primo era stato Il lercio. Entrambi i libri mi hanno stupito per la tecnica narrativa, che è molto cinematografica.

I tre racconti racchiusi in Ecstasy sono composti da paragrafi che costituiscono degli schizzi di persone e scene diverse. All’inizio i diversi pezzi sembrano essere dei racconti indipendenti, slegati l’uno dall’altro, ma alla fine i pezzi iniziano a combaciare e si compone il quadro generale.

Il filo conduttore dei tre racconti non è solo l’ecstasy, ma l’at
Really disturbing, but I remember this as a great read nonetheless. Welsh has the ability to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck with deceptively simple descriptions of wholly credible human callousness and abuse, peppered with characters that you know you met at some party or other, late one night... Hideous but awesome in equal quantities. I really enjoyed his writing style.
Three Tales of Chemical Romance is a collection of three stories:
Lorraine Goes to Livingstone
Fortune's Always Hiding: A Corporate Romance
The Undefeated: An Acid House Romance

Lorraine Goes to Livingstone is a strangely feminist story - an 'historical (read: trashy) romance' writer, Rebecca, suffers a stroke and ends up in hospital, striking up an initially one-sided friendship with a sexually confused young Scottish nurse, Lorraine. Rebecca's writing style changes drastically- her work including
Morgue Anne
Jan 31, 2008 Morgue Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "Drug Novels"
Yet another great book on drugs. This is actually three stories in one book, each story told from several different perspectives. You meet a stream of loveable and not so loveable characters and some hardcore cockney spellings that will force you to reread a few pages. Great for fans of Party Monster/Disco Bloodbath, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the like. If you're into books with that wonderful, disconnected voice of an author who has done more than his fair share of, well, Ecstasy.
Andreia Reis
Mas que bela surpresa.
Sem duvida alguma que quero ler mais coisas deste escritor.
I love Irvine Welsh. I start every review on here of one of his books with that because I think it'll be very difficult for me to ever be too critical of his work. This is no real departure from what I've known to love but I still lapped it up. The first story of the three is slightly more bizarre than I've come to expect but still entertaining. The second was an ideal example of the short-story format, yet scarificed none of Welsh's 'everyday' life characterisation - it was utterly depraved, wh ...more
João Moura
Ao contrário de outros autores em que queremos nos deliciar lentamente com cada frase e página, Irvine Welsh coloca-nos como os junkies dos seus livros, a devorar página atrás de página, até colarmos as peças do puzzle que ele vai deixando e percebermos como tudo acaba...
Ecstasy é mais um grande livro sobre drogas, intercalado com música, futebol (hooliganismo) e o que os seus intervenientes pensam ser amor. Viciante, sujo e hilariante como sempre, consegue ainda intercalar personagens e históri
Siskoid Albert
Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy is a collection of three thematically-tied novellas from the author of Trainspotting, all three subtitled "romances" that feature fetishistic (often taboo) sex acts, revenge, phonetically-written British accents (I watch enough BBC programming to get my hear around them, though the third story did try my patience), and of course, the drug Ecstasy. I kind of wish the first story had been a novel. A writer of historical romance jilted by her husband starts writing pornograph ...more
Lucy Shiels
I watched the film Ecstasy a few weeks ago but the book was very loosely based on the last of the three short stories that comprise this book. All three stories are sickeningly disturbing and yet so incredibly brilliant at the same time. I still cannot explain exactly why I love Irvine Welsh so much. I think it is because he writes about these grotesque subjects but in such an amazing writing style that gives it some semblance of eloquence.
Of all the short stories the last one was probably my f
If you haven't yet read anything by Welsh, his writing style incorporates a thick Scottish-accented narration - spelled out like said in real life. Maybe a bit off-putting at first, but at about 30 pages in, I was doing these little Scottish accents for each of the characters in my head. It made interesting reading.

The book is divided into three novellas - all revolving around romance and drugs. I felt the stories got progressively better (I would have thrown in the towel had the second novella
Amanda Pagano
Ecstasy was a fantastic read. I was constantly entertained by the plethora of quirky characters from each of the three stories. There are three stories which are interconnected only through their theme of love. It's not the super romantic love in romance novels. The love in these stories comes off as more realistic, the truth of the kind of love many experience in their lives, happy and sad. Each of the three stories stand on their own, so in a way this a lucky find because you get to read three ...more
The first story is not worth your time. The second two are pretty good. It's a dated collection, since drugs and ecstasy are the relating theme. Only a must for Welsh fans, I think.
You know, I am finding it difficult to express my opinion about IW's brill writing without the use of expletives.
Typical Welsh fun, 3 stories...2 stars for the first, 3.5 for the second, 5 for the last.
J.A. Callan
Anyone familiar with Irvine Welsh will know that anything goes once you open one of his books. In particular, to expect hefty portions of the following: beastly protagonists, drugs, hooliganism, drugs, extreme violence, casual (and realistic depictions of) sex, and did I mention drugs? His 1996 collection of novellas adds two more to that list: necrophilia and bestiality. Oh yes, you are in for a treat. Because Welsh being Welsh, he writes all of this candidly and brazenly. Nothing is taboo with ...more
This is not the type of book I would normally read, but the bold, ballsy cover art seduced me and I was hooked. Before 'Ecstasy' I'd never read an Irvine Welsh book but had flirted with the idea for a number of years. Considering the number of successful film adaptations his novels have spawned (think Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' or most recently 'Filth') I didn't doubt Welsh's talent but more the confrontational nature of his graphic and typically grotesque subject matter. With this book howev ...more
This book contains three stories that revolve around romance and Ecstasy among other things.

Lorraine Goes to Livingston is the first story. It was titled a "Rave and Regency" romance. Famed regency romance novel writer Rebecca Navarro (who writes stories such as Lucy Goes to Liverpool and Yasmin Goes to Yeovil) has a stroke, which jolts her out of her dreamworld. When she actually takes a look at reality, she realizes that her husband is a prick who's using her for her money, and he uses her mo
Sometimes when writers venture into the area of the short story their craft suffers from cut corners and unanswered questions. That may be the case in Ecstacy, but if it is I was too engrossed to notice the flaws.

"Lorraine Goes to Livingston" deals with a writer who concocts a plan to strike revenge on her cheating husband. "Fortune's Always Hiding" explores the twisted relationship between a soccer hooligan and a deformed but beautiful women. "The Undefeated" is the tale of two polar opposites
This book is very uneven. There is a mix of ridculous trash, non-sensical caricatures, and genuine goodness that made it hard for me to decide where it fell in terms of a rating. All three segments of the book follow a general theme of exploitation which does not really seem like it fits with the concept of the stories, but is there none-the-less.
The first story was certainly the hardest to get through. The characters are ridiculous and there's really not much sympathy to be had for any of them
Bueno. Principalmente empecé este libro porque considero que cualquier fan de My Chemical Romance debería leerlo pues es el libro que le da nombre al grupo, y después de años, lo tuve en mis manos y lo leí.

El primer relato es harto interesante. me gustó la figura de Freddy, por muy mal que llegue a sonar esto. Rebecca y Lorraine son personajes que debieron salir tanto o más.

El segundo relato empezó muy bien. Luego se tornó algo pesado, y el final deja un poco que desear, pero al igual que el pr
Not his best work, but I'm really glad after having finished it that I stuck through it. I considered putting the book aside after finishing "Lorraine Goes to Livingston", which was quite simply the worst piece of writing I have ever read from Welsh. The novella is full of contrived and shallow characters revolving around a mildly interesting and highly unbelievable plot. Thankfully the writing became increasingly better throughout the following novellas. "Fortune's Always Hiding" didn't really ...more
Iain Turnbull
Three short stories about romance and drugs. I've never really been a fan of Welsh, and I didn't enjoy this one very much at all either. There are funny moments for sure, but I have two real issues with his writing:

1. The broad dialect - even though it is the same as my own - is just difficult to read, especially as he has his own grammar conventions instead of using quotation marks like normal people.

2. Quite simply, his characters are uniformly unlikable. A good anti-hero can be great fun to r
Henryk Umiastowski
3 course meal of welsh deliciousness. An easy, entertaining & captivating read. The stories are almost lifelike, the characters, plots, and themes create an atmosphere that achieves nothing less than a great work of fiction. (can't say the same about the movie). This book will always have a place on my shelf of Welsh's top 5!
A substantial amount of time has passed since I completed a full read of ECSTASY. I admit, my memory of the material has weakened, and only increases so the further I distance myself from the scripture and the closer my appointment with death approaches. There for, I would have to say, it would be unrealistic for me to give it a fair review at this point. However, my recollected feelings towards this literature can, and have been, expressed in my rating of the book. If, by chance, I find the des ...more
My first duff Welsh. This smacks of someone trying to cement their enfant terrible reputation: -What's that? You want anal sex and loads more drugs? Obviously. Necrophilia? Sure. Bestiality? Mm, OK. I'll just shoehorn it into a naff spoof Regency Romance, which will actually save me having to write around a third of my novella - brilliant!

No, it's safe to say I didn't enjoy Lorraine Goes to Livingston. It was pretty lazily chucked together and I missed Welsh's lovingly created characters, as opp
Frederick Gault
Welsh's universe is violent, profane, drugged, and funny. 3 novellas about young Scotts taking the drug "Ecstasy" clubbing and looking for love. Very enjoyable but I feel like I need a bath at the end.
The stories get progressively better. The first story reminded me of a post-Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk book, where he's basically trying to shock you, but doesn't seem to have quite as solid a message as in previous books. The second one is still attempting to be shocking - and it succeeds at times - but honestly, the only time Welsh feels at home is in the third book, where he's talking about drugged out Scotsmen. It's still not a great story - it could've been in Trainspotting, but it would've ...more
Ileana Oprea-Sops
These stories are very enjoyable as you read them but in the end nothing out of them stuck with me, except the desire to read more of Irvine Welsh`s work.
Nov 29, 2008 Amber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amber by:
If you walk into the world within the pages of this book expecting anything but deeply disturbing images and characters as well as the most unexpectedly sweet love stories, then you, my friend, did not see Trainspotting. I didn't read Welsh's book, but many of the same themes of the film echo through Ecstasy. The man's imagination is bright, shiny and totally f*cked. There is a certain raucous ebullience that isn't a mere by-product of the drugs, but is a testament to Welsh's ability to create u ...more
These three stories all revolving around ecstasy were the darkest of Welsh's short stories I've read to date. 'Lorraine Goes to Livingstone' tells of a romantic novelist determined to get revenge on her husband with a heavy dose of beastiality and necrophilia thrown in for good measure. 'Fortune's Always Hiding' is another story of revenge, this time seeking out the man responsible for crippling Samantha. 'The Undefeated' is the lightest of the trio, following two polar opposite lives and their ...more
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I'm excited to read this. 2 16 Jun 07, 2012 01:33AM  
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Probably most famous for his gritty depiction of a gang of Scottish Heroin addicts, Trainspotting, Welsh focuses on the darker side of human nature and drug use. All of his novels are set in his native Scotland and filled with anti-heroes, small time crooks and hooligans. Welsh manages, however to imbue these characters with a sad humanity that makes them likable despite their obvious scumbaggerry ...more
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“When two people were in love you had to leave them to it. Especially when you weren't in love and wished that you were. That could embarrass. That could hurt.” 35 likes
“It was the books I started reading.
It was the music I started listening to. It was the television I started watching.
I found myself thinking again. I tried to stop because it was only causing pain.
I couldn't.
Wen all this is in your head it has to come out into your life. If it doesn't, you get crushed. I'm not going to get crushed.”
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