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3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,682 Ratings  ·  164 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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Some Are Sicker Than Others by Andrew SeawardGo Ask Alice by Beatrice SparksCrank by Ellen HopkinsA Million Little Pieces by James FreyEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott Stevens
Substance Abuse & Addiction
69th out of 546 books — 1,204 voters
Trainspotting by Irvine WelshRequiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.Scar Tissue by Anthony KiedisJunky by William S. BurroughsTweak by Nic Sheff
25th out of 183 books — 371 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 17, 2007 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sara Williams
“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. When 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.”

My first Irvine Welsh.
I purchased quite a few of his books for a very cheap price (unfortunately the iconic Trainspotting wasn't on the list, neither was Fil
Jul 01, 2013 Kaliska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
Nov 15, 2012 Andreia Reis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mas que bela surpresa.
Sem duvida alguma que quero ler mais coisas deste escritor.
Jul 27, 2014 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 03, 2013 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christian Mora
Dec 23, 2015 Christian Mora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muy diferente a lo que estoy acostumbrado, pero sorprendido por la forma. Tres relatos fantásticos, sin embargo el tercero decae un poco logrando en la segunda parte volver a tomar el ritmo de las anteriores historias. Se podría decir que son historias de amor y de libertad, de dejar el pasado.
Mark Barrett
Three typically harsh tales from Welsh. Not among his greatest works, but thoroughly recommended for fans. I wouldn't advise coming to this collection for your first experience of Welsh, though. There are some great moments - the acid trip monologue in the final story is hilarious - but not that many. Enjoyable.
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
May 04, 2014 Lucy Shiels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 19, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of three novellas, or novelettes, depending on how you like to classify things. Why you always classifying things? Shit. Anyway, after reading ACID HOUSE, I've noticed that Irvine Welsh's shorter works have a different kind of vibe than his novels. For the most part, I think that the moods of the shorter stories are often much, much lighter than the novels. And, that's a good thing. Because it's still Irvine Welsh. So, if yr jonesing for a Welsh story but not in the mood for ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Neri. rated it did not like it
I didn't liked this book. It was boring, pretencious and all the irish dialect words made it hard to read. No particular plot was found in any of three strories and a no good character development either.
Mar 23, 2016 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By far, the most twisted book I've ever read.
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
May 02, 2014 Amanda Pagano rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 28, 2016 Caity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welsh is a genius. These stories were just incredible. I especially loved the middle one, A Corporate Romance, it was just such a holy shit moment when the twist was revealed. Welsh writes on such disgusting subjects that make you extremely uncomfortable yet somehow it is impossible to tear your eyes from the page. He is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I've heard from quite a few people that they find the dialect used difficult to understand but I didn't find that a problem at all. ...more
Aug 06, 2007 Natalya rated it it was amazing
You know, I am finding it difficult to express my opinion about IW's brill writing without the use of expletives.
Sep 02, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Welsh fun, 3 stories...2 stars for the first, 3.5 for the second, 5 for the last.
Francisco Duque
Aug 07, 2015 Francisco Duque rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"— Hiya, this girl said to me, - havin a good one?
- Aye ... it's absolutely unbelievable! Ah've never been so happy! It's ma first
time eckied ... I gasped.
She gave me a big hug. - That's really nice. There's nothing like the first
time. It's always brilliant, but see the first time ...
We talked for ages, and I remembered I had to get back to Marie. It was like I
knew everybody though, all those strangers. We shared an insight and an intimacy
that nobody who hadn't done this in this environment coul
eh. the first story was my favorite.
What we have here is a collection of three novella-length stories by Irvine Welsh, the master of drug-induced debauchery and the Scottish icon who wrote Trainspotting, amongst other things. I’m actually a huge fan of Welsh’s, and this is the eighth Irvine Welsh book that I’ve finished, with two more on my ‘to be read‘ pile, and I can safely say that this is Welsh at his best.

The three stories, dubbed “tales of chemical romance”, are classified further as Lorraine Goes to Livingston (A Rave and R
Jan 29, 2016 JAC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, irvine-welsh
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
Sep 15, 2011 Tiara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 31, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
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
Dec 11, 2013 liesolitte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2016 Julie rated it it was ok
I wish there was a one and a half star rating because 'it was OK' seems too generous. It's basically a love story about Lloyd and Heather only the writer didn't have enough material to make this into a whole book so he tacked on two sick half arsed stories to pad the book out.

I'm currently in the middle of a massive clear out and have pulled all the books that I've never read off my shelves and I'm working my way through them. Some I bought from charity shops because I liked the look of them, l
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I'm excited to read this. 2 17 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
More about Irvine Welsh...

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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.” 43 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.”
More quotes…