Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Acid House” as Want to Read:
The Acid House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Acid House

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  8,586 ratings  ·  215 reviews
The characters in this extraordinary book are often - on the surface - depraved, vicious, cowardly and manipulative, but their essential humanity is never undermined. Two professors of philosophy turn pugilists; Leith removal men become the objects of desire for Hollywood goddesses; God turns Boab Coyle into a house-fly; and in the novella, 'A Smart Cunt', the drug-addled ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 20th 1995 by Vintage (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Acid House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Acid House

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Paul
Holy shit, how could I have forgotten to add this to my list already, this collection of breakneck vileness, this wretchedness you wrench your head away from in shame that it happens to be so gripping and so funny. In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind they have invented a method for erasing specified memories from your mind - I hope they invent just such a thing in real life so I can get them to erase all memory of my five star books so that I can read them all for the first time a ...more
Jessica
I'm pretty sure the novella "A Smart Cunt" was in here. Though I have zero recollection of it now, at the time I read that I thought it was brilliant, and because I was bored on vacation in London with nothing better to do, I wrote what I believe was the only fan letter to an author I've ever sent, telling him this. And he wrote me back! In my letter, I'd asked him if he actually listened to techno music, since all his characters did and it was inconceivable to me at the time (I was 18) that any ...more
Colin N.
In "the Acid House" Welsh once again exposes the vibrant, crass, depressing, and violent sex and drug-filled underbelly of Scotland. The majority of these stories are excellent, very few feel like filler. Welsh also takes a number of risks, moving away from stories narrated by junkies and pimps and focusing on other troubled members of society (an old man missing his wife, a movie-fanatic loner), although the junky stories are there too, most notably the novella at the end.



Welsh also plays arou
...more
Laurie Mac
literary gold. Every one of these short stories are a work of genius. My favourite being the tale of coco brice. whilst out of his tree on drugs, his mind, and the mind of a new born baby are swapped over, turning coco into a slobbering idiot, and the baby into a dirty wee man.
Dan
May 29, 2009 Dan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Welsh fans
Shelves: 50-books-2009
Let me say that Irvine Welsh is my all time favorite author. Books such as Trainspotting and Ecstasy are pinnacles of modern fiction (alright, not so modern anymore, I guess). His stories are always insane, his characters flawed but wonderful, and the usage of Scottish vernacular is the coolest way books have been written since A Clockwork Orange. The Acid House is a hit and miss short story collection. Don't get me wrong; probably half the stories are brilliant, as usual. Sadly, the other half ...more
Miss Michael
I'm between three and four stars on this one. I picked it up because I wanted to read more from Welsh. I didn't actually know anything about it, so I was surprised to find it was a collection of short stories and one novella. I enjoyed that aspect; we get to see Welsh explore different themes and styles. Not everything is set in the reality we know.

I was unsurprised to find the same vice-filled characters I expect from Welsh after reading Trainspotting. My opinion of the collection was tepid unt
...more
Jennifer
Nov 19, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like raunchy humour and drug books.
Recommended to Jennifer by: I saw trainspotting and decided to check out more of Irvine Wels
Shelves: owned
This book made me laugh so much. It's a bunch of short stories and there are two that really stuck out for me. In one a guy drops acid and ends up switching bodies with a baby (or thinking he did, I can't remember). The baby with his adult brain gets off on breast feeding and watching his parents have sex. The Adult with the baby brain ends up in the hospital drooling all over himself. His girlfriends visits him and everyone thinks he is messed up from the acid.
The second story that really stuc
...more
Andrew
I had watched trainspotting as a teenager and had prematurly assumed that Irvine Welsh was a genius. I picked up Acid House and was quickly discouraged. His characterization was there, and better than what I witnessed in the films. The characters unfortunatly stand on a blank canvas. The stories were bland, shocking and disqusting, but still bland.

I would have given it one star except for a feeling I get, that the stories weren't written for me. I feel like if I lived my life in some dusty Scot
...more
Richard
Good book of Irvine Welsh's short stories from the 90s. Also made into a film.
John Opalenik
Just like every collection of short stories, this is hit or miss. It's definitely Irvine Welsh though. So expect darkly hilarious stories with heartbreaking endings, as well as his phonetic spellings of dialogue in a thick Scottish accent.
Laurie
A bit uneven at times, as any collection will be. One of the stories contained one of the most vile tableaus I've ever read and now it is burned into my memory. I really enjoyed the novella at the end. Just a few weeks in the life of a smackhead, the goings-on and hangers-on. All in all a pretty interesting portrait of a point in time of Scotland's fringey youngsters.
Gilbert Lopez
Feb 03, 2008 Gilbert Lopez rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like trainspotting
The stories are written in a crazy-ass dialect, a little hard at first, but by the end you kinda feel like you've learned a new language. Irvine Welsh can write some pretty good short stories.
Aviendha47
I don't wanna be a fly...
Joshua Boiser
Imagine reading Chuck Palahniuk and Hubert Selby Jr.'s collaboratory project whilst high on LSD. You'll get exactly Irvine Welsh's The Acid House. Damn.

I have always been an Irvine Welsh fanboy. I have been following his projects and novels for quite a long time now, and I've always found his demented, twisted, somewhat manipulative take on humour very impressive. Also, his tinting of prose with colloquial Scottish dialect, or at least I assumed that's what it was, added aura to his crippling se
...more
Christopher Vasquez
Just when I'd forgotten why I love reading Irvine Welsh this book brings it all rushing back. Each story is better than the last. I find myself simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the stories and characters herein contained in ways I've scarcely experienced before. This goes way beyond the dark mystique of hard drugs, violence, and self-destructive living to true questioning of the soul taken with a grain of salt and a gram of something stronger. The experience of reading each short is m ...more
Lammoth
Поне за мен, най-доброто произведение на Ървин Уелш е “Есид Хаус”, сборник от разкази и кратки новели, в които се разказва за разврата на младото поколение, както и сексуалните туистове и катастрофи, които могат да се случат в едно такова отворено общество. Та да започна с най-ярките разкази/новели:

“Сексуалното минало на Робърт К. Леърд” : Това е най-кратичкото разказче, което някога съм чел. Състои се от три кратки изречения. След заглавието има няколко празни страници, а на последната от тях п
...more
Tiredstars
I'm not sure how I feel about short stories. I find them very easy to read, but rather unsatisfying. This might be because I'm slow to empathise with characters and situations, so don't make those quick connections that are important for short stories. Or it might be that because they're short and easy they don't make me feel like I've done some serious reading.

I read an essay about Trainspotting once, before I'd read the book, that argued that while the film had its good points, it failed to pr
...more
Javier Jiménez
Este libro consiste en un conjunto de historias cortas (algunas son muy cortas, incluso de menos de 5 páginas) y una novela cuyo tema constante es Escocia, en particular Edimburgo. Me agradó mucho la sensación de desorden de estas historias, reflejando suburbios escoces en donde nunca se sabe qué tan extravagantes pueden ser los personajes que encontrarás al entrar al pub más cercano.

También me gustó la forma en la que escribió algunos de estos cuentos, ya que la originalidad no se limitó solo a
...more
R.
I can appreciate what Welsh is trying to accomplish with the phonetic rendering of speech, but it can get distracting (not always in a bad way - sometimes it's fun to read whole sentences out loud in an annoying Faux-Scottish rumble) but when he sticks to just telling a story ("Eurotrash", "Snuff", "The Granton Star Cause", the slightly experimental "Snowman Building Parts for Rico the Squirrel", "The Acid House" and "A Smart Cunt: a novella") he really knocks it out of the ballpark.

Lee Churchill
Full disclosure, I had to skip a story or two because I can not read three letter, scottish words. I even tried the ol' Souther Lit trick of reading it out loud, but was still unable to pierce the meanings behind this heavily geo-specific dialect. But I did accomplish creeping out power walkers that thought I was having some kind of exotic stroke. Blimey. Fine, not Scottish, but still.

Otherwise, fantastic collection of suuuuuper depressing and hilarious stories. Welsh has a knack for collecting
...more
Neil Crossan
May 04, 2014 Neil Crossan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Neil by: Bill Burr
Reading British slang is similar to grinding teeth. What national trauma happened to these people that would cause them to mangle a language like this? Is this was soccer does to people? And I’m not sure they have emotionally recovered if Welch’s tales are anywhere near reality. Something physically terrible happens to someone in almost every story. This book could have been called English People Lack Empathy. The people that occupy these stories posses the slimmest type of self-control. And pea ...more
Johnpingham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam
I was all for giving this book 3-stars as it was just so frustrating reading my favourite writer sprinting through a few pages before turning to a new story. It should be noted that some of the 'short stories' are very brief indeed, with only a few offerings tha are typical of the format (i.e. with the 'twist' ending). Highlights include the title story and 'Disnae Matter', which features a character we have to surely assume is Begbie from Trainspotting. I have ended up giving the Acid House 4-s ...more
Alan Wightman
21 short stories and one novella. Welsh explores the world of Edinburgh junkies, drunks and low-lifes.

Violent, nasty, clever and occasionally very funny. Welsh mixes up his hyper-realistic uber-grit with occasional weird turns into fantasy - such as the boy who turns into a fly, and the acid-head who gets reborn as a baby but who still remembers his previous life. Good stuff.

The 122 page novella - "A Smart Cunt", descends to new levels of grimness and griminess without any redeeming clever narra
...more
Brad
A substantial amount of time has passed since I completed a full read of THE ACID HOUSE. 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 ...more
Aaron
I was disappointed when I found out this was a collection of short stories and even more so when I read them. I personally feel Welsh is better at the long game building on his character studies.the novella saved it for me and hence I give it four stars.
Karen
I admit I had very little idea what to expect when I picked up THE ACID HOUSE, but TRAINSPOTTING worked for me so I thought why not.

Welsh does bizarre, in your face scenarios; flawed, mad, bad, unlucky or just flat out odd characters; and he does a great line in Scottish venacular. What he doesn't do is pull any punches.

As with many short story collections from a single author, there are some that will work better than others for all readers. But to be a reader of this book you're going to have
...more
Eccentrika
Racconti un po' allucinanti e bizzarri... alcuni al limite del paradossale... altri paradossali al 100%... altri ancora violenti e volgari... ma tutti assolutamente grotteschi, quindi piuttosto divertenti per gli amanti del genere ;-)
Julia
I chose this as my first book review on Goodreads. This book was very good. It was a compilation of stories, that really didn't seem to have a connection, but they did at the end! I find it very interesting to read books of this caliber because it makes me aware of my own feelings on the matter. There are a few stories that are hard to read if you cannot pick up on dialect writing. The author writes like the people talk and it can be difficult to understand sometimes. I am not a writer, I am a r ...more
Getout Ofmybookcorner
Delicisously fucked up and yet somehow charmingly endearing collection of short stories. The squeamish may wish to cover your eyes while reading though please note this may affect ability to read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Be My Enemy, Or, Fuck This for a Game of Soldiers
  • The Room
  • Slaves of New York
  • The Coma
  • Kingdom Come
  • My Idea of Fun
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2)
  • Stonemouth
  • Success
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
  • Clown Girl
  • Guts
  • Apathy and Other Small Victories
  • The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick
5687
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...
Trainspotting Filth Porno Glue Marabou Stork Nightmares

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I was anti-everything and everyone. I didn't want people around me. This aversion was not some big crippling anxiety; merely a mature recognition of my own psychological vulnerability and my lack of suitability as a companion. Thoughts jostled for space in my crowded brain as i struggled to give them some order which might serve to motivate my listless life.” 140 likes
“This is what being alive's all about, all those fucked up feelings. You've got to have them; when you stop, watch out.” 55 likes
More quotes…