First things first, in the interest of disclosure I must inform any one who happens to read this that I love the novels of Irvine Welsh. I’ve read just about everything the man has ever written from his 1993 debut “Trainspotting” forward and very rarely has he disappointed me.
That said, even if you hate Irvine Welsh, the one point you can’t argue is that man knows how to write. The main stumbling block most readers encounter when picking up his work is that he tends to write the bulk of his characters’ conversations in Scottish dialect, but once you break through this hurdle his storytelling is top notch. In “Bedroom Secrets” this road block is removed for the most part, but nothing else is sacrificed in the process.
If you’ve never read an Irvine Welsh novel before this one is great place to start. It’s a little tamer then most of his other work so it gives you a chance to ease yourself into his twisted brain and his methods of storytelling.
Personally I picked this one up not knowing anything about it going in. For some reason its existence totally escaped me. That said, for the most part plot wise it kept me guessing until close to the very end. All of the characters felt very well fleshed out and the chefs…well the chefs were all very, ah, I’ll go with “unique” if not flat out disturbing at times.
Welsh uses this work to tackle two topics that I found entertaining and interesting. The first is the relationship between male rivals. With this he digs in deep and the inner monologue of both of the main characters feels genuine. Welsh breaks down the male psyche and does an excellent job explaining what makes us create these rivalries, what makes us keep at them, and what causes us to need the other person so desperately in order to validate our own existence. I found myself spending the bulk of my time laughing and nodding my head “yes, yes, yes” while reading.
The other thing he questions here is nature vs. nurture. Will a child who grows up having never met his dad grow up to be just like his old man? How much do the early moments in our development shape who we’ll become later in life? Welsh does a good job exploring both of these questions through the stories main characters.
The only place where the novel loses points is in its very brief attempt to compare the plight of the main characters with George Bush and the Iraq war. Thankfully Welsh only spends one brief paragraph on this idea and then quickly moves along. It’s not that he’s necessarily wrong; it’s just a tough sell within the framework of this tale.
Overall a highly entertaining read and one that felt considerably lighter in tone then the rest of Welsh’s body of work, but equally as great.(less)
There are plenty of words one could use to describe the works of author Irvine Welsh: dirty, disgusting, filthy, and twisted all come to mind immediat...moreThere are plenty of words one could use to describe the works of author Irvine Welsh: dirty, disgusting, filthy, and twisted all come to mind immediately, but so do both intelligent and brilliant. I’m always amazed at how long it takes me to get back around to reading another of Welsh’s novels and how quickly and easily I fall into his worlds when I do.
I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Maybe it was the timing related to other events taking place around me, but for whatever reason it to...moreI wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Maybe it was the timing related to other events taking place around me, but for whatever reason it took me forever to get through this one. However, the last 160 pages or so certainly make up for the early struggles I endured. Finally near the end, all of the Welsh-like craziness I was expecting throughout the novel hit and I was hooked. This one I may have to come back to later and attempt to re-read.(less)
I just read that they're making this into a movie due in 2011. WOW. Filth was probably more of a 3.5 then a 4, but since I can't give it a half-star,...moreI just read that they're making this into a movie due in 2011. WOW. Filth was probably more of a 3.5 then a 4, but since I can't give it a half-star, I'm leaning in the direction of 4. Everything that is great about Welsh is present here, but the novel feels a little too long and drawn out. The tape worm, which I thought would be a really interesting storytelling device, didn't really come into play until the end of the novel. Overall I think I enjoyed Maribou Stork Nightmare's coma storytelling to the tape worm here, although Filth does have the better ending, hands down.(less)
Porno is the sequel to Irvine Welsh's debut novel Trainspotting.
Trainspotting, if you're not familiar with it, basically takes William S. Burrough's...morePorno is the sequel to Irvine Welsh's debut novel Trainspotting.
Trainspotting, if you're not familiar with it, basically takes William S. Burrough's Junk, updates it for a new generation, relocates it to Scotland, and throws the AIDS epidemic into the mix as it follows the lives of several heroin addicted friends in their mid-twenties in the late 1980s.
Porno picks up ten years later, and while the drugs of choice may have changed, the major players certainly haven't. It's a completely unnecessary sequel, and it can be read without prior knowledge of the first book, but those things don't detract from the hilarity at all. In fact, there are enough new and equally as interesting characters to hold your attention throughout.
Drugs are done, porn is filmed, schemes are hatched, people are beat down, and old friends and enemies come face to face with each other for the first time since Trainspotting's end. (less)