Jason's Reviews > Ecstasy

Ecstasy by Irvine Welsh
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May 31, 11

Read in September, 1998

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 finding love somewhere in the middle.

Each story is a quick read, but not for lack of plot or character development. With a few sentences Welsh makes these miscreants/victims into three-dimensional people; it often feels as if the reader is somehow intruding into these people's lives. And each novella gets increasingly better. "The Undefeated" is probably the best of the bunch though the novel-within-a-novella excerpts and deviant sexual debauchery from "Lorraine Goes to Livingston" and the horrific mutilations (horrific but not explicitly graphic) in "Fortune's Always Hiding" also stand out as interesting highlights.

Once again Welsh has assembled a strong cast of characters and thrown them into extraordinary circumstances. What you get is one helluva ride.
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