Andrew's Reviews > Skagboys

Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
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Apr 28, 12

Read in April, 2012

I should prefix this short review with a disclaimer that I'm a huge Welsh fan-boy and am probably incapable of writing anything totally subjective about this book.

Since Trainspotting, I have read everything he has ever done and have bought the books the minute they have come out. I suppose he's the literary equivalent to my favoutite band and like with my favourite band even when the high standards slip (If you liked school, you'll love work) I always believe it's only a temporary glitch and greatness will soon be restored. Although this isn't always the case; Oasis being a fine example of that.

Skagboys is a return to form for Welsh, all the characters from Trainspotting are back and up to their usual shennanigans. When Welsh is on form he's characterisation is second to none and the way he writes the dynamic between the group of pals is just superb.

Welsh is in my opinion one of the few genuine working class voices on the British literary scene and I don't think there are any other authors with whose characters I can relate to more. Trainspotting was one of the first books I read where I felt compelled to write a letter to the author, I got as far as 'Dear Irvine' and then felt like a bit of a knob-head and decided against it.

If you liked Trainspotting and Porno, you'll like Skagboys, it does go off on a few tangents and there are some characters I would have liked to have seen expanded on, but overall I think it's a roaring success and I'm giving it five stars.

I'm contemplating reading the trilogy in chronological order now, re-reading Trainspotting next then Porno. The only thing stopping me is the suspicion it's a bit sad and the fact I have an unread Tom Franklin book just calling my name. Decisions, decisions!!

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Reading Progress

04/22/2012 page 147
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Comments (showing 1-12)




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message 12: by Marie (new)

Marie Must get my hands on a copy of this soon, hope you are enjoying it!


Andrew I'm loving it thus far; it's like being reunited with old pals.


Paperback Percy London Interesting. I read some mixed reviews at the weekend, let me know how you get on.

Some of those lovable characters turn up in some of his other novels, 'Porno' and 'Glue' I think.


Andrew I finished it today, I really enjoyed it. I'm a huge Welsh fan-boy and have liked/loved everything he has done, some more than others. This in my opinion is a return to form and i'm still undecided on whether it's a five or four star.


Steven Nothing sad about the re-readathon - I plan on doing the same once my copy arrives at the library! I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on it!


Andrew You won't be disapointted Steven, it's a cracking read.


Steven I'm nearly 200 pages in and it is brilliant so far! I can't remember Begbie being that bad!


message 5: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 Because you are loving Scotch miserabilist lit i recommend the following:

How Late It Was, How Late

Morvern Callar

Looking for the Possible Dance

They are all good honest, although the Kelman one got mixed responses from the people I recommended it too, specially Paul Bryant who said he was unimpressed with this guys other stuff.


Andrew Thanks for the recommendations, I'll definitely check these out.

I've read very mixed reviews about Kelman. He was compared favourably to Welsh by a few posters on the Guardian comment section in a thread about Skagboys. I'm definitely intrigued.


message 3: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 I liked him but many have said he is crap so you need to read it and wade in to the debate!


Andrew Definitely, the fact that he seems to polarise opinion makes me want to read him even more. I will definitely be checking out Movern Caller amongst your recommendations. Cheers !


Jonesmikey How come we never hear more about the Strang boy from Maribou Stork Nightmares? Lexo is a character in almost all his books but Dumbo Strang is never mentioned, not even in the antihero's monologues in "Filth."


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