Jim's Reviews > Filth

Filth by Irvine Welsh
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's review
Dec 06, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: People who want to see Welsh's twisted mind taken to its logical conclusion
Read in January, 2002

I love Irvine Welsh. I loved this novel, but I can see why some people might not like it so much. It is very, very ugly. The main character reminds me a great deal of my Dad. Well my Dad wasn't a corrupt cop, he was a lawyer, but he always struggled with his working class background and wanting to leave it behind. Telling you the most brilliant thing about this novel would spoil the whole thing. So I will only say this: Welsh presents the main character in a very complex way, and he is not a likable guy. But ultimately you have decide is he a monster, a victim, or what? Welsh experiments with intestinal worms. I am not sure whether it really works. Well some of the best parts of the story are in the intestinal worms, and it definitely drives home the message: you are what you eat. But then they make the story fragmented and confusing. Still you have to figure that someone as coke addled and sleep deprived as the main character of this tale is going to experience life as confusing and fragmented. This is a great book, but its very twisted. Some people, whose opinions I respect very much, feel that it is so twisted that it is ruined by virtue of its twistedness. Your call.
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Jean Paul Govè I thought the point about the intestinal worm was that this worm was attempting to compare himself to the much more complex human, and thinking that the human must lead a much more sublime life than the mechanistic/animal life of eating and shitting (and fucking). And yet most of humanity, our protagonist especially, but not alone, is ultimately only engaged in the same activities.

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