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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In the late 1990s, a group of young drifters from various parts of Britain find themselves washed up together in a small town on the west coast of Wales, fixed between mountains and sea. Here, they both explore and attempt to overcome those yearnings and addictions which have brought them to this place: promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, petty crime, the intense and angry search ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Stefan Glosby
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Niall Griffiths’ novel about a group of wasters spending almost 500 pages getting drunk, high, beaten, depressed and then sleeping with each other is riddled with problems.

The main issue is that almost none of it is original.

Described as a ‘welsh Trainspotting’, this is more of a wholesale rip-off. The characters spend most of their time waiting for their next fix or coming down off their last one, like in ‘Trainspotting’. One member of the group is a violent, sadistic monster with no regard for
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have never read book with more finely realised characters in my life. Living breathing people, acting like living breathing people, not for the sake of moving the plot forward. And in all their human flaws, they drew me in and I did care in the end, and you have to because there is no real plot. Just the tragedy of genuine, funny, hopeful, bitter, excited and sad people destroying themselves.
Yes it would be hard to read for anyone not familiar with the regional dialects, but considering it's
Valette Keller
May 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Nope. Not going to read it. I have to concentrate way too much and read passages out loud just to understand the dialect, not to say anything about the content. It's tiring and frustrating and I still don't understand some of the words. ...more
James Spencer
Feb 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ar cudnay uyndastarnd wut der wer awl tawkin abuwt, nor ard der patience tur figure it art. Sor jusht wurn star
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit, this book. Whoooo boy. It is incredible. A better version of irvine welsh.
Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jordan Forster
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read this again recently, 18 years after I first read it as a teenager in college and despite being 20 years old, Grits has lost of it's potency.

Ostensibly, Griffiths' debut novel is a visceral account of a group of drifters' life of drug abuse, promiscuity and petty crime set in Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales. Among the subtext Griffiths explores through the points of view of 11 characters themes such as hedonism, sexuality, identity, isolation, poverty, camaraderie and nihilism.

Each ch
Steve Dempsey
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
I have to give up on this book as there are only so many episodes of substance abuse I can continuously read. A poor man's Irvine Welsh set in Wales, written in English with phonetic written conversation. There is no story beyond drug and alcohol abuse but it is well written albeit with boring similar characters. I am not worried that something will happen to give the book a storyline ...more
Alex Bleach
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Alex by:
Shelves: used-to-own
Good book. Some excellent writing in places. I don't think he nailed the female characters, the dialogue wasn't quite there. Excellent use of phonetic English, but at nearly 500 pages this novel is just too long. ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bloody brilliant. loved reading in different accents throughout. difficult to remember at the start but loved it. Can't recommend enough. ...more
Sergiu Pop
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better than Trainspotting in many ways, although sometimes the books seem to complete each other.
Billy Jones
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Griffiths' debut novel about a group of drifters intimately bound together by much more than just their shared lifestyles keeps you in thrall to his prose from beginning to end. Part social documentary, part cautionary tale, this novel is abundant with life as its characters are prostrated by the throes of addiction, excess, and the disenfranchisement amid the aftermath of the Thatcher years. In nearly 500 pages, Griffiths unsurprisingly touches on a wide array of issues such as national identit ...more
Nina Bhadreshwar
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I never liked Irvine Welsh's prose; it went over the edge into realms of perversity I didn't feel helpful. There was no insight - just a general descent into a bottomless hole of the ugly truth of human nature and cruelty to dogs - which was unforgiveable from such a gifted writer as I will never lose that image of the Alsatian being tortured. But Niall Griffiths walks the tightrope with incredible poise and balance; the raw rhythms of real inner monologue, dialect and the link with the awesome ...more
Clodia Metelli
Lyrical, intense and beautifully written, this book draws you chapter by chapter into the inner world of each one of the characters, a group of drifters, junkies and seemingly lost souls who have ended up at the end of the line in Aberystwyth.

One of the things I most admired about the book is how skilfully a variety of British and Irish dialects (from Dublin, to Liverpool, to Merthyr, to Lancashire by way of Essex) are all brought to life on the page, so that, especially if you have ever heard
Andy Oliver
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A well-written, yet sad, cross-section of the underground mid-90s, of which I was very much a part of and reminds me how far I have progressed since that lost period. From the music to the geographical landscape, Griffiths captures it perfectly with such accuracy that it could only have come from a detailed diary he kept of that period. Grits is an exciting, comic and grotesque rollercoaster but the most laudable quality of the book is its softening sense of empathy for the hardest of characters ...more
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who liked the trainspotting sort of atmosphere
Shelves: insane
i thought it was very intriguing and at the same time gave the obvious impression that the story was just a stagnant series of anecdotes creating a strong feeling the characters are trapped in their world; in fact the only progress there is in the book is in the three last pages which increases the shock and goes to prove how unstable the characters' relationship is. ...more
Sometimes Jasmine
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-london
Like kicking jesus
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çakma Trainspotting :/
Michael Jones
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read. This. Book.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
reading this book makes me want to move to wales, be twentysomething, have no job, lots of loser friends, and just bum around for a while.
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
everyone so often i read a book that i get totally lost in, and this was one of them. i maybe didn't learn much about life or humanity, but it was definitely an escape. ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I loved this once I got the rhythm of the lingo. Griffiths is a smart cookie.
Dava B
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very well written book, capturing the various experiences of a rag tag bunch of drifters and dejected individuals who come together in and around a Welsh coastal village in the late 90's. ...more
gave up reading this. bit too depressing!
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Aug 23, 2020
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