Trevor's Reviews > Glue

Glue by Irvine Welsh
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This novel follows several decades of the lives of four Scottish friends, from their high school days in Edinburgh until their thirties, when circumstances have put them each on separate paths. In essence, this is a story about life growing up in "the scheme" (government housing projects aimed at eliminating Edinburgh's slums), and the rules that come along with that life: edicts like "always back up your mates" and "never grass on anyone". The title refers to friends sticking together when everything is falling apart.

This novel has a very similar appeal to Trainspotting. It bears Welsh's same graphic blend of urban life, sex, drugs, and occasional violence. The first half in particular is a fast-paced montage of these elements. Towards the end, the novel gets a bit more profound, at least in terms of examining friendship (the "everything falling apart" bit comes into play here). A very enjoyable book overall; the vulgarity of Welsh's style (entertaining though it is!) belies some good observations on loyalty and working class life.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 4, 2002 – Finished Reading
March 29, 2011 – Shelved

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