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Mar 31, 2007, 6:17 pm

Irvine Welsh no doubt has talent, but what about the content of his books. Is dynamism and rhythm of language enough to make a book worthwhile? You read one or two of his books and think wow! this guy can write, but do I really want to spend my time reading about these deviants? James Kelman makes you think while Welsh gives you a buzz. Does he challenge you? Yes, but it's challenge you get on an amusement park ride. Kelman puts you in a familiar predicament and draws empathy from you. At least he does for me. Any thoughts?

Abr 4, 2007, 10:40 am

I really haven't read enough of either to give a qualified comment, I don't think. I read Trainspotting when it came out simply because I was living in Leith at the time, and thought it was different enough to try out The Acid House and Marabou Stork Nightmares afterwards. I gave up after that though. Not sure if it was because of the ickiness of some of it, or because I just got tired of his subject matter. It started to seem like he was just aiming for controversy all the time.

Kelman, I gave up with too, but halfway through the first book of his that I'd read. I'll try him again perhaps.

Abr 19, 2007, 5:48 am

Hiya David,

Well, Irvine Welsh, ah disagree wi ye actually. Ah don't think he is a particularly good writer. Trainspotting ah really enjoyed 'cause it was funny and scabrous and scatological and aw that, and also because it gave voice tae folk who were under-represented in literature. Now, he bores me, though, he's just oot tae shock and that is'na enough for me. He does'nae take me in tae the heart, mind and soul of a character, the way Kelman does, there's no much empathy there or complexity, or subtlety, it's pretty sledgehammer style. Ah really admire what Kelman does, but ultimately it bores me, as well. He's too faithful tae his characters' consciousnesses for me, and it can aw get just too mundane, ah like a bit more fiction and a bit more spice, a bit more artifice, ah suppose, and escapism.

As far as Welsh is concerned, he just does'nae have the imagination, ah don't think. Compare iain Banks' The Bridge tae Marbabou Stork Nightmares, for example, and it's just laughable how pathetic Welsh is by comparison.

Anybody else anybody's read recently that they'd recommend?