About the Author
Irvine Welsh is the author of nine other works of fiction, most recently Crime, published by Jonathan Cape in 2008. He lives in Dublin.
ALSO BY IRVINE WELSH
The Acid House
Marabou Stork Nightmares
The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work . . .
You’ll Have Had Your Hole
The Acid House
‘A serious, perceptive and hideously funny study of reactionary temperament . . . As a humourist, a moralist, and a violent horror writer Welsh is firing on all cylinders in this one . . . probably the best thing he has done since Trainspotting’
‘There is an energy and vigour in Welsh’s invention and his handling of prose that reminds that reminds one of the great, coarse, vivid novelists of the 19th century . . . there is no denying that [this novel] has a peculiar kind of brilliance’
‘Filth provides yet more evidence that Irvine Welsh is a uniquely exciting and gifted writer’
‘Better than Ecstasy and equal to Trainspotting’
‘As haunting as his psychological masterpiece, Marabou Stork Nightmares . . . The lav’d up Filth beats the luv’d up
Ecstasy hands down’
‘Written in the trademark Welsh vernacular, Filth is a wonderfully black and funny novel about sleaze, power, and the abuse of just about everything’
‘The writing and structure are obscenely stylish, and Welsh’s wrecked way of looking at life is compelling’
Mail on Sunday
‘A masterful piece of comic invention . . . superb’
‘One of the joys of this new novel is that it reminds us of his strengths as a storyteller . . . Detective Bruce Robertson is assigned to the case and it is his monologue that unfolds to reveal a heart of darkness that would make Joseph Conrad blush. His character is driven solely by misanthropic hate, a devil’s brew of every prejudice known to man and a few that are uniquely his own. He is consumed by his fury to the point of implosion, unable to function without a target for his loathing. He is plagued by tapeworms and scabrous rashes, metaphors for a self hell-bent on devouring its own bile . . . It is an exploration into the fragility of conscience, a tale of how memory and imaginings can make madmen of us all’
‘Filth marks a return to form for Irvine Welsh . . . In a toxic, chemical generation way, Welsh is our best writer of surreal social satire’
The Big Issue
For Susan, Andrew, Adeline and Jo.
Thanks for keeping me out of trouble.
I started making up a list of people to thank but it got too long – you know who you are. Eternal gratitude to everybody who’s supported the stuff I’ve done (with their hard-earned cash or through shoplifting) and who can see through all the bullshit, both positive and negative, that tends to surround this sort of thing.
‘We shall do best to think of life as a desengano, as a process of disillusionment: since this is, clearly enough, what everything that happens to us is calculated to produce.’
– Arthur Schopenhauer
‘When you woke up this morning everything you had was gone. By half past ten your head was going ding-dong. Ringing like a bell from your head down to your toes, like a voice telling you there was something you should know. Last night you were flying but today you’re so low – ain’t it times like these that make you wonder if you’ll ever know the meaning of things as they appear to others; wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Don’t you wish you didn’t function, wish you didn’t think beyond the next paycheck and the next little drink? Well you do so make up your mind to go on, ’cos when you woke up this morning everything you had was gone.’
– ‘Love, Love, Love & The Doctor’
(from Woke Up This Morning by the Alabama 3)
Wheels Of Steel
I Get A Little Sentimental Over You
At Home With The Blades
Turning Off The Gas
The Lie Of The Land
Our Cover Is Blown
‘. . . the essentially depraved nature of the creature that she married . . .’
Carole Remembers Australia
Worms and Promotions
Car Stereo Chews Up Michael Bolton Tape
To Lodge A Complaint
A Society Of Secrets
A Sportsman’s Dinner
Come In Charlie
The Tales Of A Tapeworm
Home Is The Darkness
The trouble with people like him is that they think that they can brush off people like me. Like I was nothing. They don’t understand the type of world we’re living in now; all those menaced souls clamouring for attention and recognition. He was a very arrogant young man, so full of himself.
No longer. Now he’s groaning, blood spilling thickly from the wounds in his head and his yellow, unfocused eyes are gandering around, desperately trying to find clarity, some meaning in the bleakness, the darkness around him. It must be lonely.
He’s trying to speak now. What is it that he is trying to say to me?
Help. Police. Hospital.
Or was it help please hospital? It doesn’t really matter, that little point of detail because his life is ebbing away: human existence distilled to begging for the emergency services.
You pushed me away mister. You rejected me. You tricked me and spoiled things between me and my true love. I’ve seen you before. Long ago, just lying there as you are now. Black, broken, dying. I was glad then and I’m glad now.