It's why we hate the English

Last week I read 'The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs' by Irvine Welsh, which just came out here in beautiful paperback. I'm a fan of Welsh's, and so it was nice to see more hoors, fitba, drink n' drugs, shouting and dysfunction. Bedroom is about Danny, a health inspector who doubles up as a massive binge drinker and triples up as a football hooligan. His relations with women are fractious at best, and the writer is really good at getting these across. Danny's trying to find out who his dad is, having been raised just by his mum, and this side of the narrative drags a bit. Add to the mix Brian, a weedy Trekkie who enjoys model trains and playing Harvest Moon, and put him in the same office as Danny, and trouble follows. Their rivalry takes on some interesting forms, but it never really rises beyond "interesting enough". It's a page-turner, for sure, but neither main character is quite powerful enough to have made me really care about what happened to them. There's some Iraq War that doesn't really fit. There's one really ghastly sex scene. The ending is kind of satisfying, not entirely, and it reminded me of the ending of Porno, if you've read that. If you've never read Welsh before, start with something else, but Bedroom is a decent read, that fans may be a little disappointed by. It's not, however, as bad as the NYT thought it was.

I've put up a very odd song from the mid-90s, with Irvine Welsh collaborating with the mighty Primal Scream. I think Teenage Fanclub were involved too, but I'm not sure. It's a rant and it's pretty fun, and just look what a beast the title is.

[download Primal Scream, Irvine Welsh and the On-U Sound System - The Big Man and the Scream Team Meet the Barmy Army Uptown (Full Strength Fortified Dub)]

[buy 'The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs']

Oh, and speaking of great Scottish writers, have you read Ian Rankin's new short story in the New York Times? Go go go go!


Jim said...

Primal Scream, Irvine Welsh, Adrian Sherwood & Sherwood's On-U Sound System, no Teenage Fanclub.

I lost a DJ job because of that song, and narrowly missed taking a flying beer bottle to the head. It was my own fault of course, I was using the anti-Rangers parts to wind people up.

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