Irvine Welsh Filth


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Inhaltsangabe zu „Filth“ von Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh has produced more than his share of revolting characters in his short yet spectacular writing career, but in the creation of Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson he has surpassed himself. The protagonist of Filth is, both personally and professionally, utterly corrupt; a thief, drug user, misogynist and racist, with standards of appearance and personal hygiene that are simply beyond belief. It goes without saying that his wife and children have left him but, oddly, he still has few drinking mates, and even some of the women he so hideously abuses are still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. "The undeniable sexuality which is part and parcel of the complete dominance over another human being", opines the viciously selfish Robertson, is just part of what makes, "poliswork such a satisfying career." But, strangely, as we chart his inevitable decline...from what is admittedly a very low baseline--a solid, almost conventional, underlying morality begins to assert itself. Amid the degradation we come across a hint of reason as Welsh's stunningly direct dialogue and hideously imaginative plot combine in a thrilling, undeniably unsettling novel. --Nick Wroe

Talk about truth in advertising! Irvine Welsh's novel about an evil Edinburgh cop is filthy enough to please the most crud-craving fans of his blockbuster debut, Trainspotting. Like Trainspotting, Filth matches its nastiness with a maniacal, deeply peeved sense of humor. Though one does feel the need to escape this train wreck of a narrative from time to time for a shower and some chamomile tea, just as often Welsh provokes a belly laugh with an extraordinarily perverse and cruelly funny set piece. Nicely violent turns of phrase litter the ghastly landscape of his tale.
Our hero, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, is a cross between Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant and John Belushi in Animal House. His task is to nab a killer who has brained the son of the Ghanaian ambassador, but bigoted Bruce is more urgently concerned with coercing sex from teenage Ecstasy dealers, planning vice tours of Amsterdam, and mulling over his lurid love life. He's also got a tapeworm, whose monologue is printed right down the middle of many pages. Here's one of this unusually articulate parasite's realizations: "My problem is that I seem to have quite a simple biological structure with no mechanism for the transference of all my grand and noble thoughts into fine deeds."
Welsh's real strength is comic tough talk and inventive slang. The murder mystery helps organize his tendency to sprawl, but the engine of his art is wry, harsh dialogue. At one point, his books hogged the entire top half of Scotland's Top Ten Bestsellers list--and half the buyers of Trainspotting had never bought a book before. The reason is not that Welsh is the best novelist who ever got short-listed for the Booker Prize. It is that he is that rarest of phenomena, an original voice. --Tim Appelo
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