Scottish Book Special

For better or worse, IRVINE WELSH has changed the literary landscape. In anticipation of Glue, his first novel in three years, we canvas the opinions of those he’s written for and those he’s written about. littetyriev‘xs‘: Doug Johnstone


Bounda Bar mana er

‘lle‘s a dickheni/d. All he's ever digne is fucking bring Leith dooii and tnake us all otit to be a shower o‘ junkies. He‘s a barn. lie disnae even live in Iidinburgh. he lives in Holland . . . ‘(liungs up)

David Forsyth, Hibernian Football Club press officer

‘We‘re just delighted to have such a well-known fan who always lets people know which football teatn he follows religiously and fervently. I know that he actually went as far as to go and see the team on their mid-season break last year to Trinidad and Tobago. I‘ve personally never read any of his books. but I‘ve seen the film. We're always grateful to all our fans and we wouldn‘t make any exception in Irvine Welsh‘s case. He always beats the drum for the club.‘

Paul Pinson, Boilerhouse director, who worked with Welsh on Headstate

‘Wliere do you start'.’ lle detnythologised the idea that you had to go to a posh university to be a writer. When I worked with him he was really open: he‘s a very genuine person. He would disappear for live days at a time. but apart from that he was fine. Ile doesn‘t deserve the criticism levelled at him. That happens in Britain all the time: it‘s that tall poppy syndrome. people think they have to cut him down. People are never very generous with their views towards people who have achieved something. He didn‘t have to do what he did.’

Phil Hilton, Loaded editor

‘I‘tn a James Kelman loyalist. I have no idea if Kelman wears lace-up shoes. but if he does. Welsh isn‘t fit to tie

the If generation. I'll let you know.‘

D8. Ashworth, Lothian And Borders Police press officer

‘I can’t speak on behalf of the whole force. but all the older Leith cops like me that read 'I‘ruins/mning were all amazed at his grasp of the 80s drug scene in Edinburgh.

All of us knew a Renton. Sickboy or Begbie: some of us sadly still do. ’li'uins/mtting was the book that all cops wanted to read. I personally haven't read Filth. I‘ve heard varying reports about it. but I‘ve never met anyone that‘s read 'I'ruins/mrting that wasn‘t totally

blown away by it. I'm not a critic. but as a working

detective I thought that it was a book that needed to be written and equally needed to be read. it was fantastic. He just completely encapsulated what Iidinburgh was like then: he captured the subculture perfectly.’

such a place. Published June by Doubleday

them. If I think of anyone better disposed to be the poet of

Laura Hird, author

‘I think Irvine has inspired writing and reading among sectors of society who had previously avoided both. as they seemed alien in their concerns and the lives they portrayed. Culturally. he illustrates our faults. prejudices and deep inadequacy as a nation in a brutally. black. Scottish way that internationally. people are only too keen to empatliise with. btit is often too honest fora still very inward-looking. \lll;tll~ minded wee country to admit about itself. The success of 'Ii'uins/mtting also seemed to kickstart a resurgence and much needed broadening of film and television drama set iii Scotland. breaking the quirky (ilasgow/hard—man (ilasgow monopoly that has continually represented the country for so long. yet is just one toaty sector of a wildly diverse culture.‘

James Brown, editor of Hotdog magazine

‘Irvine is a maniac. a literary genius. and great company to boot. The honesty is what makes his writing so refreshing. I first catne across him when .leff Barret. who runs Heavenly Records. told the he had this nutter coming down from Scotland to interview Primal Scream for i-l). I bought The Acid Home and after one failed attempt to understand the lingo was just hooked. Ile also played a pivotal role in the film of 'Ii‘uins/mtling sportittg a sheepskin. Sheepskin coats appear in sotne great movie moments. Despite writing about lifestyles many novelists would consider pure effluent he takes his work seriously. The piece he wrote about the transsexual love affair in Amsterdam is superb. disturbingly real and I know is one of his favourite short stories. Ile opened the floodgates for people to write about their modern lives and be published. Before it was all tea parties in Kensington and prep school memories. The vast majority of British fiction seemed obsessed with some weird upper— class past that bore no relation to the lives of the public. I‘m proud that during my time at [mu/ml and (iQ he regularly wrote for me and is already doing a piece for my new movie mag Hotdog:

Tam Dean Burn, star of the stage adaptation of Filth

Irvine Welsh has always been a challenge to everyone who comes to his work and tnore than a few who haven‘t. The way he writes. who and what he writes about are provocative. Lots of us love that challenge and he does take you on sortie fucking trips. but there is a vociferous minority. usually with some vested interest in the stattts quo. who just so wish he would fuck off and die.‘

Glue is published by Jonathan Cape on Thu 3 May priced £12.99. See John Fardell, page 120.


Who John Burnside What The Locust Boom Tell me more For the tense follow-up to The Dumb House and The Moer Boys. Whitbread poetry winner Burnside reflects on the atmosphere created when the reign of a serial rapist paralyses a city. He focuses on a young photographer in Cambridge whose relations with both men and women are thrown into question b/ the events of a momentous summer in 1975. Published May by Jonathan Cape

Who Ruaridh Nicoll What White Male Heart Tell me more Hugh and Aaron are two mildly dysfunctional friends reSiditig iii a tiny Scottish Village. whose relationship is strained with the arrival of Becky. who falls for Hugh. Exilihg himself in the most remote and secluded of outposts - Achnasheen in Wester Ross Nicoll got a feel for the isolation his characters may have had living in

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