Monday, October 8, 2007

The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs by Irvine Welsh

Alex V. Cook rated it: Gr_red_star_activeGr_red_star_activeGr_red_star_activeGr_orange_star_unactiveGr_orange_star_unactive

Read in October, 2007

This is one of those books that was good enough that I couldn't quite put it down, but corny enough that I wanted it to be over with. The Twilight Zone story and the cliched characters make this book somewhat torturous. I figured out what was going to happen about 100 pages in, and I am usually very slow to "figure it out" so the remaining 280 pages involved a lot of impatient waiting.

What saves it is that Welsh is a great prose writer. His conversational asides, the thoughts of the varying narrators are all drenched in the loathing and glory for which his characters are known. Kibby is painful to watch if you have the slightest nerd streak in you, while you aren't sure if you hate Skinner more than he does himself.

I am a huge fan of Welsh's The Acid House; one of my favorite books of short stories to skim through and re-read and only the tightest of assholes is completely immune to the laddish charm of Trainspotting, but I've never really been able to get into his novels, and while this one avoids the stylistic tics present in Filth and keeps the slang decipherable to us non-"Skarrish" readers, the story never quite rises to the occassion its audacious premise and open narritive invites

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