If You Liked School, You'll Love Work
In his first short-story collection since The Acid House
, Irvine Welsh sets us five tricky questions.
In 'Rattlesnakes' how do three young Americans find themselves lost in the desert, and why does one find himself performing fellatio on another while being watched by the bare-breasted Madeline and two armed Mexicans?
Who is the mysterious Korean chef who has moved upstairs to Chicago socialite Kendra Cross, in 'The D.O.G.S. of Lincoln Park', and what does he have to do with the disappearance of her faithful pooch Toto?
In the title story, can Mickey Baker - an expat English bar-owner ducking and diving on the Costa Brava - manage to keep all his balls in the air: maintaining his barmaid Cynthia's body weight at the sexual maximum while attending to the youthful Persephone and dodging his persistent ex-wife and a pair of Spanish gangsters?
By what train of events does Raymond Wilson Butler, writing a biography of a legendary US film director in 'Miss Arizona' come to end up as a piece of movie memorabilia?
And how, in the novella 'The Kingdom of Fife' will Jason King - diminutive ex-trainee jockey and Subbuteo star of Cowdenbeath - fare in the world of middle-class female equestrians, and will he ever enjoy the tender and long-anticipated charms of Jenni Cahill and her remarkable jodhpurs?
All of these questions are posed, and answered, in these five extraordinary stories: stories that remind us that Irvine Welsh is a master of the shorter form, a brilliant storyteller, and - unarguably - one of the funniest and filthiest writers in Britain.
“This collection of stories is a chorus of voices -rude, rough, discordant, filthy and often very, very funny...Brilliant”
- The Times
“A rambunctious return to the glorydays of Trainspotting. All the stories are slick and vigorous, written with Welsh's inimitable, in-yer-face energy...And while the outlandish scenarios may be shocking, they are often hilarious. His scabrous stories come close to caricature but they are also teeming and robust. Don't be fooled by all the drugs and sex: at heart, Welsh is a good, old-fashioned stylist.”
- The Daily Telegraph
“this smutty, macabre collection exudes a compelling energy”
- Daily Mail
"This book was written in various locations, and it probably reflects my travelling life a lot more. Kingdom of Fife was written basically to give the book a Scottish flavour, which I felt it had been sadly lacking. I think that most of the stories are about western racism and imperialism, but I could be wrong. I thought that in 'Kingdom' I could really go to town on coming up with a vernacular, which was partly Fife, partly generic east of Scotland and partly some static buzzing around in my head. After 'Bedroom Secrets' I felt like writing something a little more playful, although I suppose that Miss Arizona is quite a dark story. It's too early to for me to say whether it's any good or not. It usually takes about a year after publication before I get that sense of it."