Author: Irvine Welsh
Date of publication: 1998
Date of purchase: September 2018
Price of purchase: £2.50
Reading time: 2 Week
As a Scot currently playing at contributing to the diaspora in the sunny South of England it seemed appropriate to return to my roots, read a Scottish author and do my part at being patriotic. I love the other books I’ve read by Welsh, in particular Trainspotting (which played a large part in my dissertation for my undergrad degree) and I had a lot of time for Porno. While Filth is similar in many ways it doesn’t sit as comfortably with me. The aggressive, tape-worm ridden, homophobic, racist, sexist, abusive central character of policeman Bruce Robertson was as repellent as I suspected he would be and honestly my 2018 liberal sensibilities were repeatedly offended. I must confess the examination of the deterioration of toxic masculinity was in many ways a triumph and the descriptive power of Welsh goes unmatched in terms of visceral repulsion (in my opinion) but these facts weren’t enough to redeem the novel as a whole. The narrative style is clever and the twists and turns are engaging, however, I found the experience of reading too alienating and would recommend this book to only a small handful of (strong stomached) people I know.