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focuses on great works of fiction published since 1985.
William Golding's was considered a fabulistic allegory.
In 1962, another British author published a novel (later turned into a successful film) about young men who adopt strange, ritualistic behavior and engage in savage acts of random violence.
Or, in a pinch, alcohol, which seems to spur more violent outbursts than any of the controlled substances during the course of Welsh's book.
Welsh constantly shifts his focus from the character to character, watching as they stumble and fall under the load of their recurrent self-medicating.
" How did Jack Merridew, the murderous young bully of is heroin.
That is, when it’s not speed or hash or valium or a heady combination of cyclozine and methadone.
Or, as some suggest, did the nihilism embodied in books and movies such as help shape a society that mimicked their gratuitous violence?
Or, more likely, did each of these books tap into some undercurrent, perhaps barely discernible at the time Golding wrote, that would eventually grow into such a torrent of destruction—and self-destruction—that not only literary critics but even police detectives felt compelled to praise for its true-to-life qualities?
Welsh captures the authentic language of the streets in his novel, and much of the power of the prose derives from the author’s ear for the vernacular of his native Edinburgh—which, as presented in these pages, is invariably blunt, and often offensive.
Welsh is so convincing in recounting his sordid tale, that it's hard to believe that he didn't experience many of these incidents firsthand.