Friday, July 28, 2006


James Lasdun reviews Irvine Welsh's latest at the Guardian. It's an excellent example of a mixed but genuinely sympathetic review--I really like what he does here, he's firm but not at all condescending.

(Lasdun's two novels were eye-opening and amazing literary discoveries for me this spring, and indeed--in keeping with the creepy and sinister tone of his fiction--everyone I've met who's read either of these books lights up with a slightly insane fervor when the name Lasdun is mentioned, merely to read him is to recognize his great genius!)


  1. There's a much more negative review at the Times, by Neel Mukherjee:,,923-2288450,00.html

  2. You are in this case a master of understatement: that is the most scathing review I have seen for some time! (The last one that bad was Banville on McEwan.) Interesting to think about triangulating the two--this one's a very clever piece of writing, but I prefer Lasdun's more sympathetic approach, it falls into the "writing a good novel is difficult" camp which seems to me more fair....

  3. Much as I adore Lasdun's prose, I find it particularly amusing that he takes Welsh to task for inappropriate register and/or voice, which is exactly one of my concerns with Lasdun himself.