Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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343 words on

I bought Irvine Welsh's book Glue at Newcastle airport on my way back from England in September. I like reading English books and I definitely enjoyed reading Trainspotting a couple of years ago - and seeing the film of course.

I liked the wasted people, the somehow captivating story and seeing how all the strange things they did made sense for the protagonists. And, yes, I thought it was a hard read because of the 'Scottish writing'. Reading it, I sometimes have to read sentences out to myself aloud, listen to them and then try figure out what someone with a Scottish accent says when pronouncing this. This technique works, but slows reading down significantly, particulary bedtime reading.

It seems that since Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh has taken his style of writing in Scottish even further. As most of the book is narrated by the various characters, rather than simply described - almost all of it is written in this style. Plus, it seems to me, that the 'Scottish writing' itself is more extreme now. This made reading particularly tiring - despite me having had some extra training by having to Scots among my supervisees (well, one effectively as I saw one of them exclusive at parties) for more than a year at Warwick and after hardy understanding anything they said right away in the first few weeks, being able to talk to them normally in the end.

This was probably one reason for me not to continue reading the book for the time being. I made about a fifth of it, not really enjoying myself when I was trying to relax and decided to stop. Also, I didn't find the story so far particularly compelling - even boring at times, unlike in Trainspotting.

Judging from the reviews I read, even the not all-positive ones, things will assemble to a bigger pictures eventually, but I'm not patient enough for that right now. Perhaps I'll give it another try later on. In the meantime there are about ten other books which await reading.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

January 23, 2003, 21:35

Tagged as book, irvine welsh.

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