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Description - Glue by Irvine Welsh

Glue is the story of four boys growing up in the Edinburgh schemes, and about the loyalties, the experiences and the secrets that hold them together into their thirties. As we follow their lives from the 70's into the new century - from punk to techno, from speed to Es - we can see each of them trying to struggle out from under the weight of the conditioning of class and culture, peer pressure and their parents' hopes that maybe their sons will do better than they did. What binds the four of them is the friendship formed by the scheme, their school, and their ambition to escape from both; their loyalty fused in street morality: back up your mates, don't hit women and, most importantly, never grass - on anyone.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099285922
ISBN-10: 0099285924
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 31mm)
Pages: 576
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Glue by Irvine Welsh

UK Kirkus Review » Set mainly in Edinburgh, and spanning a period of roughly 25 years, this novel by the author of Trainspotting follows the fortunes of four 'schemies'. Welsh gives us a disquieting glimpse into the effects of growing up in one of the capital's rundown housing estates, or schemes, and the story is given added weight by being seen through the eyes of each of the main characters in turn. The use of slang and phonetic spelling makes the book difficult to access at first, but the rewards for perseverance are great. Many conflicts are examined, from the Hibs-Hearts divide of the football world, through the drink-drugs dichotomy of the recreational scene, to the basic schism between 'them' and 'us'. Throughout, the stream-of-consciousness delivery illustrates variations in the way different characters view themselves and the issues they confront. Where Juice Terry Lawson is obsessively libidinous, Business Billy Birrell is very concerned about respect. Carl Ewart is passionate about music, while the runt of the bunch, Andy Galloway, is definitely one of life's unfortunates. The descriptions of drinking bouts, drug abuse, violence (both casual and organized) and sex are not only vivid but in some cases gruesome in the extreme. But despite the air of gritty, grotty realism which prevails, the novel is not without a generous sprinkling of humour. This does little to soften the overall picture which is one of desperation. That the majority of the characters survive, and in some cases flourish, is astonishing - as is this book. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh is the author of eight previous novels and four books of shorter fiction. He currently lives in Chicago.

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