Tuesday 27 September 2016

Review by Sebastian Sfat of “Acid House” by Irvine Welsh

Fans of the classic Trainspotting will be delighted with this one, as Welsh’s consecrated style is extremely potent in the collection of stories that make up Acid House. The book will strive to get you through your full spectrum of emotions, as the heartfelt and refreshing style will have you ending up appreciating and sometimes even identifying with the most unlikely characters.


Although the main themes are still the moral decadence, nihilism and selfishness of the proletarian, drug-addicted Scottish youngsters specific to Welsh’s universe, somehow, the dark humour, unexpected plot twists and elements of social satire give it a new depth altogether. From professors who decide to settle a lifelong philosophical argument by means of a fistfight to a youngster wasting away his talents to such a degree that an angry God turns him into a fly, the randomness with tangencies in both the banal and grotesque will challenge you to hold an ever-changing perspective about this book and, why not, life itself. Extrapolating this work, one could argue that life is a series of bizarre, often unrelated events which you can sometimes only observe and learn from. Or laugh at. Or empathise. It would be a great injustice to attribute little literary value to Acid House simply due to the visceral style, crude language and uncomfortable flow of events.

There is something in this book for everyone, if only just a change of style and tempo. I would recommend it as a light read. Having no narrative flow it can be picked up and gone through in small, infrequent bits without losing any of its value.


About the reviewer

Sebastian Sfat was born in Arad, Romania. Currently working as a Service Desk Analyst at the University of Leicester, which he graduated from with a degree in Management and Economics, he likes what he calls random literature. He will often pick the first book that catches his eye in the store for no obvious reason. It seems to work so far.

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