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Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance Paperback – 4 Sep 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (4 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099590913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099590910
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Irvine Welsh was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Raised in the tenement homes of Leith, the prefabs in West Pilton and the maisonettes in Muirhouse, he attended Ainslie Park Secondary School. At sixteen, he left education and took on various jobs, and eventually moved to London in the seventies. There he dabbled with the property market while spending his free time exploring the London punk scene. He then moved back to Edinburgh to study an MBA.

Back home, and inspired by the nineties rave scene, he was fortunate enough to run into some fascinating characters whom he immortalised in his diary - and, later, in the pages of Trainspotting. At first dismissed for its unmarketable content, Trainspotting shot Welsh to fame, precipitated further by the release of the film, by Danny Boyle, three years later.

Since then he has written eight other works of fiction. He currently lives in Chicago.

Product Description

Review

"A pure writer, producing staggering feats of storytelling... The skill of a master" (Independent)

"Welsh writes with a skill, wit and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing to have happened to British writing for decades" (Sunday Times)

"Urgent, violent, bleakly funny prose" (Nick Hornby Times literary Supplement)

"Welsh's world is spiky, trashy and brutal. It is also brilliant, hilarious and infused with a kind of punkish morality" (Sunday Express)

"The poet laureate of the chemical generation" (Face)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shinigami Sam on 25 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a writer I love Irvine Welsh, his stories have always rung true for a particular time in my life living in Scotland. Recognizing places in his books, he captures the scene perfectly. Dark humour plenty in book & usual style of slipping into Scottish vernacular, that without living here would probably have trouble understanding. This book is split into 3 stories, the first was a weakest but amusingly messed up. The 2/3 were better classic Welsh fare of honour, social commentary & subversive characters. 4 stars because did not like first story as much as other two & also because not up to best work of trainspotting trilogy, filth & crime. If looking for a first time Welsh book go for one of those 5, still enjoyable read, brought back memories
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Format: Paperback
What we have here is a collection of three novella-length stories by Irvine Welsh, the master of drug-induced debauchery and the Scottish icon who wrote Trainspotting, amongst other things. I’m actually a huge fan of Welsh’s, and this is the eighth Irvine Welsh book that I’ve finished, with two more on my ‘to be read‘ pile, and I can safely say that this is Welsh at his best.

The three stories, dubbed “tales of chemical romance”, are classified further as Lorraine Goes to Livingston (A Rave and Regency Romance), Fortune’s Always Hiding (A Corporate Drug Romance) and The Undefeated (An Acid House Romance), and boy are they crackers.

The Undefeated is featured on the book’s blurb, a story about a man and a woman who fall in love in the backstreets of Edinburgh, but I thought it was the weakest of the three. Lorraine Goes to Livingston includes a writer who has a stroke, her perverted partner, an erotic novel and a man who has sex with corpses.

Fortune’s Always Hiding, which was my favourite of the three, followed the exploits of a young man who falls in love with a woman who has no arms, a victim of the drug ‘Tenazedrine‘, which is based upon the real-life drug Thalidomide. I won’t reveal the ending, because it was epic – suffice to say you need to read it.

That is, you need to read it if you like to read about the darker sides of human existence – if you’re used to romance novels, it might be best to steer clear. It’s all about MDMA and anal sex, not rainbows and unicorns – it’s Irvine Welsh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob O on 14 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I can see why people would be dissappointed with this book if they wanted an insight into MDMA. The real focus in the book are the characters, not the drug.

In my opinion this book is up there with trainspotting, the plots move at such a speed that it is hard to put down, with the narrative styles changing to keep things interesting. Yes it is at times shockingly twisted, especially near the beginning, but this leads you to empathise with the far more normal charcters presented in the last tale. Highly Recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
I would strongly have to disagree with the slatings which this novel has received. I would undoubtedly class this as one of Irvine Welsh's best. The book focuses on subjects so hideously disturbing and original that you just can't help admiring welsh for his creative originality. Unlike Trainspotting,this book often tends to steer away from the grim reality of drug abuse and focuses on love, true friendship and the positive effects of ecstasy. Although much of the book at times seems to be unecessarily violent, Welsh is meerly using this as a decoy to bring to light the angst ridden characters which dominate the story. This book is a definate must for those who can handle reading about reality, it certainly isn't for the faint hearted that's for sure and if it's a bit of pleasant escapism your after, forget it. This is a book for the e generation who will certainly be able to relate to this superb piece of modern day wtiting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
I can't understand the negative reviews that this book generated, because I found it amazing! The last of the 3 stories, "The Undefeated", was my favorite of any of his stories, blending interesting characters, Welsh's efflusive drug references, and a happy ending little seen in his other works. All three were very strong tales, with mininal throwaway, unlike the volume "The Acid House", which was more uneven. Welsh fans should love this..I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jandrewsesq on 18 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another Irvine Welsh masterpiece puts you in the middle of the action with his descriptive, exciting, fast paced, tales of the party lifestyles of the clubland massive
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By A Customer on 8 Aug. 1996
Format: Paperback
Although I'm only in the middle of the second story of three,
I'm already pretty excited about this book and basically
think that everyone should read this. If you've already read
Trainspotting, you're likely in one of two mind sets. If
you are completely drained and disturbed, and spend much
time repeatedly reminding yourself that it's just fiction
and absolutely not true- any of it (whatever...) , stop reading now.
If however, like me, you cannot wait to get your hands on
Welsh's new book...read on. Reading Ecstasy feels like a vacation,
after a vacation that leaves you needing a vacation! There's no
effort involved- if you've read Trainspotting you know what
I mean. Since I haven't yet finished the book, I can't say
much (although I seem to have done just fine!) but I'll say
this; you must read this. It's completely different from
Trainspotting but equally as honest and raw. Even though so
far, there's less of a focus on bodily fluids. Bottom line,
it's excellent. READ IT.
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