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Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance [Paperback]

Irvine Welsh
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 1997
Rebecca Navarro, best-selling authoress of Regency romances, suffers a paralysing stroke. Assisted by her nurse, Rebecca plans her revenge on her unfaithful husband. But will Freddy Royle, hospital trustee, celebrity and necrophiliac, thwart those plans? Dave Thornton, soccer thug, has lost his heart to flawed beauty Samantha Worthington. Together they go in search of the man who marketed the drug that crippled her - in order to cripple him. Lloyd from Leith has a transfiguring passion for the unhappily married Heather. Together they explore the true nature of house music and chemical romance. Will their ardour fizzle and die in the grim backstreets of Edinburgh, or will it ignite and blaze like a thousand suns?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (4 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099590913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099590910
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,144 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


"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)

Book Description

Now a major motion picture.

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First Sentence
Rebecca Navarro sat in her spacious conservatory and looked out across the bright, fresh garden. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welsh Classic 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars love in the key of e 11 Jan 1999
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars There's more to life than Trainspotting! 8 Aug 1996
By A Customer
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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not his best. 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading 30 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i bought this to read the story of Freddy Royle - there is a very obvious Jimmy Savile connection to this story - but it begs the question which came first the rumours or the book???
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's not just about ecstasy 14 Feb 2007
By Rob O
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecstatic Love 16 Jun 1997
By A Customer
The author of Trainspotting, which became a major movie hit this winter, brings us three provocative and sometimes beautiful love stories in his newest novel, Ecstasy.

The first story, "Lorraine Goes to Livingston: A Rave and Regency Romance," is about Rebecca, the oblivious romance novelist, Perky, her adulterous worm of a husband, Lorraine, a part-time raver/part-time nurse, and Freddy Royle, a necrophilic. It is full of relationships starting and ending, self-awareness (or the lack of) and is shocking and entertaining. But then again, how could a nice love story with bouts of bestiality and necrophilia be boring?

In "Fortune's Always Hiding: A Corporate Drug Romance" a nasty pharmaceutical company markets a little-tested drug, Tenazadrine, which produces results not unlike the birth defects caused by Thalidomide in the'50s and '60s. This is probably the most disturbing story in Ecstasy, and leaves you pondering the fine line between justice and revenge. You won't know what to think of Dave, whose loyalty and love for his deformed girlfriend, Samantha, tries to compensate for his less desirable traits such as violence and homophobia.

The third, and last, story will blow your mind like double-dipped tabs of LSD. "The Undefeated: An Acid House Romance" is both funny and clever. Lloyd Buist, a laid-back druggie, is endearing with his Alice In Wonderland-esque logic ("Ah don't know if I'm thinking this or saying it or both at the same time, but you can sometimes say one thing while thinking another. So if I'm saying this, actually saying this out loud, what am ah thinking? Eh? Ah ha!").

This is the perfect book to save you from summertime apathy. Ecstasy is a must read for those who dn't mind deciphering European English (what the hell do sentences like "Ah'm away doon tae the deli fir mair ay they strawberries, eh" mean?) and are not offended by profanity, drug use and sex.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
I loved this book, and have read it three times. Cleverly written, gripping, unique, darkly funny, and very human. It reminds me of Jaycey Jordan's `Sunshine'. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jules
5.0 out of 5 stars Like it was
Read in two days,couldn't put it down even though I read it zonks's complexities striped and on show by Irvine
Published 14 months ago by william docherty
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best but Irivne again captures the spirit of an era
Irvine can be a bit hit and miss at times, but even when he's not so good, he still manages to capture the very essence of that era and I am taken back to those heady years. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Steven W Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars By no means perfect but extremely funny and unpredictable
There is something about the immediacy of Welsh's writing and the narration of his characters which makes anything he has done compulsively readable. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Culture Vulture
5.0 out of 5 stars I read it in 2 days
This book is great. I could not put it down. For me, each story was better than the last. People that give it bad reviews have either not lived or not loved. Read more
Published on 1 April 2011 by diplomat
2.0 out of 5 stars well written, highly disturbing
Irvine Welsh is a brilliant writer, but the content was too disturbing to enjoy the book. I made it through 2/3 stories before it made me feel too sick to finish. Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2010 by neonflash
2.0 out of 5 stars Ecstasy
Not a patch on his last collection of shorts (Acid House).

Very forgetable in my opinion, not his best work by a long shot.

Give it a miss.
Published on 10 May 2010 by Mr. M. Harvey
4.0 out of 5 stars Fortune's Always Hiding
I'm half way through reading Ecstasy, after having read Trainspotting and seeing the film. I've also seen the film Green Street and can't stop seeing the parallels between the... Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2008 by Lotte
3.0 out of 5 stars astonishing yet strangely wonderful
I'd never read one of Irvine Walsh's books before this one but my sister had recommended him many a time so I thought I'd attempt it. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2005 by "indiechicuk"
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