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Glue
 
 

Glue [Kindle Edition]

Irvine Welsh
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

With a title like Glue, it would seem reasonable to assume that Irvine Welsh's new novel is a profound reflection upon the pitfalls of solvent abuse. In fact, the glue of Welsh's book deals with the bonds that unite four boys growing up together in "the scheme", the "slum-clearance" flats of Edinburgh, whose optimistic construction in the 1970s give way to the poverty, unemployment and crime of the 1980s and 1990s. It is this despair that defines the lives of Welsh's central protagonists: Terry Lawson, work-shy and sex-mad; Carl Ewart, budding DJ; Billy Birrell, boxer, and Andrew Galloway, a drug addict who tests HIV-positive.

Glue is a bildungsroman of growing up bad, recounted in Welsh's inimitable style. The novel follows the boys through their early forays into sex, drink, drugs and football violence, written in the author's trademark vernacular. Carl Ewart poses crucial questions such as: "How dae ah chat up a bird?" and "Do I wear a rubber johnny? (If so, nae problem, I've started trying them on so ah ken how tae fir them)". Welsh also attempts occasional political comment on the friends' difficulties: Billy Birrell reflects: "Having money is the only way to get respect. Desperate, but that's the world we live in now." However, Welsh is better at grotesque moments of sex and violence and offhand one-liners, such as: "Guilt and shaggin, they go the gither like fish 'n' chips". Fans of Trainspotting will love Glue, even down to the brief appearance of Begbie and Renton, but others may feel that the novel is just more of the same, and that this performance finds Welsh stuck in a rut. --Jerry Brotton

Amazon Review

With a title like Glue, it would seem reasonable to assume that Irvine Welsh's new novel is a profound reflection upon the pitfalls of solvent abuse. In fact, the glue of Welsh's book deals with the bonds that unite four boys growing up together in "the scheme", the "slum-clearance" flats of Edinburgh, whose optimistic construction in the 1970s give way to the poverty, unemployment and crime of the 1980s and 1990s. It is this despair that defines the lives of Welsh's central protagonists: Terry Lawson, work-shy and sex-mad; Carl Ewart, budding DJ; Billy Birrell, boxer, and Andrew Galloway, a drug addict who tests HIV-positive.

Glue is a bildungsroman of growing up bad, recounted in Welsh's inimitable style. The novel follows the boys through their early forays into sex, drink, drugs and football violence, written in the author's trademark vernacular. Carl Ewart poses crucial questions such as: "How dae ah chat up a bird?" and "Do I wear a rubber johnny? (If so, nae problem, I've started trying them on so ah ken how tae fir them)". Welsh also attempts occasional political comment on the friends' difficulties: Billy Birrell reflects: "Having money is the only way to get respect. Desperate, but that's the world we live in now." However, Welsh is better at grotesque moments of sex and violence and offhand one-liners, such as: "Guilt and shaggin, they go the gither like fish 'n' chips". Fans of Trainspotting will love Glue, even down to the brief appearance of Begbie and Renton, but others may feel that the novel is just more of the same, and that this performance finds Welsh stuck in a rut. --Jerry Brotton


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 860 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009AMMUNO
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (16 Dec 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099285924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099285922
  • ASIN: B0031RS8F8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welsh comes of age 1 May 2002
Format:Paperback
Just like Oasis, Welsh shot into the public consciousness with a staggering debut ("Trainspotting") and has spent the rest of his career trying, and failing, to match it. 1999's "Filth" came pretty close, but the tapeworm sub-plot showed that Welsh still hadn't got over his penchant for playing literary games instead of doing what he does best, i.e. characterisation and dialogue.
With "Glue", however, he is definitely back to his best. On the face of it "Glue" sounds similar to "Trainspotting", following as it does a group of mates from the Edinburgh schemes as they get drunk, stoned and generally battered & bruised over a 4-decade period.
But the book is as much about Scotland, and Britain as a whole, as it is the central characters. Welsh's grasp of period is faultless, as he traces the social changes in British society from the 1970s through Thatcherism and the E generation to the present day, and the way his characters either ride the wave or are swept away.
The usual Welsh elements are all there - drugs, booze, sex, football, humour, swearing, politics - but for the first time there's a maturity here, a soul, a desire to place the characters and their activities into a sociopolitical context which can in some way explain their lifestyle choices.
Ultimately, it's a book about friendship and loyalty, and how these qualities somehow manage to endure even when the world keeps on kicking you in the teeth. A funny, gripping, and for the first time touching Welsh novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glue, by Irvine Welsh 9 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This was a brilliant book i thought. I am a fan of books that follow groups of mates through their lives, and this definately did not disappoint. Lots of funny moments, but also i found some parts very moving - particularly the end. I was on a train reading it at the time and hoped no-one saw me visibly moved by the ending! 3/4 of the way through i thought it lost it's way slightly when introducing the new female characters, but this did not prevent me from loving this book. A real recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rambling in the middle but ultimately excellent 22 Jun 2001
Format:Paperback
a plotless ramble through the decades with four characters and their loyalties tested. The book was a bit overly long with not enough Welsch set peices to my mind. The wire robbery scene and how they kill the dogs is a real toe-curler. The sequence in Germany and the characters relationships were the highlights for me. i thought that it captured the futulity of trying to keep in touch with your mates when you are moving on and changing. Also the way lads are merciless in mickey taking and that that has to be dealt with in a social context - excellent ! Overall a top read if a bit wayward at times. 'Juice' Terry Lawson - what an anti-hero !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent read. 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The strength of this book is the vivid, believable, acutely observed characters. The story meanders through the lives of four "schemies" as they grow up together and grow apart in adulthood. A great book about ordinary life. In 100 years' time this will still be read, at least by literature students.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful story 21 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback
OK so there is violence, sex, violent sex, drink, drugs and swearing. But under it or perhaps throught it there is a beautiful story about how people stick together, look out for each other and care about each other. If you've never read Irvine Welsh before this would be a good place to start.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 7 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I could talk about this novel all day long. It is quite simply, my favourite book of all time. Who knew Irvine Welsh had a masterpiec like this in him. Well done sir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irvine Welsh's Finest Hour 28 July 2007
By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many suggest that Trainspotting was Irvine Welsh's best book. I agree that the film is peerless, but I don't think it is his best book, mostly because it is quite nihilistic and despairing. This book, on the other hand has a superb and spiritually uplifting ending, and shows the struggle of 4 kids trying to get out of the 'scheme' (Edinburgh's slums).

For the first time in Welsh's books, it uses multiple narrators and also extends their story over a long enough period of time to see far more charactor detail than was previously possible. Unlike Trainspotting, it covers a variety of different charactors and sees them to their conclusion. The result is a powerful book that has understandable charactors (rather than demagogues).

The book starts off with the charactor 'Juice' Terry making 'love' to two women in a grotty Edinburgh flat. It also shows us Billy 'Business' Birrell', who is an amateur boxer, along with Carl 'NSign' Ewart, who becomes a DJ. In addition there is the sad charactor of Andrew 'Gally' Galloway, who is like a cross between 'spud' and Bruce Robertson out of Filth (i.e. Unlucky).

I won't spoil the plot, but the four of them go through a semi- typical scheme upbringing (from the 1970's to modern times) where they discover their talents or waste them respectively. It all ends with them in their mid 30's reflecting on the events of their life and philosophising on the way things are in Edinburgh.

The book is rich in dialogue and insight, and is compelling to the very end. If I had the money, I would make a film of it, but I fear I could never do it justice!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 13 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
I loved this book, it being my 3rd experience of Irvine Welsh after Trainspotting and Porno. At first it seemed as if it was going nowhere and it was hard to sympathise with many of the main characters but the more you read the more complex they became. The book is about 4 friends from an Edinburgh scheme and their own unique journeys charting their lives from their childhood in 1970 (though mainly through their parents) to the approach of middle-age in 2000, I like the way it jumps forward from decade to decade letting you see the consequences of the characters actions at a glance whilst updating you on other pivotal moments inbetween.

I think it helped that I was born myself in an Edinburgh scheme, Oxgangs, there are instances where I believe that an outsider would not get 100% out of the story and the dialect is pretty exclusive in parts to only those who have ever lived in the South East lowlands of Scotland but this shouldn't deterr anybody whatsoever, this is a fantastic read, brilliantly funny but at the same time absolutely shocking. The stories are engrossing and at times the action is relentless, this was a book I didn't ever want to finish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Glue
The story of a group of mates growing in different directions through the decades in the schemes of Edinburgh, this book shows that despite the twists and turns of their individual... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good fun
Published 2 months ago by ANDREW CHRISTIE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of his finer books and a real tear jerker in bits.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. AJ Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Irvine Welsh's best. Skagboys or Trainspotting are better.
Irvine Welsh is usually very good at having you empathise with unlikeable characters. I struggled to find redeeming features in these characters and therefore felt no sympathy... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Irvine Welsh at his best.
Published 4 months ago by William Goldie
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Welsh
the brilliant Scottish writer at his best. the usual mix of entertaining characters (some new but many familiar) and blinding set pieces.. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andy Winkley
5.0 out of 5 stars An irn bru can oan top eh anither irn but can...LMFAO
Eftir readin Trainspottin Filth Skagboys and CRIME ah thougt that Glue coudnae be is gid,but ah coudnae be mare wrong. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lindsay Mackay
2.0 out of 5 stars Brutal reality
Irvine welsh at his very very best...you either love him or hate him... away to start another one..just have to choose which one....in
Jellybean4uz@yahoo.com
Published 5 months ago by Gerard Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars Barry
Barry. The Leith Police displeases us! Every brilliant wee Irvinism resonates, hard & funny. More depth than a pint of IPA. rock & roll literature. Buy it!
Published 10 months ago by Bilbo 123
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Welsh's best
This is a brilliant story of four boys growing up; you really get to learn their backgrounds and feel for the various characters. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andrew
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