Second novel syndrome.
Not as bad as second album syndrome - you can avoid reading a book but music floods in from everywhere innit - but if your first book was rated by everyone from Irvine Welsh to Lauren Laverne and you were touted as the voice of a generation, you could be forgiven for experiencing performance anxiety.
I often judge books by their artwork (shouldn't everyone?) and this one has an ace cover, which matches the story inside. Just one paragraph, which swirls along in a dreamy stream of conciousness; a daring technique which could easily confuse in the wrong hands.
Set in a Middlesbrough Tower block, which is as much a character as the dealers, doleys, drunks, druggy artists who live in it, TSLS is rich in detail which often rings true - the impotence of middle aged men; the boredom of working in a shop; the stupidity and excitement and come downs that are part of that taking a trip; - without being a laborious list of description that lesser writers seem to think = profundity.
A few things jar - the twee naming of inaminate objects (Mr condom - ick); some of the sex scenes - Milward seems to revel in writing horifically detailed sex scenes, containing goo and grime that are b movie horror - but are easy to overlook as the characters are so vivid, banal and flawed that it's impossible not to fall in love with them.