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4.4 out of 5 stars77
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 June 2014
This book is about redemption as I see it but it's a dark and twisted tail on the journey many of us take by following the crowd instead of blazing a trail. It is shocking in parts but also has parts that could lead a way to get out and away from the pack.
Not at all what I expected. Good stuff
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on 26 June 2003
I read Trainspotting, Ecstacy, Porno, and The Acid House before this book, and this book is definitely the best.
In fact, the best book I have read in years.
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on 6 July 2007
You will have got the gist of the plot from the other reviewers, so I won't bore you with that.
What I will say is that book shows us that Welsh is a genius. How he can lead us through the life of such a complex character as Roy Strang in such detail in relatively few pages, and make it intensely readable puts Dickens to shame.

M.S.N. shows how someone can be good, but be totally evil. The Roy Strang of Edinburgh & the Roy Strang elsewhere are poles apart but very much the same character. I believe that Welsh clearly shows us here how repression & denial of oneself can totally warp a character. Welsh puts you so firmly in his characters head that you can be homophobic while enjoying dreams of homosexual acts, feel the sickened innocent at a gang rape while being as brutal as the others & so on. How to become so sickened by yourself that you must destroy yourself.

'Trainspotting' may have made a big name but only due to becoming a cult film, this one is a greater work. I feel that in time it may even come to be be regarded as a 20th century classic but don't let that put you off, it is very readable.
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on 11 May 1998
I've read Trainspotting, and Ecstasy and bits of Acid House, and loved the author's work from day one; but when I read Nightmares, I was awestruck. Welsh's talent is amazing. The sheer depth of the piece inspires admiration and humility. I've read nothing to date which so successfully achieves a layering of elements such as consciousness, truth and reality, within a story that one feels honored to have read. Not only is the author's technique flawless, but he has created characters you can actually believe- ones who may not be admirable, but who remain fascinating until the end. I recommend this book to everyone with an appreciation for the art of the English language.
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on 6 July 2014
This is one of my second best reads from Irvine Welsh's grand collection of novels, but it was by the far the most insane one I've ever went threw. I'm a Scotsman and I these kind of books , but I have five words to describe how this is better than the novel FILTH.

1.Football!
2.Hooligans
3.Drugs
4.Family
5.Insanity
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on 17 December 2012
Welsh at his deepest darkest best - without doubt one of the finest authors of his generation. His visceral warts and all descriptives interspersed with ironic humour never fails.

If you have not read his books then you really need to start. " Filth " is quite simply the best book I have ever read with Maribou Stork Nightmares coming a very close second. Once you have learned to read in the Edinburgh vanacular you will be well away
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on 3 December 2009
This is an excellent book but it's raw, real and harrowing. Only start it if you're prepared for the grit of a violent and disturbing journey. Welsh is an exceptional author, this book will no doubt become a twentieth century classic. It is brutal in the extreme, but his talent to tell a twisted story in all its depraved detail is incredible. I was horrified by it yet completely absorbed. The narrative flitting between memory, deep coma and dreamstate is cleverly interwoven with one merging into the other. The use of Scottish vernacular gives the story authenticity making the characters seem somehow more alive, piling on layers of dimension. The unsolicited violence, sex, rape, abuse, angst, poverty and above all depravity in the book make it a very bleak read. But it lives, it's real and it shows no sympathy or empathy and it never patronises its subject matter. You're down in it, with it, smelling and breathing it, at times it's a relief when you can come up for air. But soon you'll want to plunge back in because this book moves, challenges and disgusts - it will stay with you for a very long time.
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on 4 July 2001
Even though this is one of Irvine Welsh's earlier works, it has not yet been surpassed. When I first read the book, I found it very hard to get my head round the storyline. But quarter way through, you begin to realise how it works. And after several re-readings (it is really that good, and worthy, of re-reading), I still feel as though I have only just read it. Each reading brings to the fore things that may have escaped you previously! A must for any Irvine Welsh fan, but if you don't appreciate his subject matter, steer clear, because he is never afraid to bring the dark side of Edinburgh to your doorstep.
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on 8 April 2003
I,ve just re-read Marabou Stork Nightmares and it even seemed fresher than when I first read it a few years ago. MSN is Welsh at his best and in my conclusion has never matched the standard of this dark , unusuall almost suicidal novel. This is one of the most unusual stories I,ve ever read as we enter the world of another bitter Welsh charecter young Roy Strang in a clever trilogy which features him in a coma , and in an imaginary world of positive lunacy with his chum Sandy hunting the scavenging brutal Marabou stork in darkest Africa's colonial days. this part of the story seemed to me like a cross between an Evelyn Waugh novel getting a BBC comic Strip Presents screaning. But it's Roy Strangs flashbacks of his life on the tough housing scheme and his dysfunctional family , which make this story come out on top, as usuall Welsh never fails to shock and this one covers social issues such as incestuous paedophilia, gang rape, far right views, homopobia and animal cruelty graphically.Welsh is best when creating the the most warped charecters as in Filth . Marabou Stork Nightmares is a horizontol trip of urban poetry and razor sharp charecters and plot. .DEEPER DEEPER as is Strangs expression as he slips in and out of the coma this is deep writing and I see this as Welsh.s best novel to date.
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on 28 August 2013
I've just put this genious piece of prose down and know that it'll stay with me for quite a while. the main protagonist, Roy, is a chaming storyteller . Like most of Welsh's charachters the portrait of the charachters weaves wildly accross the mora spectrum leaving the reader with an odd feeling of disgusted-happy-horror. i would recommend this book to anyone and for those not used to reading a bit of Scots, stick with it.
Enjoy
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