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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Hideous
Irivine Welsh has long specialised in presenting the very dregs of humanity to us along with their stories, but in his loathsome police detective Bruce Robertson, he gives us a character so depraved, so utterly unpleasant, that the real story here is the way in which Welsh manages the impossible: sympathy for the (almost literal) devil. The standard Welsh narrative...
Published 17 months ago by O. P. Dawson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Filth by name and nature.
This is one book that CAN be judged by its cover, or more accurately its title. The content is both rude and crude and includes lots of sex, spunk, crust, poo and dirty prozzies.

The main character is too vile to be believable, and is, in fact nothing more than a parody of a nasty bastard. I liked the concept of the tape worm, but didn't like the narrative,...
Published on 3 Jun 2009 by MangoChesney


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Hideous, 13 Jun 2013
By 
O. P. Dawson (London , United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Filth (Kindle Edition)
Irivine Welsh has long specialised in presenting the very dregs of humanity to us along with their stories, but in his loathsome police detective Bruce Robertson, he gives us a character so depraved, so utterly unpleasant, that the real story here is the way in which Welsh manages the impossible: sympathy for the (almost literal) devil. The standard Welsh narrative crossovers are to be found; characters from his other novels pop up here and there and that trademark Edinburgh vernacular is the dominant voice once again. This novel is still, in my view, his stand-out work; not something to be said lightly given the sheer quality of his other novels. The reader will find themself in Robertson's head on an appalling journey into everything frightening and despicable about human beings and plumbing the darkest, most fathomless depths of nastiness. Robertson careers around the Scottish capital powered by drugs, pornography, alcohol and barely controlled hatred of his colleagues and friends, ostensibly pursuing a murder case, but in reality, degenerating into a psychological lagoon of horror. Very few characters in modern fiction stay with one long after they have shut the book. This one (and the gradually revealed voice within him) most certainly does. Read 'Filth' and drink in the mastery of one of the finest writers around, but expect to be infected by his creation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first but not last, 17 April 2010
By 
C. E. MCKEOWN (KENT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
This is my first Irvine Welsh novel. The direct use of Scottish accent to text can be challenging to begin with - but you do get used to it. Then you are into the roller coaster, no holds barred parallel world that Welsh describes. In this novel, we are presented with DS Bruce Robertson. Outwardly one of the lads, hard working and a policeman of experience. Inside, he is a xenophobic, homophobic, philandering, alcoholic, hygiene challenged, parasite hosting, small minded miscreant. And yet he makes you smile :) This book turns your stomach, whilst simultanously urging you to read more. Welsh manages to cover most depraved elements of humanity within the pages whilst weaving what is possibly a sad story.

If you have the strength of character, single-mindedness and iron will - read and enjoy. How does he come up wth this stuff?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sick Irvine Welsh character..., 1 July 2008
By 
D.Watts. (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
Both Bruce Robertson and the tapeworm are sick, classic Irvine Welsh characters. Like a lot of Welsh characters, Robertson shows signs of good as well as evil, and you're never quite sure whether he's at heart a good guy just misdirected - that's what makes the book interesting. There's some really disgusting, hilarious moments in the book that only Welsh could conjure up. A lot of other reviews suggest that the book might be too long, without direction and meandering through the middle part. I'll leave that up to the reader to decide. But I really would recommend finishing the book. The last half a dozen chapters really hit you hard and they'll leave you thinking about it for a few days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ball-Twisting, Rollarcoaster Ride!, 21 Jan 2003
By 
Steve F (Auckland ,New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
From the very first page, Mr Welsh hooked me and dragged me into the sick and twisted world of D. S. Bruce Robertson. And I enjoyed every minute of it! Dodgy Robertson represents the evil we all think is out there... somewhere, and his level of behaviour is in the extreme or not at all! I wondered if this story is purely a work of fiction or perhaps drawn from Irvine's personal experiences and observations with the constabulary. If it's the latter, then I'm glad we live in different parts of the world. A feast of explicit sex, violence and drug use. Delicious... I'm going out to buy the rest of Irvine Welsh's books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOVEL WAS BARRY, LIKESAY!, 17 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
I have just finished re-reading "Filth", and I don't know how it managed to do it, but it is an even better read the second time around. I decided to read the novel, this time, paying particular attention to the theme of 'confidence' that runs throughout it, and the manners in which we gain and lose confidence. bruce is a "polis", an establishment which we trust implicitly, yet he has no faith in his co-workers and the 'spastic' uniformed officers. he goes to prostitutes but has confidence he hasn't caught anything. he has confidence carole will return. he knows he will get his promotion. the growing worm depends on him. he knows shirley is his whenever he wants. he considers himself to be great in bed because lennox wasn't. yet, in bruce, we find a man who has no confidence in life running its natural course. he tries to eliminate his promotional opponents, to make it easier for him to get the job. he enlarges the photocopier while he takes a photocopy of 'himself'. he has no confidence in dr. rossi. no confidence in toal and his hollywood-bound script...
this book is marvellous. a policeman we term as belonging to the filth; as a reader, we see him as filth; he sees all those around him as filth; and, within him, the worm is filth. and, deep down, he knows that he is filth like everyone else, for, as he tells us frequently throughout, "same rules apply".
a book at the same time worthy and entirely unworthy of its name. must read!
edward joseph canning
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing - Irvine Welsh has done it again, 20 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
After the relative disppointments of Acid House and Ecstasy, Irvine Welsh has written a book that is almost as exhilarating, hilarious, enjoyable and expertly structured as Trainspotting. The book initially appears to be a cheap stab at the police by portraying an officer in such a derogitary manner. As you read further you realise this is not the intention at all as Welsh sucks you into Bruce Robinson's conciousness and you actually find youself admiring him in a very twisted and screwed up way. I normally read Welsh novels the day they come out but I have just completed an English Literature degree and thus have been unable to read anything but module texts for the last three years. This could not have been a better welcome into the real world. My love of Trainspotting has remained with me since its publication and I keep a copy by my toilet to pick up and read little bits whenever nature calls. One of the best essays I wrote for my degree was about Irvine Welsh's use of heteroglossia in the said novel. Filth matches up to the genius of his first novel and I implore anyone out there reading this to get your hands on a copy as soon as possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing - Irvine Welsh has done it again, 20 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
After the relative disppointments of Acid House and Ecstasy, Irvine Welsh has written a book that is almost as exhilarating, hilarious, enjoyable and expertly structured as Trainspotting. The book initially appears to be a cheap stab at the police by portraying an officer in such a derogitary manner. As you read further you realise this is not the intention at all as Welsh sucks you into Bruce Robinson's conciousness and you actually find youself admiring him in a very twisted and screwed up way. I normally read Welsh novels the day they come out but I have just completed an English Literature degree and thus have been unable to read anything but module texts for the last three years. This could not have been a better welcome into the real world. My love of Trainspotting has remained with me since its publication and I keep a copy by my toilet to pick up and read little bits whenever nature calls. One of the best essays I wrote for my degree was about Irvine Welsh's use of heteroglossia in the said novel. Filth matches up to the genius of his first novel and I implore anyone out there reading this to get your hands on a copy as soon as possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh yes, it's filthy..., 25 Jun 2008
By 
etfa (Vitry Sur Seine) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
In this book, Welsh brings out something that is not so often shown to the open world: Filth. He shoves it into our face, eyes, ears, hands and hair.
It's the story of an Edinburgh policeman, whose 'temporarily separation' from his wife and daughter builds up the laundry and dishes stacks in his house, whose skin problems Welsh pleases us with (not!), whose drink'n'drug habit leads the reader to a somber, dark, lonely path through filth.

Welsh shows us how life of some people can me miserable, and how they don't know about it, or care to know about it, and even come to like everything about it. Welsh's character is just this sad guy living around the corner who came to lose everything because he was too proud to let go anything, and whose stool in the local pub now got his name on it.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really filthy, 20 July 2006
By 
J.R.Hartley (NW England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
This was my first Irvine Welch book and once I'd got used to the Edinburgh dialect I soon got into the swing of it and the whole sorry tale of Bruce, the rancid, corrupt, loathsome, sexist, racist, homophobic beast who masquerades as an officer of the law. They say no man is above the law, but Bruce is a law unto himself and he exploits his position to cheat, swindle and seduce all the way through the story... all the way to getting his comeuppance.

This is not a nice story but as you would expect from Mr Welsh, it's a darkly comic tale of one man's descent into madness and enduring crapulence. At times it made me laugh out loud, at others it churned my stomach and I think that is what Welsh intended. Bruce is never so bad that you can't hate him completely, but on the rare occasions when he does something right you still can't quite warm to him.

The book is easy to get into and has sufficient twists to keep you guessing, but the use of the tapeworm as a plot device just gets annoying after a while.

Dare top read this book and you'll be giving yourself a treat if you can stomach it. If buying for a friend, make sure he/she is very broaded-minded. Not for the squeamish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finely refined dirt - I kid you not, 28 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Filth (Paperback)
In the creation of Bruce Robertson, Welsh has given us a man who's base evil is so beautifully contructed and depraved that we cannot help but appreciate the character's smutty, and completely emotionless, hatred of all things other. And to think he's a policeman! Well, Bruce goes from weakness to weakness in a binge of 'Jacky Trent' plain clothed piggery and ends up hearing the 'voice' of his one last real friend - a virtual Freud of a tapeworm. The book works on many levels and is all the more appreciated if enjoyed at them all, but most of all, the non-PC PC humour is real 'playground' genious. Spazwit!!!
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Filth
Filth by Irvine Welsh
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