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  • Filth
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am 20. Juli 2000
Filth is one depraved piece of writing. Without warning or pause we are bombarded with the uncensored, delightfully preverse, bitter, vindictive and spectacularly cruel first person narration of Detective Sargent Bruce Robertson. Through numerous and intentionally repetitive tales of sodomy, pornography, blackmail, theft, intimidation and just about every other crime there is, the reader stops, looks away from the book and towards the ceiling with a soft gasp and a little smile on his/her face. The delight the reader feels is that of a voyeur.
But it doesn't last, the comedy I mean. It masks the uglyness for a while, but the direction is downhill. Welsh deceptively gives the impression that he is not in the driver's seat, that this whole book is a door opened from this pervert's mind and all you get is his bigotry. And as you enjoy this temporary abandon of moral restraint Welsh gives you a one sentence paragraph "HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?" Weather good old honest to Satan Bruce is harrassing his best friend's wife on the phone, the same bespectacled friend he takes to Amesterdam "to go whoring for Scotland", the same friend so in need of his spectacles that Bruce is naturally delighted to crush them under his boots while the big oaf sleeps. Preversely hysterical stuff, but there is Welsh again with "HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?". By the time Bruce is burning his boss's hardwork on a screenplay, it not very funny anymore, it is pathetic. I know this a difficult concept for some to understand, but the book's very lack of moral prespective redeems it. There is no pop physcology here. The less perceptive among its readers will laugh a little longer, but all readers will eventually realise that Bruce Robertson is digging his own grave.
In my first review I made clear my dislike for the tapeworm narration. I still dislike it, it is an ingenious and original device. But it is a "Device" and goes against the stream of consciencness approach. Maybe he had to include it, just to point the way.
Filth is a virtual reality experience, for a few hundred pages YOU ARE BRUCE ROBERTSON. Therefore you want him to get that promotion, to get the better of his enemies and getaway with his crimes, no matter how vicious they maybe. Everything seems different froom the inside looking out. Towards the end Bruce (and inturn you the reader) gets to see himself from the outside, from his colleages' point of view, and its a tragic sight. After its over get up, look at a mirror and ask yourself "HOW DID THAT MAKE ME FEEL?".
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am 31. Januar 2015
Filth indeed! I am no prude, but if every second word is a four letter word, what's funny about that? To be honest I only read 68 of 393 pages, then I threw the book away. Maybe my mistake. Perhaps I missed some great and funny writing ...
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am 27. Oktober 2014
im Original um Klassen besser ( liegt am schnoddrigen Schottisch,- die Übersetzung kann noch so perfekt sein, sie trifft den "Ton" niemals so genau) !
Empfehlenswert - und sehr schnell geliefert.
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am 9. Januar 2014
großartiges buch von welsh, habe es fast in einem durchgelesen. die story um den sich zerstörenden polizisten fesselte mcih zunehmend und das ende hat mich absolut überwältigt. erst mal nur da gesessen und verscuht alles zu begreifen.
das geschriebene "gesprochene schottisch" ist am anfang wirklich schwer, man muss sich viele stellen im gedanken vorlesen, um die bedeutung der wörter zu erfassen.
ein tolles buch!
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am 16. September 1998
With "Filth," Irvine Welsh fails to build on the promise that he showed with his last release, "Ecstasy." While that collection of novellas was not a great hit with the rave crowd that had propelled him to literary success with "Trainspotting" and "The Acid House," it demonstrated his evolution into a more conventional, yet adept, storyteller. "Filth" is Welsh's first novel since his terrific "Marabou Stork Nightmares" and at over three hundred pages it is a significant effort. Yet the depiction of its policeman protagonist and his spiral into utter depravity and despair is marred by an unconvincing portrayal of the ins and out of Bruce Robertson's occupation. Even more unfortunate is the level of hate that radiates from the character, and Welsh's manner, which forces the reader to experience every moment of this man's life and hideous personality, serves, through its insistence on his primacy and point-of-view, only to glorify Robertson's existence in an unsettling way. It is a struggle to read many parts of this book, and with only a half-hearted attempt at the very end to provide a moral foil for Robertson's actions (in the form of the narrative of a tapeworm in his own body), we cannot hope to escape from the foulness. "Filth" is unfunny and unfriendly. It is not the compelling realist novel that we expected from Welsh, but is nastiness purely for its own sake. Jason R.
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am 9. Juli 2000
Some of the elements are not original. The evil nature of the rscist, sex-obsessed alcoholic drug-addicted cop is explained by an unhappy childhood in which he was not loved. The solution of the murder mystery is similar to Agatha Christie's "Murder of Roger Ackroyd" but this is a long way from Agatha Christie. Much of the story is told in phonetically spelled Scottish dialect. and some from the point of view of a tapeworm. The medical aspects say more for Scottish helminthology than dermatology.
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am 13. Juni 2000
Although nominally a murder mystery, this is just the rack on which Welsh hangs a brilliantly nasty character study of one Bruce Robertson, detective in the Edinburgh PD. The writing is vintage Welsh, slang-laden, caustic, funny, and unsparing in its portrayal of a protagonist who might be described as "The Bad Lieutenant" squared. Oddest of all is a tapeworm inhabiting Det. Robertson, whose own ponderings infiltrate the book, plopping down right over Robertson's main text. Great, inventive stuff.
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am 27. Mai 2000
this was the most disturbing welsh novel i've ever read. your man bruce epitomizes being the most effed up man in scotland. once you think it's gotten to it's worst, it hasn't. his absolute misery is heart breaking and the end is a really hard kick in the cobblers.
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am 14. Februar 2000
Welshs' Bruce Robertson has not one redeeming personal quality that is required for our co-existence as a society. After all, he is a liar, thief adulterer,racist;a drunk with a "wee" coke problem,a gay basher with no respect for his superiors and especially women in authority/general. The books Scottish dialect does take some getting used to especially its rhryming slang, but it is brutally honest as far as seeing life in the first person of a true "sociopath" whose progressive demise into the abyss is at the same time very gratifying, yet very depressing, for Bruce took "life" for granted. He was fortunate in that he had a family,friends and freedom but his insecurities and selfishness fuelled his need to destroy others, so that in effect if he couldnt enjoy life then no-one else would.He was jealous of anyone that dared to live a life that he could so have easily attained. This was a brilliant book,a laugh a minute -no even a second - but its message far exceeds this aspect and after all the schemes,backstabbing,prostitutes,drugs and ointment you could poke a stick at, this was all that this masterful storyteller was trying to say. This book could not have been called anything else and I'll never be able to look at a pig again without thinking of Bruce. "We hate ourself for being unable to be other than what we are" Irwin Welsh - "Filth"
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am 2. Oktober 1999
Irvine Welsh didnt read much fiction, before becoming a novelist, and therefore he has no regard for lit norms. He has a fresh, sobering point of view that seeths through all of his work. "Filth" his newest novel, that takes place in the same literary universe as "Trainspotting" and "Marabou Stork Nightmares,"(Begbie, and Lexo are mentioned in all three novels, and many others are mentioned in two of the three) is another must read by this talented author.
"Trainspotting" is about the junkies, "Marabou Stork Nightmares" is about the thugs, and now we see the point of view of a policeman in "Filth."
Irvine Welsh does a little more chiseling away at our xenophobia, he creates characters that are so lifelike they jump off the pages at you. "Filth" is about a nasty cop, but you almost find yourself rooting for him, hoping he gets his promotion, and that he can keep his superiors happy. Irvine Welsh has been called the voice of the chemical generation, and drugs are commonly dispersed in the plots of his novels, but that is all beside the point. His social commentary, and perspective are invaluable. A naturally gifted "writer" who keeps you turning the pages, following characters that seem all too familiar.
As far as a brief synopsis of the novel, read the back cover, i wouldnt want to give anything away. It's a must read....along with his previous two novels, and "ecstacy," and "The Acid House"
Irvine Welsh is still young for a novelist, Dostaevski didnt write his best work until he was in his 60's, same goes with bukowski, burroughs, other authors that may interest you if you like irvine welsh. All I can say is, keep it coming Irvine Welsh, and maybe we will see a grand masterpiece in the future. Although he hasnt hurt the collective collection of literature with his work so far. I personally put him up there with the greats, remeniscint of the before mentioned authors. READ IT!!!
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