Sunday, September 24, 2006
Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
Aye laddie, that wee buftie Irvine Welsh is up to his usual tricks once again, dragging us along a cold and blustery Leith Walk by the scruff of the neck and promising lewdness, drink, drugs, sexual excess, football violence and... romance?
Yes, the dark prince of Scotland is back with his latest novel, the Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs and a new anti-hero in the likes of hedonistic party boy Danny Skinner - a council restaurant inspector who likes a wee bevvie or 10, plus a bit of the "white powder... just to give me the edge".
His nemesis is the new boy on the block, anorak-toting stick figure Brian Kibby - Treckie, 'Hyp Hiker', model railway enthusiast and a compulsive masturbator.
When the two cross paths in the workplace a chain of events is set in motion, born from Skinner's fierce, almost supernatural hatred of his young nemesis. The resulting plot twist gives flight to Welsh's glorious ability to capture and deliver tales of hedonistic debauchery so wrong that they fairly reek of old fag ends, stale sex and endless pints of lager.
Add to this Skinner's sad search for the father he never knew - he told the kids in school that it was Joe Strummer - and a salubrious slice of seedy Edinburgh kitchen life... Welsh at his realist best.
But it's when Skinner's transposed to the West Coast of the US that the reader is really treated to the comedic genius of Welsh's complex characters and the keen observations that only they can make.
Aye, it's not for the feint hearted or the "dinguls" of this world, but for those of us who ken what this gadge is on aboot, it's a f*****in good laff!