Well, it’s not often that I give up on a book (jeez, I even finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being) but this one was unreadable.

I got through about 100 pages and then decided to spare myself the pain of reading any more. Written in a thick Scots accent, and all about junkies and their unattractive pals, it was never going to be that fun to read. Right from the opening paragraph, it signals what the rest of the book is like:

The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling. Ah wis just sitting thair, focussing oan the telly, trying no tae notice the cunt. He wis bringing me doon. Ah tried tae keep ma attention oan the Jean-Claude Van Damme video.

If that’s the kind of thing you like, read on. It just keeps on coming. Another near-random paragraph:

Amazingly, Tommy still husnae mentioned smack. Even wi ma works lying aw over the place, n he can probably tell that ah’m bombed. Normally Tommy’s daein a bad impersonation ay ma auld lady in such circumstances; yir killin yirsel/pack it in/ye kin live yir life withoot that garbage, and other such shite.

Add to the mix an array of unappealing, deeply unsympathetic characters – and all the characters of significance are male, in case you were wondering. Sprinkle on chapter titles like: Cock Problems; Inter Shitty; The First Shag in Ages; and assorted Junk Dilemmas. Stir in a confusingly shifting viewpoint (I rarely had a clue whose voice I was reading)…

What do you get?

You don’t get what I would call “The best book written by man or woman” (Rebel, Inc thought so, apparently). You have something totally unreadable.

I did think, after I’d got the hang of reading the dialect, and started to think I might have worked out who was who, that perhaps there would be something embiggening in this book. Perhaps I would come out of the experience with a new understanding of, compassion for people who have drug problems. No, I haven’t. The characters in this book do not invite compassion: they are, to a man, horrible people with no discernible redeeming features whatever. Nothing doing.


Here’s an Amazon link.
I got mine from the library. My advice? Read something else. How this got into anyone’s top million reads is a mystery, never mind the top 200.