Filth by Irvine Welsh

Filth by Irvine Welsh
Filth by Irvine Welsh

Recommended by Paul Cardwell

Sometimes when a big film comes out it’s good to seek out the book and discover the original text.

With the cinematic version of Irvine Welsh’s 1998 novel just released in theatres today (Thursday) I haven’t yet seen it, so I can’t provide a comparison, but if the film is half as entertaining as the book then it will be worth the price of a ticket and a bucket of popcorn.

It’s hard to recall a fictional character more deplorable than Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson. The main character, he is in every step of his life pretty vile. A druggie, a liar, a racist, corrupt.

Having planned to wind down for Christmas with a week of debauchery in Amsterdam the last thing he needed was a messy murder to solve.

The book is effectively a diary of his fall from something already lower than grace, but despite everything I’ve just said about him you can’t help feel slightly sorry for him.

Robertson (with thanks to Welsh’s brilliant writing) takes the reader on this journey with him. It’s not for the faint-hearted at times.