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The characters in this collection of stories are, on the surface, depraved, vicious, cowardly and manipulative, but their essential humanity is never undermined.


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The characters in this collection of stories are, on the surface, depraved, vicious, cowardly and manipulative, but their essential humanity is never undermined.

30 review for The Acid House Audiobook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Holy shit, how could I have forgotten to add this to my list already, this collection of breakneck vileness, this wretchedness you wrench your head away from in shame that it happens to be so gripping and so funny. In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind they have invented a method for erasing specified memories from your mind - I hope they invent just such a thing in real life so I can get them to erase all memory of my five star books so that I can read them all for the first time a Holy shit, how could I have forgotten to add this to my list already, this collection of breakneck vileness, this wretchedness you wrench your head away from in shame that it happens to be so gripping and so funny. In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind they have invented a method for erasing specified memories from your mind - I hope they invent just such a thing in real life so I can get them to erase all memory of my five star books so that I can read them all for the first time again. Irvine Welsh became something of a parody of himself later on, wee Scots druggy mouthy baldie that he is, but let that not take anything away from his magnificent trilogy of Trainspotting, Acid House and Maribou Stork Nightmares. Hey Irvine, if I see you floating down the gutter I'll bring you a bottle of wine.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I'm pretty sure the novella "A Smart Cunt" was in here. Though I have zero recollection of it now, at the time I read that I thought it was brilliant, and because I was bored on vacation in London with nothing better to do, I wrote what I believe was the only fan letter to an author I've ever sent, telling him this. And he wrote me back! In my letter, I'd asked him if he actually listened to techno music, since all his characters did and it was inconceivable to me at the time (I was 18) that any I'm pretty sure the novella "A Smart Cunt" was in here. Though I have zero recollection of it now, at the time I read that I thought it was brilliant, and because I was bored on vacation in London with nothing better to do, I wrote what I believe was the only fan letter to an author I've ever sent, telling him this. And he wrote me back! In my letter, I'd asked him if he actually listened to techno music, since all his characters did and it was inconceivable to me at the time (I was 18) that anyone -- especially a writer who'd written something I liked -- would do this (later on in that trip I realized that nearly everyone on that side of the Atlantic listened to techno music, and that in fact they PLAYED IT on the RADIO). Welsh replied, in a letter postmarked from Hawaii, that he did indeed listen to techno music. He also answered whatever other stupid questions I asked him, which I don't remember now. Somewhat disappointingly, his letter was not written in an incomprehensible Scottish dialect, and in fact was easy to read. Anyway, I remember really being crazy about "A Smart Cunt," and the rest of this not being much to write home about, but having its moments. I think it's at the beginning of the first story where the guy goes to some other country or something and another guy from that other place is flipping him shit about being an imperialist, and the guy's like, "I'M from SCOTLAND, we're STILL COLONIZED, leave me ALONE, jerkface!" For some reason, that always kind of stuck with me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rupert Dreyfus

    I really enjoyed these stories. Like a lot of Welsh's work, the language and the settings capture something really special which is why I've decided to bump it up from 3 stars to 4 stars as 3 would be unjustifiable. I felt waves of nostalgia when reading certain reference points which I've only come to appreciate when penning this review (it's got a very late '80s feel). And the Scots dialect in written form is what makes it for me; I could read it all day. Some people may see this as a bit of a I really enjoyed these stories. Like a lot of Welsh's work, the language and the settings capture something really special which is why I've decided to bump it up from 3 stars to 4 stars as 3 would be unjustifiable. I felt waves of nostalgia when reading certain reference points which I've only come to appreciate when penning this review (it's got a very late '80s feel). And the Scots dialect in written form is what makes it for me; I could read it all day. Some people may see this as a bit of a pain because it takes some getting used to (for example got is spelled "goat" so it can throw you a little bit). But it's just like visiting Glasgow; at first you can't understand a fucking word being said all around you and then you force yourself to lock horns with it. And before you know it, you're fluent in Glaswegian... My only gripe here is that the territory is a bit narrow. If there was just a bit of variety in perspectives, I would've given it five stars. I appreciate that Welsh is at home when writing about junkies and dropouts, but the occasional surprise would have done this collection some favours. That negative I've pointed is not that significant. It was enjoyable and I need to reread his other work and tick off those books which I'm yet to wade through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia Zamfir

    The Acid House is a collection of short stories, with each story featuring a new set of characters and scenarios. I am a fan of Irvine Welsh's works so I really enjoyed this one. Welsh's characters are edgy; society's dregs, hard-luck losers pinned to seediness by their own low expectations. The short stories are full of the characthers' nihilism and self-absortion, violence and twisted/black humour. Reading these stories will also give you a vintage, '80s feeling. It kinda resembles Trainspotti The Acid House is a collection of short stories, with each story featuring a new set of characters and scenarios. I am a fan of Irvine Welsh's works so I really enjoyed this one. Welsh's characters are edgy; society's dregs, hard-luck losers pinned to seediness by their own low expectations. The short stories are full of the characthers' nihilism and self-absortion, violence and twisted/black humour. Reading these stories will also give you a vintage, '80s feeling. It kinda resembles Trainspotting, but a lil bit darker and more comic. It also involves lots of drugs, I mean, hey... it's an Irvine Welsh book! Here's one passage I really enjoyed; There's a story in which in only one day, Boab is kicked out of the football team, his parents' house, his job and his girlfriend's life. After he's arrested and beaten up, he meets God in a pub, who turns him into a bluebottle. Here goes God's line, written of course in the characteristic scottish dialect: 'That cunt Nietzsche wis wide ay the mark whin he said I wis deid,' God tells him. 'Ah'm no deid; ah jist dinnae gie a fuck.'

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Let me say that Irvine Welsh is my all time favorite author. Books such as Trainspotting and Ecstasy are pinnacles of modern fiction (alright, not so modern anymore, I guess). His stories are always insane, his characters flawed but wonderful, and the usage of Scottish vernacular is the coolest way books have been written since A Clockwork Orange. The Acid House is a hit and miss short story collection. Don't get me wrong; probably half the stories are brilliant, as usual. Sadly, the other half Let me say that Irvine Welsh is my all time favorite author. Books such as Trainspotting and Ecstasy are pinnacles of modern fiction (alright, not so modern anymore, I guess). His stories are always insane, his characters flawed but wonderful, and the usage of Scottish vernacular is the coolest way books have been written since A Clockwork Orange. The Acid House is a hit and miss short story collection. Don't get me wrong; probably half the stories are brilliant, as usual. Sadly, the other half can be boring, pointless and at some points fucked up, even for Irvine Welsh. Overall, I'd say this book is definitely a must for people already hooked on Welsh's writings. For others just poking around for an approachable read, or looking to get into Irvine Welsh, I wouldn't recommend this be your start. Read this book, definitely, but once you're used to Irvine Welsh and know what to expect. Otherwise, this may just seem to be a big flubbery mess with it's obvious brilliance scattered about, when really, it's a great, quirky collection of some very odd stories. Highlights: The Granton Star Cause, The Acid House, Vat '96, The Last Resort on the Adriatic, Snuff

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rawlings

    This is the fucking tops, a collection of stories delving into the depravity and disillusionment of post-Thatcher Scotland. The misfortunes are of a people inherently unprofitable, without place in the neo-liberal hell scape they are emerging into. Their past times are primarily drugs, sex and avoiding work. If the Tories were to write a book describing what they thought a so-called 'underclass' would be like, it might turn out something like this, but devoid of Welsh's wit and mastery of dialec This is the fucking tops, a collection of stories delving into the depravity and disillusionment of post-Thatcher Scotland. The misfortunes are of a people inherently unprofitable, without place in the neo-liberal hell scape they are emerging into. Their past times are primarily drugs, sex and avoiding work. If the Tories were to write a book describing what they thought a so-called 'underclass' would be like, it might turn out something like this, but devoid of Welsh's wit and mastery of dialect. The short stories range from the realistic to the ridiculous, employing a wide, albeit largely the same, cast of downtrodden, drug addicts. Madonna blethers with Kylie Minogue about shagging blokes from Leith, brains switch bodies and God exercises catharsis. However, that's not to say the realistic stories don't stand side-by-side with them, drug addled frenzies more than compensate, on top of a scathing social commentary which leaves no shit unturned. In fact, the resounding pessimism and dissatisfaction with courses through these stories has persisted until today. The plight we face is the same, in a way that's a hallmark of all the great writers of Generation X, in that they accurately identified the dystopia they lived in, novelised it, sold it to Hollywood, then did fuck all else. See: Ellis, Palahniuk. But I don't mean to rant, it's not Welsh's fault, in fact he sums up a political thesis of sorts in the short story Smart Cunt: "I'm thinking, what can I do, really do for the emancipation of working people in this country, shat on by the rich, tied into political inaction... The answer is a resounding fuck all... "I think I'll stick to drugs to get me through the long, dark night of late capitalism." That's then what the book is, a long stare in a mirror, then doing a line off it. I rate it ten out of ten.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Denise E.

    A number of dank and torrid tales of wrongdoing. Irvine Welsh says, if you don't get to the bottom of things, are you really alive? I mean society being what it is, isn't the sensible man's response to go insane? Well, I don't know, Welsh - your philosophy is debatable but your prose is stunning. My favorites here are a "The Granton Star Cause," an even more acrid retelling of The Metamorphosis, "Eurotrash," which remains to be savored like a putrid aftertaste of something that goes down delecta A number of dank and torrid tales of wrongdoing. Irvine Welsh says, if you don't get to the bottom of things, are you really alive? I mean society being what it is, isn't the sensible man's response to go insane? Well, I don't know, Welsh - your philosophy is debatable but your prose is stunning. My favorites here are a "The Granton Star Cause," an even more acrid retelling of The Metamorphosis, "Eurotrash," which remains to be savored like a putrid aftertaste of something that goes down delectable but is poisonous at the core. And a Smart something. The latter one is a retelling, I think of a minor character's viewpoint from Trainspotting, but it completely stands on its own - and is at base a devastating chronicle of ineptitude and depravity and loneliness that makes you feel for the character, not just go along for the dark and vicarious thrills. I'm hooked (or maybe that is what Welsh intended). As others have said on here, the stories get a little repetitive because all the characters are fairly of a kind... and there is not much empathy or redemption. But that's all right - nothing wrong with a specific vision as long as it's this amusing and relentless.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book made me laugh so much. It's a bunch of short stories and there are two that really stuck out for me. In one a guy drops acid and ends up switching bodies with a baby (or thinking he did, I can't remember). The baby with his adult brain gets off on breast feeding and watching his parents have sex. The Adult with the baby brain ends up in the hospital drooling all over himself. His girlfriends visits him and everyone thinks he is messed up from the acid. The second story that really stuc This book made me laugh so much. It's a bunch of short stories and there are two that really stuck out for me. In one a guy drops acid and ends up switching bodies with a baby (or thinking he did, I can't remember). The baby with his adult brain gets off on breast feeding and watching his parents have sex. The Adult with the baby brain ends up in the hospital drooling all over himself. His girlfriends visits him and everyone thinks he is messed up from the acid. The second story that really stuck out for me was about a guy who turned into a fly. He had to watch all his friends and family as "a fly on the wall". Among other things he ended up watching his mom ram his dad up the ass with a big dildo. I won't tell you how it ends. So yeah it was a funny book. Probably my favorite by Irvine Welsh other than Trainspotting. This is also a movie for you lazies. The guy who plays spud in Trainspotting plays the guy in this who trades bodies with the baby.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Varvara

    «There’s always more, always more of this fuckin shite to get through. It never ends. They say it gets easier to handle the older you get. I hope so. I hope tae fuck. »

  10. 5 out of 5

    Redfox5

    I was disappointed when I cracked this open to find that it was a collection of short stories. I did not realise this at the time I put this on my wishlist. I'm not a massive fan of short stories. They tend to be dull and have this unfinishedness about them. I read them all anyways and while some were better than others (The Granton Star Cause) most of them were not that interesting. Also really disliked 'Disnae Matter' because this included one of my biggest pet hates, when people say Disneyla I was disappointed when I cracked this open to find that it was a collection of short stories. I did not realise this at the time I put this on my wishlist. I'm not a massive fan of short stories. They tend to be dull and have this unfinishedness about them. I read them all anyways and while some were better than others (The Granton Star Cause) most of them were not that interesting. Also really disliked 'Disnae Matter' because this included one of my biggest pet hates, when people say Disneyland when they mean Disney World. This winds me up massively!(Big Disney fan!). And none of that story had any ring of truth to it. There is alot of Scottish dialect here which can be hard to read but is amazing to try and read out loud, in my terrible Scottish accent....which tends to drift into Scouse and Welsh. But if you've read Trainspotting you will be prepared for this. I wouldn't read this again, but if you liked Trainspotting, don't mind short stories and have a fondness for the word cunt. Then you might like this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JK

    Another wee collection of short stories! I'm really getting through these this year. I realised two stories into this that I had already read it as a teenager, but I'd forgotten almost everything that happened in the stories, so it wasn't a great loss. In true Irvine Welsh fashion, everything about this collection is vile, dark, disturbing and vomit-inducing. It really is spit your dinner out material, but it grips you unbelievably hard. Welsh explores a lot of different themes and styles here, it Another wee collection of short stories! I'm really getting through these this year. I realised two stories into this that I had already read it as a teenager, but I'd forgotten almost everything that happened in the stories, so it wasn't a great loss. In true Irvine Welsh fashion, everything about this collection is vile, dark, disturbing and vomit-inducing. It really is spit your dinner out material, but it grips you unbelievably hard. Welsh explores a lot of different themes and styles here, it's a good expression of his various literary abilities. There were some particularly insane sections that did make me wonder for a while what actually goes on in that baldy head of his, but his style is intriguing more than anything else. His characters are, as always, flawed and vicious, but mostly wonderful. I do love it when characters from Welsh's other novels make an appearance, this time Spud from Trainspotting cropping up in the novella A Smart Cunt. Twisted as he may be, Welsh remains one of my favourite authors, and going back to some of his older works helps to remind me of this. I'd recommend this to anyone who can handle something that's on the wrong side of macabre.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Colin N.

    In "the Acid House" Welsh once again exposes the vibrant, crass, depressing, and violent sex and drug-filled underbelly of Scotland. The majority of these stories are excellent, very few feel like filler. Welsh also takes a number of risks, moving away from stories narrated by junkies and pimps and focusing on other troubled members of society (an old man missing his wife, a movie-fanatic loner), although the junky stories are there too, most notably the novella at the end. Welsh also plays arou In "the Acid House" Welsh once again exposes the vibrant, crass, depressing, and violent sex and drug-filled underbelly of Scotland. The majority of these stories are excellent, very few feel like filler. Welsh also takes a number of risks, moving away from stories narrated by junkies and pimps and focusing on other troubled members of society (an old man missing his wife, a movie-fanatic loner), although the junky stories are there too, most notably the novella at the end. Welsh also plays around with form, and while these experiments don't always work completely, they are often interesting. A few stories veer toward the surreal (a man turns into a fly, the soul of a baby and a junky switch) and these stories are quite funny and surprisingly work as well. Enjoyable read. Definitely Welsh moving outside of his comfort level to create some surprisingly touching stories, while also providing a dose of the expected wit, anger, and craziness of his writing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I had watched trainspotting as a teenager and had prematurly assumed that Irvine Welsh was a genius. I picked up Acid House and was quickly discouraged. His characterization was there, and better than what I witnessed in the films. The characters unfortunatly stand on a blank canvas. The stories were bland, shocking and disqusting, but still bland. I would have given it one star except for a feeling I get, that the stories weren't written for me. I feel like if I lived my life in some dusty Scot I had watched trainspotting as a teenager and had prematurly assumed that Irvine Welsh was a genius. I picked up Acid House and was quickly discouraged. His characterization was there, and better than what I witnessed in the films. The characters unfortunatly stand on a blank canvas. The stories were bland, shocking and disqusting, but still bland. I would have given it one star except for a feeling I get, that the stories weren't written for me. I feel like if I lived my life in some dusty Scottish town, then the stories would be more relatable, and then prehaps his works would be absolute genius.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Polley

    This is literally one of the worse books I have ever read. It is a collection of short stories although some of the characters are the same and they all seem to be vaguely connected. Every other word is a swear word and it adds nothing to the story. I struggled to see how anyone could enjoy these stories. I was very disappointed as although I have not read Trainspotting, I have heard very good things about it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Simon Hollway

    Belting banter from the master of the smack house jive. Short stories, in my shallow experience, are all inept foreplay and frustrating fizzle. However, Mr Welsh' are based on the heroin binary code which has a pronounced craven start, an abrupt finish and a delicious intermezzo. The novella included here, 'A Smart Cunt', is worth the entry price alone. Belting banter from the master of the smack house jive. Short stories, in my shallow experience, are all inept foreplay and frustrating fizzle. However, Mr Welsh' are based on the heroin binary code which has a pronounced craven start, an abrupt finish and a delicious intermezzo. The novella included here, 'A Smart Cunt', is worth the entry price alone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nate D

    A whole mess of fairly standard-issue Irvine Welsh stories which, 3 years later, have not really stuck with me. Never boring, however.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Trivelli

    The Acid House was my introduction to the depraved Scotland of Irvine Welsh. His writing is so strong and so powerful that my internal monologue adopted his accent/slang. It’s that good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelliann Gomez

    I think this is a fantastic intro to Irvine Welsh's writing style, especially for getting used to the Scotts English dialogue. It's not as overwhelming as I found Trainspotting to be, but I feel like after reading this, Trainspotting will be much more enjoyable and easier to understand. I've also been on a short story kick, and this was perfect. The stories were short, brutal, and captivating. I think this is a fantastic intro to Irvine Welsh's writing style, especially for getting used to the Scotts English dialogue. It's not as overwhelming as I found Trainspotting to be, but I feel like after reading this, Trainspotting will be much more enjoyable and easier to understand. I've also been on a short story kick, and this was perfect. The stories were short, brutal, and captivating.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Iain

    Unhinged and hilarious. The second story Eurotrash knocked me on my ass and it only gets better from there. Highly reccomend this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    anastasia tasou

    Dark, twisted, weird and sometimes surreal short stories. Fun to read if you’re an Irvine Welsh fan already.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Martin Boyle

    Generally I have enjoyed reading Irvine Welsh. I don't know whether the limitations of a life under Covid-19 did it, but this collection of short stories and a novella did begin to feel a bit repetitive. The short stories are generally good - imaginative twists and clever depictions within the environment that Welsh has made his own. But the environment is, I suggest, the problem: the stories might have surprises and clear identity, but I felt at various stages that another staging would be welco Generally I have enjoyed reading Irvine Welsh. I don't know whether the limitations of a life under Covid-19 did it, but this collection of short stories and a novella did begin to feel a bit repetitive. The short stories are generally good - imaginative twists and clever depictions within the environment that Welsh has made his own. But the environment is, I suggest, the problem: the stories might have surprises and clear identity, but I felt at various stages that another staging would be welcome. A junkie business executive or senior politician might break the pattern a bit. As might a non-drug user struggling to keep afloat in a tough and pitiless world without money to pay the rent. However, I knew what I was in for, so it's my own fault. I hope that I haven't overdosed on Welsh's writing to a point of not wanting more, but another time I think I might attack his short stories with breaks in between to allow a bit of escapism to sneak through available cracks in the grim reality of his drug-fueled world.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    The book The Acid House is not what you would expect to be in a book and that's why I would give it a four out of five. The combination of vulgar and satire theme compliment each other in every short story. Even though some of the stories are two pages long they will satisfy you in the end and make you want to read the next story. The mixture of vulgar and a satire theme is the most amusing part of this book. The author uses lots of harsh words throughout the story that really gives you a descr The book The Acid House is not what you would expect to be in a book and that's why I would give it a four out of five. The combination of vulgar and satire theme compliment each other in every short story. Even though some of the stories are two pages long they will satisfy you in the end and make you want to read the next story. The mixture of vulgar and a satire theme is the most amusing part of this book. The author uses lots of harsh words throughout the story that really gives you a description of the characters and what they are like. Most of the people in this book are lowlife people who hold a dark secret that you will learn at the end of the story . In this book the author has set most of the stories in a scottish theme. So most of the characters will use words with different variations of them. I like this because I feel like it really paints a picture for the reader and you can get a better description of what the character looks like. This book can have very short chapters so you always feel like you're accomplishing something. There is a story called Vat that is only two pages long. Even though this is really short you still get that satisfying feeling of completing a story and in my opinion that story is one of my favorites. Because the stories are so short you want to keep reading the next short story and I feel that that is what people want in a book. In conclusion The Acid House deserves a solid four out of five stars. The combination of vulgar language and actions along with the satire theme is what holds this book so high. With a funny reading style of the Scottish language is really amusing and the short stories fly by quickly making you want to read the next one

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miss Michael

    I'm between three and four stars on this one. I picked it up because I wanted to read more from Welsh. I didn't actually know anything about it, so I was surprised to find it was a collection of short stories and one novella. I enjoyed that aspect; we get to see Welsh explore different themes and styles. Not everything is set in the reality we know. I was unsurprised to find the same vice-filled characters I expect from Welsh after reading Trainspotting. My opinion of the collection was tepid unt I'm between three and four stars on this one. I picked it up because I wanted to read more from Welsh. I didn't actually know anything about it, so I was surprised to find it was a collection of short stories and one novella. I enjoyed that aspect; we get to see Welsh explore different themes and styles. Not everything is set in the reality we know. I was unsurprised to find the same vice-filled characters I expect from Welsh after reading Trainspotting. My opinion of the collection was tepid until I reached the novella at the end, titled "A Smart Cunt." A few Trainspotting characters (most memorably, Spud) appear as peripheral characters in this piece. For the novella, our narrator is Brian, a character that has his vices, yes, and does reprehensible things, but we get inside his head and see his emotions(yes, emotions!) more than the other characters. Initially, he seems to be the same apathetic substance abuser we would expect, but I was really able to see a clearer character arc then in the other stories or in Trainspotting. We get to see his motivations. Because of this, I think Brian is easier to relate to than many of Welsh's other characters. This in turn, makes the story really approachable, in spite of the rather abrasive title.

  24. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    I'm becoming more and more convinced that Welsh created himself out of the ashes of some weird, drug-driven orgy between the guys from "A Clockwork Orange" and the great satirist tradition that begins somewhere in post-Ice Age Europe with recent high points being Monty Python and Tobias Funke and whose end, despite the best efforts of many, is hopefully in the far-flung future. All these stories collected in this collection are good, but the few that really stand out make it worth reading all of I'm becoming more and more convinced that Welsh created himself out of the ashes of some weird, drug-driven orgy between the guys from "A Clockwork Orange" and the great satirist tradition that begins somewhere in post-Ice Age Europe with recent high points being Monty Python and Tobias Funke and whose end, despite the best efforts of many, is hopefully in the far-flung future. All these stories collected in this collection are good, but the few that really stand out make it worth reading all of them. The title story is just outstanding: a lightning strike switches the soul of acid-tripping Coco Bryce with a newborn baby. "A Smart Cunt", a logical extension of "Trainspotting" and whose narrator is largely indistinguishable from Mark Renton, is supreme as well, with it's look at crime, death, and shitting on other people's faces. "The Granton Star Cause" is the other genius standout: Boab Coyle meets a drunken, angry God in a pub and gets turned into a housefly as punishment, but also to act as God's instrument against shitty people. Wonderful!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    The Acid House was published less than a year after Welsh's dynamic debut Trainspotting, and it possesses the same energy and freshness. These tales are equally hilarious and disturbing, and a few of them - including the title story, where God turns the protagonist into a housefly - are prime examples of transgressive fiction at its most bizarre and most creative. My favourite stories in this collection are: 'Eurotrash', 'The Last Resort on the Adriatic'(Surprisingly moving, demonstrating the sh The Acid House was published less than a year after Welsh's dynamic debut Trainspotting, and it possesses the same energy and freshness. These tales are equally hilarious and disturbing, and a few of them - including the title story, where God turns the protagonist into a housefly - are prime examples of transgressive fiction at its most bizarre and most creative. My favourite stories in this collection are: 'Eurotrash', 'The Last Resort on the Adriatic'(Surprisingly moving, demonstrating the sheer class of variety on offer in this collection), 'The House of John Deaf', 'Snowman Building Parts for Rico the Squirrel' and the superb novella 'A Smart Cunt'. Welsh has a lot on offer here in these experimental stories. The scope of vision is admirable, as is the ambition. Examples of this can be seen with 'Sexual Disaster Quartet', 'Across the Hall' and 'Snowman Building Parts for Rico the Squirrel'.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    Welsh's short stories in this collection were, as in most collections, hit or miss. I really enjoyed Snuff, The Acid House, and Eurotrash. I was also really impressed with the tone and dialect Welsh crafts in the collection's longest piece, a novella of 112 pages revolving around the stumblings of Brian, a wallowing, substance-abusing, well-meaning twenty-something. The phonetic Scots in most of the stories was often exhausting though and, as was the case with Marabou Stork Nightmares, the sheer Welsh's short stories in this collection were, as in most collections, hit or miss. I really enjoyed Snuff, The Acid House, and Eurotrash. I was also really impressed with the tone and dialect Welsh crafts in the collection's longest piece, a novella of 112 pages revolving around the stumblings of Brian, a wallowing, substance-abusing, well-meaning twenty-something. The phonetic Scots in most of the stories was often exhausting though and, as was the case with Marabou Stork Nightmares, the sheer nastiness of some of the characters and scenes definitely docked this one a star. Exposing Glasgow's underbelly for sure -- is there no "normal" Glaswegian??

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    It's very difficult to review a book of short stories (plus one novella) as it's always a mixed bag and this collection was more mixed than most, from the boring to the brilliant (in particular the novella which captured the full spectrum.) I'm not sure who I'd recommend this, too, except other Welsh fans who want a bit of all his attitudes to mull over in moments of lunacy (ya wee cunts.) It's very difficult to review a book of short stories (plus one novella) as it's always a mixed bag and this collection was more mixed than most, from the boring to the brilliant (in particular the novella which captured the full spectrum.) I'm not sure who I'd recommend this, too, except other Welsh fans who want a bit of all his attitudes to mull over in moments of lunacy (ya wee cunts.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    A bit uneven at times, as any collection will be. One of the stories contained one of the most vile tableaus I've ever read and now it is burned into my memory. I really enjoyed the novella at the end. Just a few weeks in the life of a smackhead, the goings-on and hangers-on. All in all a pretty interesting portrait of a point in time of Scotland's fringey youngsters. A bit uneven at times, as any collection will be. One of the stories contained one of the most vile tableaus I've ever read and now it is burned into my memory. I really enjoyed the novella at the end. Just a few weeks in the life of a smackhead, the goings-on and hangers-on. All in all a pretty interesting portrait of a point in time of Scotland's fringey youngsters.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Bennett

    just a mental book

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Mac

    literary gold. Every one of these short stories are a work of genius. My favourite being the tale of coco brice. whilst out of his tree on drugs, his mind, and the mind of a new born baby are swapped over, turning coco into a slobbering idiot, and the baby into a dirty wee man.

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