Dead Men's Trousers by Irvine Welsh
PUBLISHED BY JONATHAN CAPE LONDON
REVIEW BY ALLY M
Disclaimer: I am Scottish and did live in Edinburgh for a while. This more than probably makes me a little bit biased on loving this book.
The plot follows the old Trainspotting gang of Renton, SickBoy, Spud and Begbie. No surprises there, with a few familiar old faces in there and a quick recap of Porno for anyone who’s not read it.
Everyone’s pushing 50 and some of the boys are faring better than others. Begbie appears to have lost the bile, hatred and psychopath tendencies, Renton is just about holding it all together, Spud’s a jakey/derro and Sickboy is still a shagger.
As with the other novels the story revolves around Renton, with each character given a chapter and a voice of their own. It starts with an act of depravity you see coming like the 950 bus with its lights on. This really disappointed me and made me think the rest of the book was just going to be ‘pish’. I’m not that big a fan of that side of Welsh’s writing (probably a bit too real for me) and I thought the book was heading down the path of Filth, which was a book that put me off Welsh’s novels for a long time.
I was wrong. The act of depravity is the catalyst for the entire story. It winds around Sickboy, encompasses Spud and brings in Renton and Begbie.
As ever, the characters are developed as the plot thickens: I still want Renton to win, Spud to finally land on his feet, Sickboy to meet his match and Begbie – well, not being quite so scary would be good. The book mainly delivers and is WAY more than just the next in the series. It’s fast, funny and warm-hearted in places, as well as the usual Hibbie-loving, drug induced, sex fuelled story you’d expect.
Loose ends from previous books are tied up and there’s hope for the future, as for a brief time the sun is shining through the rain.
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.