Reheated Cabbage: Tales of Chemical Degeneration

Reheated Cabbage: Tales of Chemical Degeneration

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by Irvine Welsh
     
 

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Never-collected tales, including outrageous early stories from the Trainspotting years, plus a raucous new novella.Reheated Cabbage gathers stories showcasing Irvine Welsh’s trademark skills: vaulting imagination, brilliant vernacular ear, scabrous humor, and the ability to create some of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction. You can

Overview

Never-collected tales, including outrageous early stories from the Trainspotting years, plus a raucous new novella.Reheated Cabbage gathers stories showcasing Irvine Welsh’s trademark skills: vaulting imagination, brilliant vernacular ear, scabrous humor, and the ability to create some of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction. You can enjoy Christmas dinner with Begbie at his Ma’s and see how he greets his sister’s boyfriend and news of their engagement. You’ll discover in “The Rosewell Incident” why aliens speak hardcore Scots English and plan to put Midlothian roughs in charge of the planet. And you’ll be delighted to welcome back “Juice” Terry Lawson and now internationally famous DJ Carl Ewart, and watch them as they meet an old nemesis, retired schoolmaster Albert Black, under the strobe lights of a Miami Beach nightclub. These stories, most first published in small magazines and out-of-print anthologies, are all wildly offbeat and will delight both fans of and newcomers to Welsh’s world.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
The lilting Scottish dialect, appalling scenarios, and high humor make for a totally entertaining collection.— Joanne Wilkinson
Joanne Wilkinson - Booklist
“The lilting Scottish dialect, appalling scenarios, and high humor make for a totally entertaining collection.”
Publishers Weekly
Welsh returns to the world of drug-ingesting, lager-swigging and “fitba”-loving Scotsmen in this hilarious collection from his Trainspotting years. The material may be old, but the slang still sings in these stories of scrappers attempting to become lords of whatever tiny domain they can conquer. There’s Trainspotting’s volatile Begbie, at his mom’s house for Christmas and trying to endure his sister’s new beau in “Elpseth’s Boyfriend.” In “A Fault on the Line,” Malky doesn’t want to let anything—not even a horrific accident—stop him from missing the kickoff of a footie match. These stories of blustering, emotionally befuddled men and the luckless women who love them also includes less traditional (for Welsh) fare, like “The Rosewell Incident,” in which an alien race learns about Earth culture from a Scottish hood, and “I Am Miami,” about a retired Scottish school teacher who runs into a pair of disgruntled former pupils in Miami. Welsh shines most brilliantly when portraying his solipsistic Scots head-butting the rock-hard ceiling in hopes of escaping, be it through booze, drugs, soccer or sex, from a violent world that offers little peace but plenty of humor. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The film Trainspotting (based on one of Welsh's short stories) is best watched with subtitles; few Americans can follow the Scottish characters' slang, accent, and speed of delivery. Welsh's fiction, of course, comes with no subtitles, and readers will have to "ken" phonetically what's happening. Welsh's scenarios flash lurid as the lights at dance clubs: a snort of drugs and haze of drinks mixed with a promise of sex. The writing's all dialog driven, and you'll be hard-pressed to find even a bare description such as "vanilla sand." We get eight stories here, seven of which are reprints from Welsh's prefame and novel-writing days. The book's title and cover art of a rat fleeing the scene should clue you in as to what to expect. The stories carry much of young men's pitfalls—violence, homophobia, and overindulgence but with a reckless, dangerous charisma. But the last story, "I Am Miami," strikes a more mature note with its aging characters reconsidering the DJ scene. VERDICT Readers of cult fiction with a specific, male, lurid sense of place—Hubert Selby Jr., Nelson Algren, or even Chuck Palahniuk—will enjoy the lacerating humor here.—Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., FL
Kirkus Reviews
A blast from the past: eight doses of Scotsploitation and ultraviolence from Welsh's poisonous pen (Crime, 2008, etc.). While the characters who populate his novels are aging far from gracefully, fans will still likely be happy to see their familiar faces in this collection of 1990s work rescued from various anthologies and now-defunct magazines. Welsh also contributes a new story, "I Am Miami," the most substantive and best-written of the lot. It demonstrates several of the author's strengths, simultaneously drawing an unkindly, realistic portrait of an aging, widowed schoolteacher, Albert Black, and disrupting his elegiac reflections with the sudden appearance of two riotous characters from Glue (2001), "Juice" Terry Lawson and Carl Ewart, now a world-famous DJ known as N-Sign. Though Black beat the boys mercilessly in school, they remember him quite differently. In a profane, hilarious exclamation, Lawson declares he always thought he'd want to give his former schoolmaster a right good kicking, but with a heroic dose of Ecstasy kicking in, he just wants to hug the old man. Drugs also figure prominently in "The State of the Party," which combines Welsh's gift for depicting the ravages of heroin use with gleefully black humor as two baked junkies play an Edinburgh-flavored version of Weekend at Bernie's with their late comrade. Another recurring cast member, psychotic Francis Begbie from Trainspotting, narrates the blasphemous "Elspeth's Boyfriend," during which Franco can't resist ruining Christmas by assaulting the titular offender. Another standout is the notorious "Catholic Guilt (You Know You Love It)," an uncomfortable parable about a homophobic street thug who gets his justdesserts. For something completely different, there's "The Rosewell Incident," a rare venture into science fiction during which aliens who adopt an Edinburgh brogue have trouble getting their point across. The stories are dated, true, but even Welsh's leftovers still have enough whiplash to leave a mark.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393338027
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/14/2009
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,133,141
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstacy, Filth (soon to be a major motion picture), Glue, Porno, and Crime, among other works. Welsh is also producing movies and writing screenplays. A native of Edinburgh, he lives in Chicago and Miami.

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