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If You Liked School, You'll Love Work Paperback – September 17, 2007

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Trainspotting gives a master class in gallows humor in his first story collection since The Acid House (1995). Three of the five stories take place in the U.S., and Welsh relishes punishing ugly Americans. In Rattlesnakes, a trio of vapid hedonists lost in the desert are forced to perform sexually degrading acts by an unhinged illegal immigrant, while The DOGS of Lincoln Park finds a bitchy Chicago princess throwing a hissy fit over her missing papillon, Toto, who she fears has landed in her Korean neighbor's crock pot. Page-turners both, but the characters are too easily satirized. More likable is the narrator of Miss Arizona, an aspiring auteur whose interviews with his filmmaker hero's ex-wife turn increasingly creepy. Welsh shines in the title story, about an ex-pat skirt-chasing bar owner in the Canary Islands, and the novella, The Kingdom of Fife, set in a glum Scotland town. Narrative duties in the last are shared by wee Jason King, a former jockey and current compulsive masturbator and table football champion, and Jenni Cahill, a horse jumper and local gangster's daughter. That a story featuring a gruesome decapitation, dogfighting, equine death and rampant wanking can produce such an amiable effect is testament to Welsh's delightful degeneracy. (Sept.)
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Review

"Vigorous, stunningly funny...whimsical, warm, surreal, grotesque and brilliant" Guardian "Irvine Welsh is a terrific mimic... This collection of stories is a chorus of voices - rude, rough, discordant, filthy and often very, very funny. It's a pleasure to watch him larking about with the language... Brilliant" The Times "This new collection is a rambunctious return to the glory days of Trainspotting... Dazzlingly diverse... Sick and vigorous, written with Welsh's inimitable in-yer-face energy" Sunday Telegraph "This smutty, macabre collection exudes a compelling energy" Daily Mail "Scary, erotic and extremely funny" Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (September 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039333077X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393330779
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, Marabou Stork Nightmares, The Acid House, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work, The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs and Reheated Cabbage. He divides his time between Florida, Ireland, and Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Burns on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Mr. Welsh's work, it displays an exuberance and lust for language that's intoxicating. IF YOU LIKED SCHOOL...is a bit of a misfire, a collection of stories of uneven quality. The problem is, the author decided to set some of his tales in America and tried to adopt or, more rightly, imitate American speech patterns and accents. The weakest story, "Miss Arizona" is particularly guilty of this offense and the resolution to this tale is so weak, predictable and derivative,you wonder what the writer was thinking. The closing novella, "Kingdom of Fife", finds the author back on familiar ground, hobnobbing with losers and thugs and sex maniacs, the brogue so thick and heavy it's like reading CANTERBURY TALES in the original Olde English (and nearly as rewarding). "Fife" is vintage Irvine Welsh--he's not posing or pretending, he's telling it like it is, the only way he knows how.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margarine Hype on March 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews here, this is not bad stuff at all, it is typical Irvine Welsh work, not bad at all. If you know what to expect from Welsh, then you should be pleased with the works here.

These short stories are pretty fantastic, especially the opener "Rattlesnakes", a Welsh classic. As for the rest, I am partial to "DOGS of Licoln Park, because being from the Chicagoland area, he captures the setting phenominally, especially considering he is from over-seas.

Overall, this is not his best work (read "Filth", or "Trainspotting", especially if you are a Welsh virgin), but it deserves more acclaim than the harsh reviews laid out here. His novels are better??? Fact. But for 9/10 authors most reviewers will say the same thing. For some reason people just don't gravitate towards the short story anymore, and thats a shame. Give it a try.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Fuchs VINE VOICE on April 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Irvine Welsh means to shock, but usually there is a point to it all. Previously, he's written short stories about such cheery subjects as armless, grown-up Thalidomide babies using chainsaws to cut off the arms of the people that created Thalidomide, and a guy who, after he's been fired, his girlfriend has dumped him and his parents have at long last kicked him out, gets turned into a fly by God and as a fly wreaks revenge on those who have wronged him, along the way seeing such things as his mother doing unto his father with a strap-on. But even those stories contain Welsh's trademark humor and observations about society. So what has happened to Irvine Welsh?

The first story, about a road trip gone horribly wrong, is a set-up in search of a story. There's no point, there isn't an ending, and the racial stereotyping is offensive even for Irvine Welsh. The second story, about a bar owner in the Bahamas who treats women as disposable, is really long and has no apparent point. After that, I pretty much gave up. No humor, no real commentary on life... not even anything particularly shocking. More Howard Stern than Irvine Welsh and not worth the bother even if you're an Irvine Welsh fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Duda on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Irvine Welsh is known for his chemical romance genre novels and short stories. These narratives are both tragic, comedic, and as strange as any trip taken by an unreconstructed hippie or soccer hooligan. Even if you are not familiar with the drug milieu, the detailed and developed characters will feel all too real.

Enjoy anything written by this author and include this work in your library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lisamarch on January 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had looked for this book at libraries for a long time and finally decided to buy it. I have not read anything by Welsh before and so had expectations besides that the title was funny. I enjoyed these stories/novells and for the most part was sad when each ended. But looking back, was it wonderful writing? No. It was good writing, but uneven.
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I liked the book. The stories fly by. To those who stated the stories are slow, I disagree. I do believe that the first story was leading up to a point (unlike what others said) the point (spoiler alert) that the young lady sees the footballer as the high school crush that she now has under her spell but no actual attraction to. The male friend she's attracted to seems actually outed to the snake bite victim as gay. And the young girl likes the guy (who may be gay). Bascially they all show internal dialogue that they are all on different pages in a confused love triangle. Yes the story is graphic and the men holding them at gunpoint seems to be leading up to a story climax that never happens (tongue in cheek). In general the rest of the stories are more realistic and engaging. I do believe that Welsh has a difficult time writing American characters without going to stereotypes (so I am subtracting 1/2 a star) and I believe that there was loss in the story plot when writing American characters without his typical scot dialect (subtract another 1/2 star). I really wanted to read the Bedroom Secrets book but with teens in the house the cover is quite graphic and would be really not something I would want in my hand in public! (keep the covers more socially acceptable please). I have read most of Welsh's books and I do agree that if you are new to his books stick with Trainspotting or Marabou Stork Nightmare(as that one I have re-read several times and always happy with it)!
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