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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Acid House Paperback – March 8, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Welsh's (Trainspotting) gritty proletarian universe, everyone from God to Madonna (the Material Girl, not the Virgin) speaks tough, working-class Scottish dialect: "That cunt Nietzsche wis wide ay the maark whin he sais ah wis deid," confides a prickly, pint-hefting Almighty in a Glasgow pub. "Ah'm no deid, ah jist dinnae gie a fuck." Nihilism and self-absorption characterize the nearly indistiguishable junkies, football hooligans and petty thieves who narrate these edgy, preponderantly first-person stories and one novella. Like fellow Scot James Kelman (whose salty vernacular Welsh's dialogue echoes), Welsh's predatory characters are society's dregs, hard-luck losers pinned to seediness by the empire's decline and by their own low expectations. The plots address this unrelenting grimness with shocking violence or twisted comedy. With the former, Welsh lacks Kelman's chilling incisiveness and tense dramatic control; he's somewhat more successful at broad satire and manic, high-concept humor. When it works, it's hilarious: "Where the Debris Meets the Sea" features inventive turnabout, as fanzines and tabloid TV programs about Scottish lorrie drivers feed the sexual fantasies of Madonna and friends. More often, though, the satire lacks teeth, descending instead to weak sarcasm. The title story's inspired premise (an acid tripping malcontent and a yuppie couple's newborn swap souls) fizzles out in conventional, trite pokes at political correctness, men's groups and upward mobility. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Wakey Wakey! says Fiona when she flips on the light in Keith's tank. Keith has no body, but his brain is alive. and what about you, dear reader? Heads up, because here is Irvine Welsh and The Acid House, a collection of brilliant energy. These stories both challenge and illuminate the darkest of human experience, leavening horror with humor and a sudden, sly compassion.” (Kathryn Harrison, author of Exposure)

“I like The Acid House immensely. Irvine Welsh is the real thing - a marvelous admixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone) and almost archetypal universality.” (David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest)

“Like a master pocket billiards player, Irvine Welsh, with smooth, gliding strokes and a shard-like humor, sinks a rack of short stories one by one, with chaotic caroms, double banks, and, most of all, extraordinary uses of tricky English.” (Jim Carroll, author of The Basketball Diaries)

“Superb. Amis and Donleavy have at last found a rightful heir.” (Terry Southern, author of Candy)

“[O]ne of the most significant writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit, and force, and in a voice which those alienated by much current fiction clearly want to hear.” (Times Literary Supplement)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (April 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312805
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ah didnae think ah'd like this eht fist...
But these stories are pock-marked all over with irony, humour and the infallible bad language and vernacular put into use by Irvine Welsh, author of that classic (which I won't name here). This book should be read without that other book looming behind it with a knife to it's back.
This is a good read, and that should be enough. But there's people out there who think it could be better, that Welshie disnae have a grasp of the short story, etc, etc... but they're all missing the point something chronic. How often do we get the lives of Eurotrash thrust into our face? Not many of us get to witness first hand a drug raid, or indeed, a baby with a dirty mind... but herein lies Welsh's appeal. See, it's funny. It's so sick that it's funny...situations we'll never get into ourselves. It'll make you squirm and grin in revulsion. Come on people, admit it to yourself. You only ever read Welsh for the kick. Don't kid yourself about what is deemed to be literature or Booker Prize material or politically correct... just enjoy it and stop your whining.
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Format: Paperback
For just the end story, "A Smart C***", The Acid House is worthwhile. Welsh is often super morbid and seriously wickedly wacky in these short stories, most of which play out a lot more like bad dreams than pristine vignettes. The closing aforementioned novella, however, is diferent. It's a surprisingly moving character study of a guy who seems to completely lack character. The guy is so totally caught up with analyzing everything surrounding him that he forgets to live. This seems to be subject matter close to Welsh's heart, and he gives it a surprisingly sympathetic treatment. The other stories range all over the place, but have enough energy to make up for a lack of direction. Gotta love Irv. You just gotta.
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Format: Paperback
Irvine Welsh novels are definitely not for everyone. He is the "champion" of the poor, uneducated urban junkies of Edinburgh (Scotland). Since he writes in the first person, his books are, in effect, stories about junkies as told by junkies. The language is vile, the stories are frequently disgusting and depraved. Yet all this shock treatment is not gratuitous; all the stories strike me as oh-too-realistic, as if Mr. Welsh has lived in the gutter with these misfits. After the shock wears off, one is generally left with a feeling of compassion for these poor addicts (there but the grace of God...).
The Acid House differs somewhat from the author's other novels. It is actually a collection of short stories, plus a novella. While remaining true to general cause (ie, the plight of the junkie), some stories are rather weak (fortunately, these stories are very short indeed). Others are most memorable, with very clever endings (..I refer you to Irvine Welsh's masterpiece, Filth, for a really good ending!).
So The Acid House is the perfect read for Irvine Welsh fans. For others, be prepared for vile language, and sometimes incomprehensible language (..Scottish dialect). And parents, don't even THINK about letting your kids touch this or any other Irvine Welsh book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the idea of short stories in one book! Sometimes it's easy to get a little distracted when reading or to have to set a book down and won't be able to get back to it in awhile. So, it's nice to get a change up every once and awhile or to be able to finish something shorter and pick it back up a little later and start something new. I got this book at a gift and can't wait to give it since it's the person's favorite author!
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Another deceptive collection of short stories that I thought was going to be a novel about LSD-25. There were some outstanding stories but I now know that I much prefer a Welsh novel to his short stories.
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Format: Paperback
This was the second book of Welsh’s that I have read, the first being of course the incomparable Trainspotting. This was a collection of short stories and a novella, some of which was along similar lines as his famous first novel, and other pieces that looked in other directions. Throughout the reader can count on Welsh’s wiseguy drollery, quick pacing, and narrative surprises. He often paints a dark picture, but the humor of a rebellious, working-class youth is never far from the surface. He sees the world in a negative light, full of backstabbing and fatuousness, but somehow that is all right – the evils of life are redeemed by the adventures and odd individuals that his characters run into.

Welsh is very devoted to the working class Scottish milieu in which he himself grew up. Most of these stories are set there or feature characters from it, and much of his work is written, Robert Burns style, in the way that the Scots speak. In fact, there is a certain type of character that is the focus is most his writing: a young, Scots male – disillusioned, fond of drink and/or drugs, an intelligent non achiever with a wiseguy attitude. Mark Renton, the hero of Trainspotting, was just such a character, as is Brian, the lead in the novella. Brian travels the same streets as Renton and his mates, and even knows a couple of the same characters. It all seems quite believable, although the level of violence and drug consumption must be a bit exaggerated. I enjoyed Brian’s story for reasons similar to why I liked "Trainspotting" – the wit, the realistic feel, the vicarious pleasures of walking on the wild side.
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