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Marabou Stork Nightmares (1997)

Marabou Stork Nightmares (1997)

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3.81 of 5 Votes: 5
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0393315630 (ISBN13: 9780393315639)
w. w. norton & company

About book Marabou Stork Nightmares (1997)

Irvine Welsh was the literary hero among my generation of working-class Central Belt Scots for his graphic novels set in Edinburgh sink estates, riddled with sex, drugs, violence, and written in dextrously rendered phonetic dialect. I avoided reading Welsh, since a witless moron at my school rated Trainspotting his favourite book, and thereafter I associated him readers who would read his books to laugh at the banter of the characters, misunderstanding Welsh’s more sober intentions to expose the shocking lives of fear and misery at the heart of places like the scheme in this novel, revelling instead in the casual hedonism aspect. Plus, I have never felt Scottish enough for Scots-centric books to speak to me. This, Welsh’s overlooked second novel, is an interesting experiment in the old coma-patient narrative, weaving a surreal/metaphorical tale of African Marabou stork-hunting around the protagonist Roy Strang’s upbringing in Edinburgh and South Africa, and his adult life as a football thug. A devastating gang rape forms the moral kernel of the novel and Welsh excels in particular in the scenes of tense horror and violence, and is less successful with the surreal humour. Smaller font size and various typographical quirks are employed to reasonable effect (with nods to Hubert Selby), although the overall product is somewhat muddled in its response to the rape (pushing into didactic repentance towards the novel’s faux-shocking over-the-top finale).

Turns out that Irvine Welsh is not a one-trick pony, he's a one and a half trick pony. He wowed us all with his filthy funny tales of Scottish smackheads in Trainspotting, one of the ALL time black comedies, they don't come any blacker or funnier, and then it was kind of - follow that. So this one does involve similar young Scottish druggies, but it has a plot, which emerges in a similar manner to the spring in Monty Python's Spring Surprise from the Crunchy Frog sketch :Health inspector: What's this one, 'spring surprise'? Mr Milton the confectioner: Ah - now, that's our speciality - covered with darkest creamy chocolate. When you pop it in your mouth steel bolts spring out and plunge straight through-both cheeks. Health inspector: Well where's the pleasure in that? So Marabou Stork Nightmares is recommended for those who like their fiction to pierce both cheeks.

Do You like book Marabou Stork Nightmares (1997)?

This was a good book but I was disapointed with the end. Come on who would of thought that he would almost come out of the acoma but the girl that his friends raped(even though he didn't) would cut off his dick and then shove in down his throat. very very disapointed

Its a difficult book to explain without giving the game away too much or making it sound a bit more superficial than I think it actually is.So, we have an instantly dislikeable narrator who is telling his story from a hospital bed whilst in a coma. He's flitting between levels of consciousness, seemingly at will, to avoid what's going on around him but also to avoid the depths of his psyche which takes the form of an African adventure in search of the Marabou Stork. Yep. Not what I was expecting either.It's an engrossing exploration of the cycle of abuse and poverty among many other socio-economic issues, placed in a narrative which we can never quite trust. Blame is also an interesting theme here. Are people who do bad things simply making a choice to be evil or is there more to it than that in which case who's fault is it?I liked it. I'm not a huge fan of other Irvine Welsh novels so if like me, you'd given up on Porno and Trainspotting, don't give up on Irvine Welsh altogether and give this one a go.
°™Vicky Parkinson

Irvine Welsh is sometimes hard for me to read; his characters are the kind of people you know exist in the world, but you wish they didn't. There are no heroes (well, sometimes there's an antihero), and the protagonist is usually the character you come to hate the most. That being said, however, his books are always powerful, always disturbing, and always very well written. If you can't handle gratuitous violence, these are not the books for you. If you sometimes like a book that makes you want to scream and laugh at the same time, you might like these. I still haven't read Trainspotting, although I enjoyed the movie... maybe I'll get up the nerve sometime.

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