Book #13

A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh

A rampaging force of nature is wreaking havoc on the streets of Edinburgh, but has top shagger, drug-dealer, gonzo-porn-star and taxi-driver, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, finally met his match in Hurricane ‘Bawbag’? Can Terry discover the fate of the missing beauty, Jinty Magdalen, and keep her idiot-savant lover, the man-child Wee Jonty, out of prison? Will he find out the real motives of unscrupulous American businessman and reality-TV star, Ronald Checker? And, crucially, will Terry be able to negotiate life after a terrible event robs him of his sexual virility, and can a new fascination for the game of golf help him to live without A Decent Ride?

I live for new Welsh novels. Nothing can beat being amazed and disgusted whilst pishing yourself laughing at the same time. A Decent Ride was absolutely no exception; I loved it.

To see Welsh return to Edinburgh soil and show us more depth to a character we already know, was brilliant. Having him ferry us around in his cab, giving us the Juice Terry tour of Embra, was unbelievably barry. Terry is an incredibly flawed character, with his misogynistic way of viewing women, his penchant for sex, and his various other illegal little hobbies. Underneath all that, however, we can see a heart of gold (albeit a small one) shining through his tracky jacket.

We're introduced to a new character, Wee Jonty, Terry's terribly slow and dimwitted half-brother (or is he?). He gets himself into a number of situations ranging from the awkward to the downright macabre. Despite some of the actions he takes, you find yourself writing them off because he's such a poor wee soul. I think we all know a wee guy like Jonty, and probably none of us bother our arse about him.

The most important question underneath the narrative is, 'Who owns Scotland?'. Welsh makes some excellent, yet subtle, points here, and it's a good thought-provoker on the good-old independence question. 

Welsh is on top form here. It's hard to agree whether this is "his filthiest yet", but it's definitely up there with the pit of the stomach boke, I canny believe I'm reading this, typical Welsh prose. A decent ride, right enough.