11 January 2007

another issue of the ETRB

The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh

Welsh hopes to invest the crime novel with literary pretensions and she does so in the excellent first novel. The book was a NY Times Notable Book of the Year and received lots of accolades. It can also be classified as one of the new(ish) Scottish Noir novels that give us a Caledonia of crime, grime and drunks. Cutting Room is quite good - a quick read if you care to, but
go too fast and you'll miss some of the well-crafted sentences and beautiful and darkly drawn imagery. Rilke, a somewhat shady autioneer, discovers some unseemly material in the attic of an estate his auction house has been asked to liquidate in a hurry. He seeks to get to the bottom of the graphic images he's discovered and in so doing drags us through the Glasgow antiques world via some rough figures and the still seedy side of Scottish gay life. All in all, a good read with some quite memorable characters. Nice to have a gay lead character that's not a paragon of oppressed virtue or political correctness. Welsh's second novel presumably deals with crime as well -- it's an account of Elizabethan Playwright Christopher Marlowe's last three days before his untimely death in a pub in Deptford (see also Anthony Burgess's A Dead Man In Deptford.)
My rating for The Cutting Room:

No comments: