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An epic novel about the bonds of friendship from the author of Trainspotting.
The story of four boys growing up in the Edinburgh projects, Glue is about the loyalties, the experiences, and the secrets that hold friends together through three decades. The boys become men: Juice Terry, the work-shy fanny-merchant, with corkscrew curls and sticky fingers; Billy the boxer, driven, controlled, playing to his strengths; Carl, the Milky Bar Kid, drifting along to his own soundtrack; and the doomed Gally, exceedingly thin-skinned and vulnerable to catastrophe at every turn. We follow their lives from the seventies into the new century—from punk to techno, from speed to E. Their mutual loyalty is fused in street morality: Back up your mates, don't hit women, and, most important, never snitch—on anyone. Glue has the Irvine Welsh trademarks—crackling dialogue, scabrous set pieces, and black, black humor—but it is also a grown-up book about growing up—about the way we live our lives, and what happens to us when things become unstuck. "Stocked with his usual quirky, sympathetic characters, this rollicking new tale sparkles with the writer's trademark satiric wit. Its heft and narrative breadth should convince any remaining skeptics that Welsh—now effectively the grand old man of in-your-face Scottish fiction—is a writer to be taken seriously."—Publishers Weekly starred review
ears now and Galloway’s eyes are like big, black, satellite dishes focused on me. Ah get a touch paranoid that one ay the Brook girls telt Terry the story, so ah decide that honesty’s the best policy. — Naw, they came back tae mine, the pair ay them, one night eftir Fluid. — Aye, that bird certainly spilt some Fluid ower you that night, Gally goes. Terry’s smile’s like a blast-furnace. — Aye, well ah goat ma ain back for ye mate, cause ah spilt some in her, eh tells us. The thing is, ye ken
Ewart, white-trash schemie. But they liked N-SIGN. N-SIGN’s played at warehoose perties in London, raised funds for anti-racist groups, aw sorts ay deserving community organisations. They love N-SIGN. They’ll never, ever get thir heids roond the fact that the only difference between Carl Ewart and N-SIGN is that one worked liftin boxes in a warehoose for nae money while the other played records in one fir tons ay it. That they choose tae treat the two so different tells ye a loat mair aboot thaim
more and more in everyday conversation. He knew that it irritated and alienated his mates. It was just showboating, as he could express the same concepts adequately enough in words that were common currency. Then he thought, fuck it, am ah no allowed tae have new words? It seemed such a self-defeating cultural constraint. But this was really irrelevant as he was mainly angry because he was Billy ‘Business’ Birrell’s brother. Being ‘Business’ Birrell’s brother carried certain burdens of
pubs, and they were all looking for the car that had run over Gally, trying to work out which way it had went. Nobody thought to look up to the Bridge. Then I’m standing in what I think is silence, but they all look at me like I’ve been hurt, like I’m bleeding badly and Terry comes over and shakes me like I’m a wee bairn, and it’s only then that I realise that I’ve been screaming. Billy’s jist holdin Gally and sayin softly, wi a sad tenderness I’ve never heard before or since from anybody, —
it’s the softly-softly approach. — This is the third time that’s happened to me, ah explain, tryin tae keep a smirk oaf ma face. — The last place ah started in only went n caught fire. The one before it hud tae shut wi flood damage. Ah’m starting tae think ah’m cursed! The flood damage one wis for Italia ’90 back in the summer thaire. Aye, ah’m really gaunny sit in a piazza n Rome, surrounded by fine vino and grade-A fanny when ah could be workin in the blazin hoat kitchen ay a restaurant at