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How important is a decent ride?

Shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction

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?

A Decent Ride sees Irvine Welsh back on home turf, leaving us in the capable hands of one of his most compelling and popular characters, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, and introducing another bound for cult status, Wee Jonty MacKay: a man with the genitals and brain of a donkey.

In his funniest, filthiest book yet, Irvine Welsh celebrates an un-reconstructed misogynist hustler – a central character who is shameless but also, oddly, decent –and finds new ways of making wild comedy out of fantastically dark material, taking on some of the last taboos. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is one ride that could certainly get a little bumpy…

Reviews

Raucous, filthy and funny.

James Naughtie, Radio 4 Today Programme

Without question, our most distinguished living exponent of the so- called “excremental vision of life” — a line that goes back (to pick a few names) via James Joyce, Swift, and Ben Jonson, to Chaucer, writers who have explored what meanings of human existence are to be found in the toilet bowl.

John Sutherland, The Times

Irvine Welsh, I think it’s safe to say, is not a writer who’s mellowing with age... Welsh’s [language is an] astonishingly supple invention: one that can combine scabrousness and lyricism, comedy and ruefulness in the same paragraph... [if] you fancy an authentic and often thrilling blast of full-strength Irvine Welsh, then you’re in for a treat.

James Walton, Spectator

It's a stern reader who wouldn't fall for his filthy charm.

Sunday Telegraph

Whether your interest is piqued by the ridiculously expensive bottles of whiskey and the extraordinary lengths an American will go to own them or your heart strings are pulled by Wee Jonty’s anguished love story, there’s a multitude of ideas and human emotions that Welsh brings out among the laughter.

Claire Inman, Curious Animal Magazine

When the humour works, we can enjoy the novel for what Welsh clearly intended it to be — a luridly exuberant caper, a series of glossy and gritty snapshots. It won’t make converts out of detractors, but then one senses that a novelist like him wouldn’t want it any other way.

Malcolm Forbes, Financial Times

Welsh’s ingenuity, flair, sharp observation, and satirical talent make this not just a decent ride for the reader but an exhilarating one.

Leyla Sanai, Independent

It’s filthy and hilarious in equal measure.

Shortlist

An unashamedly indecent read. Welsh fans will love it.

Olaf Tyaransen, Hot Press

Fantastically funny and well drawn.

Keeley Bolger, UK Press Syndication

Few can match Welsh's verve for spinning a yarn, for putting you inside the minds of characters that are by turn grotesque, joyful, hilarious and – crucially – utterly compelling.

Sam Parker, Esquire

A Decent Ride, while his most comedic novel, is also his darkest.

David Whitehouse, Shortlist

More furious, filthy brilliance from Welsh.

Forever Sports

Packed with filthy charm and characters old and new, it was a comic triumph with plenty of depth through its exploitation of celebrity culture and the treatment of sex workers.

Rowena McIntosh, The List

Welsh carries realism to its limits and sometimes beyond… [He] Creates a world more real than a great many worlds we enter in today’s fiction.

Patrick Anderson, Washington Post

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784700560

    June 27, 2016

    Vintage

    496 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
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    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
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    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473520974

    April 16, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    496 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks