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Marabou Stork Nightmares - Irvine Welsh

Marabou Stork Nightmares

Paperback Published: 29th February 1996
ISBN: 9780099435112
Number Of Pages: 264

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Roy Strang is engaged in a strange quest in a surrealist South Africa. His mission is to eradicate an evil predator-scavenger bird, the marabou stork, before it drives away the peace-loving flamingo from the picturesque Lake Torto.

But behind this world lies another: the world of Roy's bizarre family, the Scottish housing scheme in which he grew up, his mundane job, a disastrous emigration to Africa, and his youthful life of brutality with a gang of soccer casuals. As one world crashes into the other, this potentially charming story of ornithological goodwill mutates into a filthy tale of violence, abuse and redemption.

Industry Reviews

'A superbly talented writer... anarchic and entirely invigorating' - Scotsman

'A wonderful success: A funny, cleverly composed, genuinely exciting and assured leap of a novel' - New Statesman

'Mind-bendingly good' -- GQ

ISBN: 9780099435112
ISBN-10: 009943511X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 29th February 1996
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.21
Edition Number: 1

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Irvine Welsh

About the Author


Irvine Welsh was born in the great city of Edinburgh, Scotland. He can't quite recall if it was Simpson's or Elsie Inglis maternity pavilions. In fact he remembers little of the birth, though his mother assured him later that it was fairly routine. This selective memory at key points in his life would continue. What he seems quite certain of is that his family moved from their tenement home in Leith, to the prefabs in West Pilton, and then onto Muirhouse's maisonette flats.

Cleaning up his act, and, in keeping with another great tradition, 'finding a nice lassie and settling doon', Welsh eventually returned to Edinburgh where he worked for the city council in the housing department. He went on to study for an MBA at Heriot Watt University.

Welsh regards himself as very fortunate to be back in his home town when Kevin Williamson, Duncan McLean, Barry Graham, Alan Warner, Paul Reekie and Rodney Relax were all doing their thing. Energised by the rave scene, he started to write and his paths crossed with the above. Digging out some old diaries, Welsh did a draft of what would become Trainspotting. Welsh published parts this from 1991 onwards in DOG, the West Coast Magazine, and New Writing Scotland. Duncan McLean published parts of the novel in two Clocktower pamphlets, A Parcel of Rogues and Past Tense: Four Stories from a Novel. Meanwhile Kevin Williamson, a member of Duncan McLean’s Muirhouse writers’ group, published sections of Trainspotting in the literary magazine Rebel Inc. Duncan McLean recommended Welsh to Robin Robertson, then editorial director of Secker & Warburg, who decided to publish Trainspotting, despite believing that it was unlikely to sell.

When Trainspotting was published in 1993 Irvine Welsh shot to fame. According to Lord Gowrie, the chairman of the panel, the novel was rejected for the Booker Prize shortlist after offending the sensibilities of two female judges. Despite this unease from the critical establishment, Welsh’s novel received as many good reviews as ones swathed in disgust and outrage - establishing a tradition that continues to this day. Harry Gibson’s stage adaptation of the novel was premiered at the Glasgow Mayfest in April 1994 and went on to be staged at the Edinburgh Festival and in London before touring the UK. In August 1995, Irvine Welsh gave up his day job.

Since Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of Trainspotting was released in February 1996 Irvine Welsh has remained a controversial figure, whose novels, stage and screen plays, novellas and short stories have proved difficult for literary critics to assimilate, a difficulty made only more noticeable by Welsh’s continued commercial success. More books have followed, Ecstasy becoming the first paperback original to go straight in at No1 on the Sunday Times best-sellers list, a feat emulated by Filth, which became Welsh's highest selling book after Trainspotting. His first novel has now sold almost 1 million copies in the UK alone and is a worldwide phenomenon. Books such as Glue, Porno and recent The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs have seen him increase his profile in America and Canada.

He has recently branched into film and is a partner in two film production companies. He joined Four Ways films, which was founded by Antonia Bird, Robert Carlyle and Mark Cousins, and has recently set up Jawbone films with his screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh, and Phil John and Jon Lewis Owen.

As Welsh says: 'the jobs are a wee bit too boring to recount and the books and other stuff you can get from other parts of the site.'

Visit Irvine Welsh 's Booktopia Author Page


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