Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: The Blade Artist

The Blade Artist The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel could be subtitled: the biography of Frank Begbie or; When Will Begbie Lose Control?

This is by far one of the most tense and graphically violent novels I have ever read. The tension starts in the first chapter and continues until the very last page. The novel combines some of the most surprising yet also predictable elements found in one story.

I enjoyed Welsh' explorations of the morality of a psychotic character like Frank Begbie. I'm not convinced the supporting psychology is all that sound, and neither is the morality for that matter, but seeing a supposed well-adjusted Begbie react to different emotional situations such as the funeral for his son is highly entertaining drama.

The reader knows Begbie will eventually snap, the fun is in trying to figure out if it will be over his poorly-functioning cell phone or any one of the cast of characters from his past (and there are many) who pick on an emotionally torn Begbie when he returns to Leith to bury his son and to investigate the boy's murder.

Overall, I think Welsh has done justice to the Begbie character. Due to one obvious dangling loose end, I sense a sequel on the horizon, but we shall see.

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