Review of The blade artist by Irvine Welsh

Title: The blade artist
Author: Irvine Welsh
Genre: Fiction
Country of origin: UK
Pages: 276
Days to finish it: 9
Books read of the author: 5
Year of publication: 2016
Personal score: 4/5

Preview: IED aka Intermittent explosive disorder

In some time of your life have you ever felt like the anger is consuming you? Have you ever felt your jaw is so damn hard that you can’t speak? Have you ever felt your fist so stiff and there´s no way to unclench them? Have you ever felt with so many fucking desire of breaking someone’s face? Have you ever felt a stroke or an outburst due to something you can´t control? If you answer yes in any of those questions, that´s perfectly normal, we all live in a society of stress and anger, but if some of those answers are too often, or just cause a normal incident, you should consider getting some help. I mean, anger is a normal reaction in our modern society, we cannot control all the things either the facts, and the problem is when you get angry by anything or too fast.  So my recommendation is take a medical test before googling it. No, you aren´t a psycho neither have IED.

How did I get it?

Again the pulse of read Welsh, attacked my mind. Inexplicably I need to read it, so I was searching for something in English and saw this, when I started read it, I realized that the book was about Begbie, that motherfucker of Trainspotting.

A little bit of the author…

The last book I´ve read of him, was “The bedroom secrets of the master chefs”, I guess the next book of him that I must read will be “Dead men´s trousers.” Sorry for Skagboys.


The years have passed, Francis Begbie is a new man, after spending several years in jail due to a mysterious incident, he´s back, but he has a new life, far away from Scotland, far away from all that anger and hate that resides deep inside of him.

He´s a well-recognized artist, he has a beautiful wife and two delightful girls, and everything´s fine until the day he has to go back to Leith to the funeral of his…

Through the portrait of a new man with serious issues of anger in a decadent society, “The blade artist” is presented. Would Begbie control himself or coming back to his hometown will destroy everything?


Welsh always has a good plot and sordid places. This time the premise parts in a different way, because everything is “recovered” and slowly begins to rot. But, in this book, we have a briefer story, I mean, not a lot of things happen, commonly we can say that the story is too much “inflated”. Too much words, few actions.  

I liked the side stories that integrate the main plot; these stories were my favorite part of the entire book. In those stories we could know more about the mind of Begbie, his motivations, his fears, his past. As I said before, I´m always looking for the motivation of the characters in the books.  

The words killed me, this is much more Scottish than the other one, keen? For my own particular opinion, were too much characters on the scenes, the secondary characters were also fine, especially Melanie, the new wife (and main motivation) of Begbie. I comprehend the process of the rehab.

Probably this will be the last book of Welsh, at least in English, my mind needs a break of so many slangs. I didnae that this was a sequel of “Porno”, but I´m happy to read it.  

The blade artist could fix my life with his blades?


"The glorious thing about working for yourself, setting your own hours, is that you can always take time off."

"He feels something familiar rise inside him. He wants to stand up and tell her to fuck off, and just get out that dull, ordered suburban home, with its bland, beige decor and furnishings."

"You don´t want to know how much I do not want to know."

"She could hear his breathing, slow and ragged, as they remained fixated on the dancing couple."

"Who´s apologising? It was wrong, he accepts, but I´m not sorry I hurt you. I´m just indifferent. Always was. I has no emotionally connection to you whatsoever. So how can I be sorry?"

"Yet he can´t ever remember caressing her. Only fucking her hard."

"She was a powerful catalyst, yes, but this change wasn´t just about her."

"I was one of the weakest people on the planet. I had zero control over my darker impulses."

"Society is fucked, I just give messed-up people what they want. It doesn´t make me a talent, unless it´s for spotting the weakness and twisted desire in others."

"You could be a bad bastard, but if you died young, you were sort of forgiven; there was always the possibility of change, however realistic-ally remote."

"People led tough lives; they worked, were tired, often depressed, and didn´t have the time or money for spas or gyms or sensible diets."

"The uniqueness, to say nothing of the obvious heartfelt nature of the apology, seems to shake them both. They look at each other in black stasis."

"The worst thing he can do to his son is simply leave him with his burden of being his unreconstructed himself"

"Letting the whisky tickle his lips, Its horrible. He realises he never really liked the taste of alcohol, just its effects."

"I would die before I´d hurt any of you. I´d treat myself in exactly the same way as anybody else who tried to harm you."


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