Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs 

By Irvine Welsh

Wednesday, Aug 30 2006
Comments
"I wanted to have one guy who was just a total bastard ... and the other guy is a nice wee mommy's boy," explains Irvine Welsh, sitting poolside at the Phoenix Hotel during a recent book tour. The Scottish author is describing the Jekyll and Hyde duality bonding and destroying the characters in his latest novel. "One guy has a fear of engaging in the world, and the other guy has a fear of missing out. The psychopath versus the repressed — that is Scotland in a nutshell," he continues. Set mostly in Edinburgh, the latest story by the famed Trainspotting scribe contrasts and connects the lives of two health inspectors — the coke-snorting, skirt-chasing, alcoholic thug Danny Skinner and the teetotaling virgin Brian Kibby. Skinner sparks a rivalry with Kibby that takes on supernatural proportions, giving new meaning to the idea of getting under a scapegoat's skin.

Although the story line follows various tangents — fatherless men filling voids, loathsome chefs and insta-celebrity status, and the extremities of modern sexuality — the most interesting moments come when Skinner attempts to understand his addictions, a space of serious contemplation few Welsh characters ponder with this degree of depth. San Francisco becomes a destination in which Skinner can dry out, face his inner ugliness (when Welsh used to live in the Mission District he noticed how relatively healthy people are here), and discover what a working liver and love life feel like. Although the majority of Bedroom Secrets is straight bullying — a treatise on the paralyzing nature of hatred that also exploits violence in this writer's typical way — Welsh's exploration of human nature's crass patterns shines, even underneath the blood and bruises.

About The Author

Jennifer Maerz

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Star Wars Celebration @ Anaheim Convention Center
    Christopher Victorio brings back photos from a land not so far away of the Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center.
  • Fear FestEvil 2015
    Calibree Photography brings back photos from Fear FestEvil 2015 at Rockbar Theater in San Jose on Friday, April 11. Performances included freak shows, and bands: Ghoul, Orchid, and High On Fire.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed