An exploration of human nature's crass patterns shines beneath the blood and bruises
W.W. Norton (August), $24.95
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.