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The novel 'filth'. Thoughts?

(103 Posts)
Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:16:54

Anyone read the novel 'filth'? My dh is reading it at the moment. Didn't know what it was about. Just flicked through some of the pages. It is vile and woman hating. Not sure what to think really as dh is such a nice guy.

roz1982 Sat 12-Oct-13 10:18:41

It's a novel. I've read some books that depict horrible, woman hating, racist, sexist, murderous people. It doesn't mean I am any of those things or advocate it.

kittykarate Sat 12-Oct-13 10:18:57

To be fair to your husband, Filth manages to be both woman and man hating at the same time.Ghastly book, the only sympathetic character is the tape worm.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 12-Oct-13 10:23:26

The main character is woman-hating. That's not the same thing as the author or the book being woman-hating... in the same way Silence of the Lambs isn't advocating killing and eating people.

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:23:58

It is just so grim. How he talks about sex and women. The 15 year old girl incident. Horrible. I can imagine some men revelling in this vileness. How can there be pleasure reading this before you drop off to sleep each night confused

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:25:10

I know it's not the author. But the language abs imagery is awful. Perhaps I like to pretend such things don't go on!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 10:30:51

What kind of books do you like?

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:33:48

I like all books and I'm not easily shocked. Was just a little taken back that my dh obviously enjoys reading books like this, when he is normally so lovely to women.
I know it doesn't mean he thinks like that himself though.

FoxPass Sat 12-Oct-13 10:34:35

I like Irving Welsh's stuff generally but I couldn't read this due to the tapeworm's stream of consciousness, it made me feel ill!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 10:36:16

I read the dreadful Fifty Shades recently and I think my reaction was 'morbid fascination'. I won't be giving any of the stuff in there a go any time soon confused

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sat 12-Oct-13 10:40:47

Me and dp read this - it probably helps if you have read some other Welsh stuff. It is revolting and vile and by the end you feel so passionately about the main character.... The end is terrific. he makes you actually feel things about a fictional character, which I think is rare. You find yourself thinking about what to do about him, gets under your skin. I suppose it is sad that a character would need to be so extreme to have that effect now, but he does achieve it.

PervCat Sat 12-Oct-13 10:42:25

alan bennett one?

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:42:57

I just don't get the enjoyment in reading about a 15 year old being forced to give a blow job. Talking about women in the most vilest of ways. When I read books, the description creates imagery. Who wants imagery of a prostitute being fucked up the ass and front at the same time. Vile bed time reading after you've just put the children to bed and kissed them goodnight.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 10:55:33

I've recently read the book that inspired the TV series 'The Midwife' and there's actually a very disturbing scene in that with a prostitute being used by several men in a fairly public setting. Books are a kind of 'safe' place to explore shocking ideas. You can enjoy the book without enjoying the imagery

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 10:59:07

You're probably right. Was just a little taken back that my lovely kind dh enjoys reading such awful, vile novels. I know it's not real people like in porn films.
We have a 15yo dd too which is prob why I think it's so grim.

I've read it, wasn't too surprised as I've read all of his books. The main characters breakdown was very well done IMO but did make horrific reading. I'm not a rape apologist, far from it.

ArtVandelay Sat 12-Oct-13 11:10:14

I love knitting, cooking, keeping pets, children etc. But I love a good shocking book! I enjoy the contrast to my own life and the moral dilemmas characters face.

Filth is brilliant. Bruce is a disgusting weak, deluded man and Irvin Welsh shows him and his ilk no mercy. None of the characters come across well, but the way all their faults and circumstances interplay to bring the story to its climax is so enjoyable. Its an epic story that I'd put on a par with Bonfire of the Vanities.
And its not the most shocking book I've read, Last Exit to Brooklyn made me feel nauseous, Sonny Barger's autobio - also pretty wild. Killing Pablo. Anything involving high security prison is generally not for the faint hearted. I think if you read the book from start to finish and it is in context for you, you might not be so shocked and might enjoy it.

I read it and enjoyed it. That doesn't mean I hate women or a rape apologist.

Its got a lot of sexist and racist (amongst other things) themes but the main character isnt likeable. Nobody would want to emulate him.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 12-Oct-13 11:37:41

I suppose "enjoyment" is the wrong word for it really - we don't enjoy that stuff in the same way we'd enjoy a beautiful sunset or a baby's smile grin It's more like the way people "enjoy" horror films or Eastenders or Hieronymous Bosch paintings - experiencing negative emotions such as fear , unhappiness or disgust in a safe context and the appreciation of something horrific that is, nonetheless, well-executed. Well, maybe not in the case of Eastenders but you get my drift.

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 11:58:25

I agree. I just think women and men interpret and 'enjoy' this kind if thing in different ways. I hate watching films where men get beaten to a pulp, but my dh doesn't seem to bat an eyelid.
I hated the silent witness episode where the guy was raped and killed by the prison warden. Horrific. Men seem to enjoy that kind of horror and imagery. And then want to cuddle up to their dw and be all sweet and kind confused
I genuinely don't understand why some people want to read about a young girl being raped in such vile language.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 12:01:07

I genuinely don't understand why people want to read about teenage vampires being described in such banal language but there are plenty that enjoy those books. hmm It's not just men that enjoy horrific imagery. I was hooked on the whole 'The Killing' series with all its gore and tension even though I was watching most of it from behind the sofa!

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 12-Oct-13 12:08:12

I'm not convinced it's a gender difference. DH and I both go for exactly the same stuff, although he does have a stronger stomach for the really violent stuff (Old Boy, Audition etc). Women seem to be far keener then men on grim misery lit tales - god knows what that's all about.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 12:16:55

Thinking about it, I'd be more worried about someone reading a non-fiction misery-lit for entertainment than a purely fictional account. One up from voyeurism and all that.

Ilovebreakfast Sat 12-Oct-13 12:17:55

Just different tastes I suppose. Weird to enjoy reading something we are supposed to be so against.
Just like porn it must encourage 'some' men to want to act out these fantasies.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 12-Oct-13 12:20:12

Really? You think everyone that reads Agatha Christie gets ideas about committing murder? Yes... it's different tastes and I think you should leave it there.

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