Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

MARABOU STORK NIGHTMARES

Posted on

Marabou Stork Nightmares

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Irvine Welsh
genre:
Fiction

We gave it an A

MARABOU STORK NIGHTMARES Irvine Welsh (Norton, $21) As Scottish soccer hooligan Roy Strang lies comatose in a hospital, his hallucinations of swashbuckling, Technicolor African safaris (in pursuit of the sadistic marabou stork) merge with memories of his depraved childhood in Edinburgh’s slums and among Johannesburg’s white supremacists. But what was his recent, barbaric crime that keeps welling up, in obscene flashes, from his unconscious? TV repairman-turned-novelist Welsh eschews the seedy rave culture of his previous books (The Acid House, Trainspotting, the latter to be released as a movie by Miramax later this year) for a fiercely modulated meditation on how one man’s life seesawed between the taking and the giving of abuse. Since the narrative is in Roy’s mind, Welsh uses a tapestry of typefaces to signal the frequencies of Roy’s consciousness. Not only does this structure work brilliantly, it allows for a finale that brings Roy’s memories, hallucinations, and nightmares to an explosive awakening. A