Glue by Irvine Welsh


Glue is the story of four boys growing up in the Edinburgh schemes, and about the loyalties, the experiences - and the secrets - that hold them together into their thirties. Four boys becoming men: Juice Terry, the work-shy fanny-merchant, with corkscrew curls and sticky fingers; Billy the boxer: driven, controlled, playing to his strengths; Carl, the Milky Bar Kid, drifting along to his own soundtrack; and the doomed Gally - who has one less ski...

Details Glue

Release DateJul 23rd, 2019
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Novels, Drama, Suspense

Reviews Glue

  • F
    Fantastic. Great characters. Loved following these boys.
  • Sara
    for me, i found 'glue' to be an epic novel. 556 pages that i read in 48 hours. i don't remember anything about those days other than totally immersing myself in this novel. i really hadn't felt truly excited by a novel in a long time, although i'm often reading things i enjoy. it was everything about it that made me really love what i was reading. the characters start off as children, not really aware of their surroundings [like most children who...
  • Harry Whitewolf
    Just fucking brilliant. This incredible epic is Welsh at his finest.
  • Amber
    If you don't want to read a book filled with words that are written so that when you read them you are pronouncing words in a Scottish accent then this and many of his books are not the books for you. If you don't mind that then go for it, it only takes about a chapter to become proficient in reading his work. I personally loved the story. It's sort of the prequel to Trainspotting. This book introduces you to many of those characters as young boy...
  • Kaita
    "Life is a dynamic rather than a static process, and when we don't change it kills us. It's not running away, it's moving on." 5/5 Stars! This has become my most favourite novel to ever exist. I first read this quite some time ago, and liked it. I can say, though, upon rereading Glue that I found myself tethered far more fiercely to the lives within the pages than I was bargaining for. Glue is about four guys who are friends and grow up. It also ...
  • Dane Cobain
    Irvine Welsh is at his best in Glue – it’s a book about friendships, and how the glue that holds us all together is affected by the passage of time, and our surroundings, and all sorts of external factors including drug addiction and disappointment, two of Welsh’s big themes that seem to follow him from book to book.The good thing about Glue is that Welsh gets a lot of time to play with his characters and to put them into different situatio...
  • Trevor
    This novel follows several decades of the lives of four Scottish friends, from their high school days in Edinburgh until their thirties, when circumstances have put them each on separate paths. In essence, this is a story about life growing up in "the scheme" (government housing projects aimed at eliminating Edinburgh's slums), and the rules that come along with that life: edicts like "always back up your mates" and "never grass on anyone". The t...
  • Jason
    Glue is populated with strong characters. The four main friends the reader follows - Gally, Juice Terry, N-Sign Ewart, and Billy Birrell - stick together through thick and thin. From primary school to soccer riots (which is an hilarious scene) to teenage clubbing to middle age, the four remain friends. What's more is their mannerisms and behavior towards each other change very little over the course of the novel, which gives it a remarkably cohes...
  • Jen
    why yes, i do believe i've found a new favorite author.but. you know that frustration of a sneeze coming on; it builds and you think shit, this is going to be a big one.. and while you pull a stupid face bracing for the blow-out, it immediately evaporates to nothing? a disappointing end, it left me feeling a bit tense as though there ought to have been something more (or: minus the reprise).small complaint, as the whole of Glue is brilliant. irvi...
  • Kathleen
    This is definately one I have to go back and read. This exploration of four friends and the different paths they take over several decades is very enjoyable. Disturbing and vulgar, hilarious and heartbreaking, especially the character of Andrew Galloway and his tragic turn. Another good one from Edina's laureate of squalor.
  • Emily
    This book is utterly filthy and it is often written in the hackneyed speech of the Scottish lower class. There is a disturbing scene involving a dog, and this caused a lot of my classmates to refuse to read any further. Despite the perversions, I really enjoyed this novel.
  • Kelly
    This book was hard. Hard in every way. The language, the plot, the characters. All hard. And every bit worth it.
  • Kevin Rubin
    "Glue" is about four boys from working class families in Edinburgh. It follows them from being small kids to adulthood, with some stops along the way. It runs roughly parallel with Welsh's "Trainspotting" and some of the characters from "Trainspotting" make brief appearances in "Glue" as they know some of the same friends and hang out at some of the same bars.We're first introduced to the four mates in 1970 as small kids with their families. Carl...
  • Alan Wilson
    This guy flabbergasts me, especially this one, Glue. It is an absolute wank-fest. The beer-fest holiday in Germany was so over the top I was wondering if it might have been a fantasy plagiarized from some hormone-crazed schoolboy son of a Presbyterian minister. What utter implausible garbage it was, the whole book, from cover to cover. And then the irresponsible glamorization of drug taking this moron indulges in. Speed is like sucking lollipops,...
  • Frank Thirdeyed
    Huge, heavy book; One of the boys probably could've used it as a weapon in a pub fight, very painful and all. But the thing is, Glue is a more humane, warm-hearted story filled with growing up and sticking together. That, to me, makes it a different atmosphere from for example the cold, depressing, fucked up hell of Trainspotting. There's threedimensional characters here, some laugh's, some cries and just a lot of heart in general. Fact is, that'...
  • Nate D
    Someone had warned me that, along with Filth, this was where Irvine Welsh got especially difficult to get through. I'll admit that Filth's "bad cop" anti-hero narrator did make for some rather tough slogging there, and I never got around to picking this one up. Until now, and it's good that I did. This may, on the contrary, be Welsh's most warmly-rendered and human novel, and its quartet of narrators growing up in the "schemes" (Edinburgh's desti...
  • M
    This is a hard one to review. I have not finished it and I don't know that I will, which would usually earn a one star scathing review, but the fact is, it's an excellent book, just very difficult to read. Glue is a well told, many faceted linked narratives of victims and victimizers living hand to mouth. The writing is fresh, the characters equal parts appalling and captivating, but the novel is in dialect which means this takes about 4x the amo...
  • David
    I think this is Welsh's most soulful novel. It doesn't try to make itself as interesting as some of his other works, just letting the characters move the reader. It's a little more sprawling than I would have liked, but that's just me. The dialect can get confusing when it gets particularly thick, but that's normal and expected since I'm not used to trying to understand people from that background. Besides, it's really a necessary part of Welsh's...
  • Marie
    I loved this so much! It has been hanging around my house for absolutely ages (my first ever RiSi swap in fact) and I regret not getting around to it sooner. Irvine Welsh has such a talent for creating characters who are completely endearing and engaging despite getting up to horrendous things. It sounds like a cliché but I was really disappointed when I finished this book and wanted to stay with the characters longer & find out what happened ne...
  • Rachel McNab
    Glue is based on the lives and friendship of four working class lads from the scheme in Edinburgh, following them through four decades and a set of principles that binds them together. If there was a word to describe this book, it would be "dirty" - as the beauty of Irvine Welsh's work is that it's real. It is based on real people, real friendships, real happenings, so the link with reality is almost tangible. I have yet to come across another au...
  • David
    I found this book to be an engaging, crazy, and even heartfelt account about the lifelong friendship between the four childhood friends. This is one of those books that has stuck in my head since the one and only time I read it. Perhaps because I could relate in some ways to the characters, I think about this book and the stories every so often. I also found it refreshing that Welsh wrote a structured novel with linear events. I also appreciated ...
  • Ray
    A tale of friendship and life. A concept novel that follows 4 males as they grow up together in the same working class area. The story is set in 4 parts, each 10 years advanced from the last. We get to see the boys at 5 years old, and then again as awkward teenagers before seeing how they have developed into adults in the final two sections. This novel is Welsh's finest in my estimation. Juice Terry is probably my favourite of his characters and ...
  • Robert
    The first sign of Welsh's decline.Glue depicts the relationship between a group of working class boys. As they grow they experience the usual trials and tribulations.Sometimes it works and the set pieces are entertaining but towards the end the becomes incredibly banal, the introduction of the country singer, although used to represent different cultures, is the nadir of the novel and renders it idiotic. Disappointing.
  • Natalya
    All time fav IW book- character driven tale of four friends and the woes they weave over the decades. Absolutely love Juice Terry, the self proclaimed fanny merchant/ aerated waters salesmen (see him later- and fatter in Porno). Wish they would make this into a movie. When I had the fortune to meet Mr. Welsh I had him sign my well read copy of this book and Porno. The page he signed had been torn out and taped back together. Lol.
  • Jennifer
    This is the story of Andrew Galloway, Juice Terry Lawson, Billy Birrell, and Carl Ewart, 4 friends from Edinburg, and the trials and tribulations each goes through as they grow up.It's written mostly in the Scottish dialect that Welsh fans know well, so if you've read Trainspotting, you should be able to get through it.Most excellent read.
  • Brennan
    I'm a sucker for these coming of age novels especially when it's by the likes of Irvine Welsh, his ovreall bleak and stark reality these kids facegrowing up in the slumps of scotland is comedic,honest and pardon my french "fucken brutal". The only draw back is that you might have some trouble as I did with its lothian sarcasm and dialogue, I had to read some lines a couple of times to get it.
  • Andrew Henderson
    This was one of the first Welsh books I discovered, and I loved it. It's as heartbreaking as it is funny and the four main characters are bizarrely likeable. The fourth of the five sections is not quite so captivating as the others but it doesn't detract from the novel too much at all.
  • Kasey
    This is a great view of friendship, modern life and generational changes. It is written in dialect so if you are unfamiliar with Scottish accents, it may take you a while, but once you are accustomed to it, the book becomes even better.