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The Cutting Roomby Louise Welsh
Selected as one of Britain's Best First Novelists of 2002 by The Guardian
Wow! A first novel with an intriguing plot and totally believable characters. An excellent writer who allows you to empathize with a protagonist who is not always deserving.
Synopses & Reviews
Bold new writing from Scotland's leading and emerging gay writers, including Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, and Toni Davidson With 24 pieces that as a whole provide an important snapshot of gay writing in the 21st century, this is a definitive anthology of prose writing from Scotland's leading and emerging gay writers. The collection includes the likes of Ali Smith, whose The Accidental was nominated for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes, and winner of Whitbread Novel of the Year; Louise Welsh, whose The Cutting Room was nominated for the Orange Prize and won the Creasey Dagger; Jackie Kay, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize and shortlisted for PEN/Ackerley and Costa prizes; Ronald Frame, author of Havisham; Toni Davidson, author of Scar Culture; and many exciting new voices. The writing is as provocative, thoughtful, moving, and fully-charged with energy as one would expect from the country's celebrated community of LGBT artists.
"Rilke is hardly a likable character, but...he is so witty, self-aware and oddly vulnerable...that he becomes disarming....[Welsh knows] how to keep an intriguing story moving. She is not good at action, however, and the actual climax...is oddly muted and unconvincing. This is one of those books...in which the journey is infinitely more beguiling than the destination." Publishers Weekly
"Rilke is a brilliantly complex character....I love this book." Kate Edwards, The Guardian (U.K.)
"A sharp, darkly glittering debut." Dilys Rose, author of Pest Maiden
"Each character in The Cutting Room, from Rilke's blowsy broad of a boss to a tranny drug dealer, no matter how small, comes off the page vividly....After Rilke, the most prominent character in the book is Glasgow itself. Welsh gives a strong sense of a city that has become its own gloomy monument....The Cutting Room is further proof of the renaissance of Scottish fiction, a movement often credited to the likes of Irvine Welsh, James Kelman and Geoff Torrington. With the exception of Alan Warner (author of Morvern Callar), however, the vitality of Scottish writing has been better represented by crime novelists like Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and John Harvey. Louise Welsh may prove able to straddle the two camps, attracting the readers of both literary and genre fiction. You can find traces of morality tales, urban fiction, crime stories and Gothics in The Cutting Room without finding any single point of comparison that mirrors the book's unique voice or hardened humanism. It's a brilliant debut." Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"[A] remarkable first novel....Like all the best exponents of the genre, Louise Welsh sets up her template and then manipulates it, using the glamour of crime to examine more humdrum kinds of suffering and loss....She is playfully referential; one reason this novel is such fun to read is that it feels as though the author's enjoying herself." Sophie Harrison, The New York Times Book Review
"A stunning work of fiction....One of the most intriguing assured and unputdownable debuts to come out of Scotland in recent years." The Sunday Times (UK)
"Astonishingly this is a first novel, catapulting Welsh straight into the superstar league, while establishing Rilke as a classic original." The Times (UK)
"The Cutting Room is a hugely commendable debut, assured and memorable. Crime fiction may have its prize-winner at last." The Independent (UK)
"This elegiac, elegant and atmospheric book is an original and compelling first novel. Rarely can such gothic material have been treated with such subtlety" Daily Telegraph (UK)
When Rilke, a dissolute auctioneer, comes upon a hidden collection of violent photos, he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them. What follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence, and deviousness that leads Rilke into a dark underworld.
About the Author
Zoe Strachan is the author of Negative Space, which won a Betty Trask Award, Spin Cycle, and Ever Fallen in Love, which was nominated for a Scottish Book Award, a London Book Award, and a Green Carnation Prize for Gay Literature.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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