Irvine Welsh’s ‘Filth’ inspiration was a council employee

FilthIrvine Welsh has revealed that an Edinburgh City Council employee was the inspiration for his controversial book Filth.

Quizzed about the thought-process behind his 1998 book, which was adapted into a film in 2013 by Jon S. Baird and starring James McAvoy, Welsh said: ‘I worked in Edinburgh Council and there was a crazy guy who hated the world. He hated his bosses, and his subordinates. I thought: make him a cop, then he can do some real damage. There is always a lot of stuff in the papers about dodgy coppers, because it’s far damaging than dodgy council workers.’

The novel depicts the life of vice-addled detective sergeant Bruce Robertson, one of the most corrupt, misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction, and his involvement in a racially-motivated murder in Edinburgh. However, the book predominantly focuses on Robertson’s addition to drugs, sex and alcohol.

Trainspotting is Scotland’s favourite novel

image-medium (56)Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh’s story of drugs in Leith, was voted best work from the last 50 years in poll run by Scottish Book Trust

Here’s the ones that made the Top Ten, links to our catalogue if you want to find out why people voted for them.

The 10 favourite Scottish novels
1 Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
2 Lanark by Alasdair Gray
3 Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
4 The Bridge by Iain Banks
5 One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night by Christopher Brookmyre
6 Excession by Iain M Banks – Other books by the author
7 Morvern Callar by Alan Warner – Other books by the author
8 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
9 The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway
10 Docherty by William McIlvanney – Other books by the author