With the festive season almost upon him, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is winding down at work and gearing up socially - kicking off Christmas with a week of sex and drugs in Amsterdam. There are irritating flies in the ointment, though, including a missing wife, a nagging cocaine habit, a dramatic deterioration in his genital health, a string of increasingly demanding extra-marital affairs. The last thing he needs is a messy murder to solve. Still it will mean plenty of overtime, a chance to stitch up some colleagues and finally clinch the promotion he craves. But as Bruce spirals through the lower reaches of degradation and evil, he encounters opposition - in the form of truth and ethical conscience - from the most unexpected quarter of all: his anus. In Bruce Robertson, Welsh has created one of the most corrupt, misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction , and has written a dark, disturbing and very funny novel about sleaze, power, and the abuse of everything. At last, a novel that lives up to its name.
“Welsh firing on all cylinders... The best thing he has done since Trainspotting”
- Sunday Times
“It is surely a remarkable cultural moment when a reviewer is offered cash in a bar for an advance copy of a literary novel... Filth is a masterpiece...squarely in the classic line of classic scottish writing”
“Things are going well for Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson. Promotion is in the offing, he's got all the booze and drugs he needs, and his various plots aimed at friends and colleagues seem to be working out. Robertson, compulsive and repulsive by turns, has only two problems. One is a case of racially-motivated murder on his patch. The other is that there's a nasty tapeworm in his gut and it seems intent on having its say... A brutally sustained achievement”
- Evening Standard
“We're used to tough cops with non-PC attitudes, but Welsh trumps the lot with his evil-scheming, ball-scratching, foul-mouthed hero-with-haemorrhoids... Welsh's jet-black comedy at once entertains and appals... Gloriously grotesque”
“A snarling epic of a book...ugly, devastatingly funny, unremittingly nasty and pulls no punches... Don't dare miss it”
"Filth is my pal and screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh's favourite book - or so he tells me when he's had a few beers. Like Marabou it was a hard book to write and I had to do it short in bursts. You're in the head of a narrator who it's pretty hard to be around all the time. The character quite affected me. In real life I'm something of right-on PC type of guy, but I strained many female friendships with some inappropriate Brucisms. I got really paranoid for a while after publication because Polismen kept stopping me and asking me to sign their notebooks. It was always 'make this out to Jimmy at our station, we call him Bruce cause he's just like the boy in your book.'
I think Bruce is a very interesting character because he has an authoritarian personality but he hates everyone equally. Most people who are like that are shitebags to their subordinates but arselickers to their bosses. Bruce is a true misanthropist, with an even-handed approach to these things.
Filth is probably the book I would most like to see adapted into a movie. It's had a chequered history in development hell. Miramax-Hal (the UK wing of Harvey Weinstein's film business) bought the rights, only for them to subsequently wind up their business operation this side of the pond. Dean did a great screenplay but it needed a second draft, so we spent a lot of time sniffing around for development cash. Following a long dispute over who owned the rights, it's gone around several production companies and had various actors attached as lead. Now the long impasse might be coming to an end with exciting developments hopefully ahead. Watch this space."