THE CUTTING ROOM

Louise Welsh

For this outstanding contemporary Glasgow novel, Louise Welsh won the Saltire First Book of The Year Award and the Crime Writers’ Association Creasey Dagger, was chosen as one of Britain’s Best First Novelists by the Guardian, and was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction Rilke, The Cutting Room’s charismatic protagonist, is eccentric, witty, and frequently outrageous. An auctioneer by profession, he is an acknowledged expert in antiques but also considers himself something of an expert in many other fields. When he comes upon a hidden collection of graphically violent erotic photographs, he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them. What follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence, and deviousness, steered in part by Rilke’s gay promiscuity and inquisitive nature. Louise Welsh’s writing is stylish and captivating; she combines aspects of a detective story with shades of the gothic in a colorful Glasgow ranging from the genteel suburbs to a transvestite club, auction house to the bookies, pub, and porn shop. The result is a page-turning, darkly atmosopheric, and deliciously original debut.

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