It’s always interesting to get the perspective of someone from another country, especially when it comes to our own popular culture. Things that we take for granted are thrown into stark contrast for someone who didn’t grow up here.
That’s certainly the case with The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh. He’s the author behind the iconic book and film Trainspotting – he now lives in the U.S. and has turned his comic wit on American culture. As the Financial Times pointed out, “the excitement of Welsh’s writing derives from the perverse glee he takes in our lowest obsessions.”
This book will make you laugh out loud, but it’s a bit humbling to read it if you’re an American. The critic from The Independent says it well: “How far he has removed himself from his comfort zone in writing female Americans is validated by the clarity with which he eviscerates Western society’s great—and potentially most dangerous—obsessions with food, health, sex and emotional perfection.”
But Welsh’s satire is not just rollicking good fun. “At heart this is a book about the failed American dream,” says The Independent on Sunday, “[T]his is a deeply thoughtful and almost loving look at the unique nature of the American experience and mindset.”
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