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Publisher's Summary

Glue is the story of four boys growing up in the Edinburgh schemes, and about the loyalties, the experiences, and the secrets that hold them together into their 30s. Four boys becoming men: Juice Terry, the work-shy fanny-merchant, with corkscrew curls and sticky fingers; Billy the boxer, driven, controlled, playing to his strengths; Carl, the Milky Bar Kid, drifting along to his own soundtrack; and the doomed Gally, who has one less skin than everyone else and seems to find catastrophe at every corner.

As we follow their lives from the '70s into the new century, from punk to techno, from speed to Es, we can see each of them trying to struggle out from under the weight of the conditioning of class and culture, peer pressure, and their parents' hopes that maybe their sons will do better than they did. What binds the four of them is the friendship formed by the scheme, their school, and their ambition to escape from both; their loyalty fused in street morality: back up your mates, don't hit women and, most importantly, never grass, on anyone.

Despite its scale and ambition, Glue has all Irvine Welsh's usual pace and vigour, crackling dialogue, scabrous set-pieces and black, black humour, but it is also a grown-up book about growing up, about the way we live our lives, and what happens to us when things become unstuck.

©2001 Irvine Welsh (P)2001 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Full of incident, mad, crackling dialogue, attractively appalling characters, and some of the funniest and rudest sex scenes." (Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Glue

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I liked it

A big sprawling epic of a book. Well wrote. Well read. By far my favorite Welsh title. Juice Terry is the man!

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • robions
  • 10-19-17

Don't download not full book

Not the best quality. Large parts of the book are missing.
Chapters don't match the book and skips a bit every 40 or so mins.
Gutted that it's not up to audible normal quality.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • damian b.
  • 07-25-19

Don’t buy

The original novel glue is classic welsh, dark, humorous with great character development matched with a well crafted story arc between the characters.
This audio book is a cut down massacre of the original work.
The fabrics of the original work is non existent and therefore the sublime bond between the main characters that forms the ‘glue’ of the original is not articulated. In short the books essence has been removed.
Some of the other Irvine Welsh audio books on offer are great investments but sadly not the time, which is a real loss to Irvine welsh fanatics like myself as the original novel glue is up there with Welsh’s best work.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-15-13

Good but not full book length

Always enjoy Irvine Welsh's stuff, but was a bit put off by the fact this has been considerably chopped down from the actual length of the book, and therefore some parts that we're vital to the plot we're cut out and non necessary one's weren't.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca
  • 01-27-18

Terribly edited

Fantastically read but the sound levels and quality are dire. Worth a listen if you’re an Irvine Welsh fan.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel J Osborne
  • 08-19-17

Disappointing revisit to an old fave

Read this years ago, so thought I'd revisit it as I'd forgotten some of the story. Remembered particularly enjoying the Munich festival part of the book though. Very disappointed to find it was cut from the audio. I'm wondering what else was cut now as well. Production quality was, as Welsh would it, 'pish'. Plenty of background hiss on most, but not all chapters. That said, Tam Burn was, as ever, an excellent narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg Howes
  • 03-18-17

Incomplete story

What would have made Glue better?

While I accept certain words, sentences and paragraphs are skipped, there are whole chapters missing. If you want to hear a quick summary of the book then download it, but if you want the full story I recommend you buy or borrow the book. It took me a lot longer to read than 5 and half hours! Great narration though.

What was most disappointing about Irvine Welsh’s story?

Nothing, it's a great book, it's the fact that it wasn't the full story and it's obviously been edited.

What character would you cut from Glue?

Juice Terry

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael C.
  • 01-23-19

Good Story chapters missing

Love Irvine Welshes books loves Tam Dean Burn reading them. But the audio quality and editing of this poor and there are chapters missing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark G.
  • 10-22-21

Do not purchase this!!

Missing so many great chapters of the book. That other reviewers have alluded to its a cobbled together abridged version. So many great parts of the book my favourite by the author. Disappointing listen to rushed the book is excellent in setting up the bond of the four characters. But this is bollocks poor Gally barely gets a mention.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Richard Niglington
  • 09-09-21

Missing most of the book

Not only does the story make no sense, with jumps around the recording, it also ruins a brilliant book.

It’s a massive book (578) pages and this just takes sections of it at random (not abridged, just a dodgy file).

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-20

Abridged - as in hacked to pieces

Tam Dean Burn talks too fast, has the wrong cadence and only occasionally captures the voices of the protagonists. This version has been abridged and misses a lot of the key scenes. Shame.

Avoid this and read the book - it's so much better

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ray Hecht
  • 02-17-22

No Trainspotting but Juice Terry is fun

It's nowhere near the caliber of Trainspotting, which must be mentioned every time one reviews anything by Irvine Welsh, but Glue was an interesting attempt to write something in that same Extended Universe with quite different themes.

Also about four Scottish friends growing up in the dredges of society and one of them dies of AIDS, but the biggest difference is that many of these characters are actually successful. Welsh explores some more colorful characterization, with a famous DJ and a famous boxer who both get to escape their humble origins. There's also another celebrity who turns up, an American singer touring, which at least gets to show Welsh's range in writing about different worlds and economic classes.

A surprisingly sentimental and sappy take on friendship, and very compassionate towards those souls who constantly end up in and out of prison. The biggest impact of the book is the introduction of one sex addict Terry Lawson, certainly the grossest of the group who gets to have the staying power to return in multiple future books. Worth reading for that fact alone.

Also: If you listen to the audiobook then just the abridged version is fine...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-20

appalling

The great Welsh and Tam Dean Burn humbled by the pathetic length of this towering classic. Welsh's greatest underated book reduced to a pathetic mewling wreck. The version of Porno abridged was ok but this putrid filth glosses over some of the finest scenes and totally fails to capture. Surprised the aforementioned author and reader allowed it. Will never listen or more importantly pay for an abridged version of anything ever again.