The Cutting Room

The Cutting Room✻ [BOOKS] ✯ The Cutting Room By Louise Welsh ❅ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk When Rilke, a dissolute and promiscuous auctioneer, comes upon a hidden collection of violent and highly disturbing photographs, he feels compelled to unearth about the deceased owner who coveted them When Rilke, a dissolute and promiscuous auctioneer, comes upon a hidden collection of violent and highly disturbing photographs, he feels compelled to unearth about the deceased owner who coveted themWhat follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence, and deviousness that leads Rilke into a dark underworld of transvestite clubs, seedy bars, and porn shops In this hidden city haunted by a host of vividly drawn characters, Rilke comes face to face with the dark desires and illicit urges that lurk behind even the The Cutting ePUB ✓ most respectable facades. Cross posted at Outlaw Reviews and at Shelf Inflicted Rilke is a gay auctioneer in his 40 s, who enjoys drinking, smoking, and casual sex While clearing out the house of his latest client, an elderly woman, he comes across a collection of erotic books and photos that belonged to her deceased brother She doesn t want to see any of it and asks that he destroy everything in his private study Instead of honoring her request, he wishes to learnabout the disturbing images of a woman that appe Cross posted at Outlaw Reviews and at Shelf Inflicted Rilke is a gay auctioneer in his 40 s, who enjoys drinking, smoking, and casual sex While clearing out the house of his latest client, an elderly woman, he comes across a collection of erotic books and photos that belonged to her deceased brother She doesn t want to see any of it and asks that he destroy everything in his private study Instead of honoring her request, he wishes to learnabout the disturbing images of a woman that appears to have been murdered During his search for the truth, he encounters drug dealers, porn shop owners, an amateur filmmaker, and a woman who poses nude for the camera This was a very stylish, moody, and atmospheric thriller I enjoyed the glimpse at a dark and seedy side of Glasgow, the workings of an auction house, and the deeply flawed character of Rilke What I didn t enjoy so much was the weak mystery, the flat secondary characters, and the ending that fizzled out and left me rather disappointed.Still, I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy literary crime novels, morally challenged characters, and don t mind graphic and disturbing situations Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterest A man not satisfied with looking up women s skirts, he wanted to get closer, ever closer, until he took the object of his desire apart, breaking it in an effort to discover how it worked228.Wow, it s the mystery thriller I didn t know I desperately wanted to read I actually got this author confused with Minette Walters when I saw it at a thrift store, because the covers and names are a little similar and both of them write dark myste Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterest A man not satisfied with looking up women s skirts, he wanted to get closer, ever closer, until he took the object of his desire apart, breaking it in an effort to discover how it worked228.Wow, it s the mystery thriller I didn t know I desperately wanted to read I actually got this author confused with Minette Walters when I saw it at a thrift store, because the covers and names are a little similar and both of them write dark mystery novels Minette Walters this author is not, but she s still a damn good story writer.THE CUTTING ROOM is about an auctioneer named Rilke, a man of gray morals who solicits sex by night and often frequents gay bars, when he s not dabbling in objects of dubious provenance Rilke is a great character because he fits right into the noir novels of the 50s, and yet his character is muchmodern and gay , while also slotting neatly into the tone and the mood of his gumshoe predecessors.His latest client is a woman whose brother has died She wants Rilke to clean out their house in under a week but the pay is so good that the nigh impossible challenge becomes an impossible to resist lure The reason for her haste soon becomes clear when Rilke works his way up to her brother s office and finds all kinds of books, photographs, and art devoted to morbidly sadistic fetishes that cross into psychotic an obsession not just for causing pain, but also to mortally wound even murder Pretty soon, Rilke is asking himself, Yes, I know this man is f cked up but would he kill That s the question.I had a lot of people ask me about this book when they saw me reading it because they were intrigued by the cover and title and I told them that it was a lot like THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO The mystery kept me turning the pages, but the journey getting there was fun because of the way it was written and the fleshed out characters with their intricate complexities I was desperate to find out the truth about the man who owned the pictures, even as I wondered whether Rilke s desire to make a buck would end up causing obstruction It was a brilliant moral tug of war.I also liked that as a gay character, Rilke got a decent amount of sex Good sex, too.4 stars Exemplaryand UnconventionalThis is Louise Welsh s first novel, and the second of hers that I ve read having read the first two in reverse order.It s an exemplary crime novel, although the fact that it complies with many or most of the conventions of the crime genre is almost incidental to its design and appeal.It s very capable literary fiction that happens to be set in the context of a criminal enterprise that is brought or almost brought undone by the narrator.Authorial GenderThere are at Exemplaryand UnconventionalThis is Louise Welsh s first novel, and the second of hers that I ve read having read the first two in reverse order.It s an exemplary crime novel, although the fact that it complies with many or most of the conventions of the crime genre is almost incidental to its design and appeal.It s very capable literary fiction that happens to be set in the context of a criminal enterprise that is brought or almost brought undone by the narrator.Authorial GenderThere are at least two stylistic features that fascinated me about the execution of the novel.First, Welsh uses a first person male narrator, Rilke I felt that the style shared a lot with that of Benjamin Black the pseudonym of John Banville, whose first crime novel was published four years later Welsh is very observant of environment, appearance and sensitivity You see with Rilke s eyes, and once you get used to them, you start to think like he thinks It helps that he s an auctioneer, not a policeman or a detective or a private eye He s not inept, but he s not experienced either He s not used to finding himself in these situations, nor are we, unless we ve become vicarious detectives via reading.The attention to detail helps us forget that the author is female, at least until it comes to the narrator s sex life Many readers question whether a male can successfully write a female character, or at least a female narrator I m pretty sure that, if you didn t know that Welsh was female, you d be convinced the author was a man This is a tribute to the quality of her writing, regardless of her gender.Genre GenderThe second feature that fascinated me was the fact that Rilke is single, white, 43 years old and gay.This last characteristic allows Welsh to further circumvent the conventions of the crime genre However, she does it without detracting from the intrinsic appeal of the genre itself As a result, her success asks the question, why can t there begay narrators and protagonists in the crime genre Of course, if Welsh was a heterosexual female, you could argue that some of her description of what Rilke does to other men might coincide with her own experience Thus, you could say that she is able to use her normal descriptive powers, but adjust only the gender of the narrator However, without venturing into her sexual past, she is openly and proudly gay, so again you have to admire her skill in portraying all aspects of genre and sexuality I wonder how many heterosexual male authors could match her ability.The Narrative PuzzleIf I may add a third feature to my list, I ll praise her ability to tell a story Much of the fiction I read deliberately tampers with or rebels against the conventions of narrative To the extent that Post Modernist works contain a story at all, the reader must do their own work to reconstruct the story out of the fragments I like doing this, in the same way I used to like doing jigsaw puzzles as a child However, Welsh reminds you of what a pleasure it is to witness a story like a joke being told in exactly the right order, with facts revealed not too early or too late, and tension remaining at the end of each chapter It s also nice to get to the end of a mystery and know that there are no missing or extraneous pieces.These three features made the novel not just an exemplary crime novel, but an exemplary novel per se It s also an exemplary beach novel It s 38 degrees centigrade and 90% humidity here at the moment Time to get wet I loved Louise Welsh s historical novella, Tamburlaine Must Die, but I found this thriller set in the seedy world of Glaswegian antiques dealerships distinctly un thrilling.Right from the start, I wanted to get out my red pen and start correcting The Cutting Room It s not the typos that bother me although they re there it s the way that the novel s mystery about snuff pornography fails to mesh with its milieu and cast of characters Welsh seems farinterested in writing about her h I loved Louise Welsh s historical novella, Tamburlaine Must Die, but I found this thriller set in the seedy world of Glaswegian antiques dealerships distinctly un thrilling.Right from the start, I wanted to get out my red pen and start correcting The Cutting Room It s not the typos that bother me although they re there it s the way that the novel s mystery about snuff pornography fails to mesh with its milieu and cast of characters Welsh seems farinterested in writing about her hard drinking, grizzled protagonist, Rilke, and his motley assortment of friends and colleagues, than she does in developing the mystery.When I try to describe the novel, the word I keep coming up with is clumsy.There s a strong whiff of pretension attached to Cutting, with epigraphs adorning almost every chapter you don t get a gold star for invoking every poem you ve ever read, Welsh , and truly awful naming choices Rilke is simply an absurd name for a scummy detective character, but worse is the sub Dickensian villain, named McKindless We get it he s unkind.Welsh tries to draw parallels between Rilke and sadistic pornographer McKindless, positing I think that we are all capable of sado sexual impulses But, like almost everything about this novel, it s clumsy There s no smooth story arc to Cutting it s filled instead with scenes that demonstrate something here we meet the friendly policeman character here we learn that Rilke likes rough sex here we learn that Rilke believes in honour among thieves It s paint by numbers storytelling and the novel drags as a result.There s potential in Cutting I like the idea of a gay protagonist in a staunchly heterosexual genre I feel there s a lot to be said about the link between sex and death but it all remains sadly unrealised I really, really liked this one A Gothic noir set in Glasgow amidst the underbelly of the rare books antiquities trade Sign me up While the mystery here isn t the standard whodunit spectacular, to paraphrase a minor character it s what you find along the way that s important And in the case of this book, that bit of greeting card New Agery is spot on I can t remember the last time I read a crime novel in which I was so taken by the characters Usually, the plot drives and everything else I really, really liked this one A Gothic noir set in Glasgow amidst the underbelly of the rare books antiquities trade Sign me up While the mystery here isn t the standard whodunit spectacular, to paraphrase a minor character it s what you find along the way that s important And in the case of this book, that bit of greeting card New Agery is spot on I can t remember the last time I read a crime novel in which I was so taken by the characters Usually, the plot drives and everything else is just window dressing no matter how piquant In this case, it s the reverse Welsh uses Rilke s quest as a way to introduce the reader to a well drawn rogue s gallery, any one of which I d be happy to read a whole book about And then there s Rilke himself, the detective about whom we end up knowing the least I d love to think that this is just the first in a series exploring his life and city, but since Welsh has already written twonovels that have nothing to do with him, it doesn t seem particularly likely Sadly Obsessions are dangerous, yet they are also so human They drive the most amazing and visionary projects and fuel the darkest, most horrible passions Obsessions play a fundamental role in The Cutting Room, both in the actions of the dead antagonist and in Rilke, the protagonist and auctioneer who stumbles across snuff photographs while processing an estate and begins to wonder if they are real.I ll call this a mystery, because it is, but it s not the typical formula mystery of a professional or Obsessions are dangerous, yet they are also so human They drive the most amazing and visionary projects and fuel the darkest, most horrible passions Obsessions play a fundamental role in The Cutting Room, both in the actions of the dead antagonist and in Rilke, the protagonist and auctioneer who stumbles across snuff photographs while processing an estate and begins to wonder if they are real.I ll call this a mystery, because it is, but it s not the typical formula mystery of a professional or even an amateur detective following the trail of clues Rilke isthan amateur, and he doesn t so much solve the mystery of Mr McKindless as he does stumble around until the mystery solves itself If I might, I will employ a cinematic metaphor and liken Louise Welsh to the director of a movie she chooses to focus the story and each scene in such a way that while the mystery is still the primary plot of the book, it does not seem to form the substance of each scene The mystery is the priority for Rilke, but it is not the priority for the reader Instead, Welsh takes us on a tour of shady Glaswegian businesses and drug dealers, explores Rilke s casual approach to sexual partners, and encourages us to contemplate the deeper implications of the McKindless photos.The Cutting Room both benefits and suffers from this stylistic decision I don t read mystery novels as much as I used to, but when I was young they were my bread and butter Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were some of the first series I can remember devouring by myself later I graduated to the real good stuff Agatha Christie While I ve drifted away from the genre, my appreciation for it has never lessened I m sure there are some mystery novels that deserve to be called pulp or even secretly yearn within their pages to be thrillers, but in general I think mystery is a fascinating genre that fuses the excitement of conflict with the intricacies of human psychology So the best mystery novels are also usually quite deep, and here The Cutting Room is no exception Welsh meditates on the various possibilities the photos could be faked, staged they could be real, a living, breathing woman could have been killed for someone s entertainment and sexual gratification Later, she connects these possibilities to thecontemporary political issue of human smuggling and the prostitution and rape of Eastern European women Some of her characters make some pretty explicit speeches about the shortcomings of the international justice system in countering and preventing such smuggling rings from operating However, the dialogue always rings true to the character and scene and mood at the time Welsh never cross the line to become preachy.I do have some qualms about Rilke s voice Wonderful things are possible with first person narration, and nothing pleases methan when an author manages to create a narrator who just speaks to you When you re reading such a narrator, the words themselves seem to conveymeaning than is possible, and the narrator s voice will begin to do the work of establishing depth and tone This is why I love another mystery series, the Dresden Files Unfortunately, I find Rilke a difficult narrator to enjoy His speech is often fragmented, his descriptions packed inside nested dependent clauses The story itself takes place over the course of a week, but Rilke s sense of time is highly fluid and not exactly precise.The combination of Rilke s narration and Welsh s stylistic decisions regarding the emphasis on the mystery mean that The Cutting Room has a somewhat distant or dreamlike quality to it It is as if the action is happening slightly out of sync with everything if you were to look over at the clock, the hands would be movingslowly than you might expect Here s a passage, pulled totally at random when I opened the book to that page For people who weren t drinking much, the girls certainly had a buzz on There was an air of anticipation, a first night atmosphere A haggard redhead clicked open her handbag mirror and sighed at her reflection She stretched her mouth out to a long ghastly grin and freshened her lipstick She passed the mirror to the girl next to her, who grimaced, then repainted her own lips a dark shade of magenta.Someone settled another cocktail in front of me It tasted fine, pleasantly palatable I wondered why I didn t drink themoften From now on my tipple would be pink and fizzy and made with double measures of gin I raised my glass and saluted the company A few of the girls raised theirs in response.Hopefully this conveys the almost hyperaware way Welsh sets a scene through Rilke s observations And I don t mean this as criticism, because it s not a bad stylistic choice at all However, I do think it prevented me from viewing any of the other characters as fully three dimensional personalities to me, they all seemed too distilled when filtered through Rilke This is a danger of any story narrated in first person, but it is not one that The Cutting Room overcomes.The epilogue is a departure from the rest of the book and feels unnecessary I loved the ending, in which Welsh, through the narration, makes us think that one character is dead but then pulls back on the scene to reveal her still alive I loathe this trick when it is played on television, with the heavy implication followed by a cut to a tombstone and then a pull back to reveal a completely different name In literature, however, I feel like it s less cheap lacking the visual trickery seems to add weight to the device Anyway, The Cutting Room climaxes with the auction of McKindless estate and a revelation that sends Rilke s plans spiralling out of control It provides a satisfactory resolution to the mystery without the additional epilogue.Speaking of that mystery, which never really seemed the primary focus, I confess I wasn t all that interested in learning whether the snuff photos were real Fortunately, because of the way Welsh chooses to tell the story, this is not a problem, for I found plenty of interest her descriptions of Glasgow s villains, Rilke s ruminations on death and the business of estate auctions, and Welsh s portrayal of Rilke s homosexuality This is a mystery novel, but it is also a very well rounded one And while it lacks some of the urgency or focus of adedicated mystery, while its main character isn t a great detective in fact, he is downright lousy at detection , I still managed to enjoy it thoroughly I inherited The Cutting Room from a friend who moved away, and it is probably not something I would have picked up on my own, even from a library display It has proved to be a fortunate discovery Ooh this was so very dark and twisty, I loved it This crime novel takes place in Glasgow Scotland and is a brilliant debut novel.Not so much a who dunnit but close enough The intricate web of mystery that the author weaves leaves you powering through chapters to uncover the truth.So long as you don t mind the odd rather descriptive account of 2 men having hardcore anal sex, plus the odd typo throughout the book, then you d be hard pressed not to love this book in all of its Glaswegian grime I think this is the worst book I have ever read. THE CUTTING ROOM is Louise Welsh s debut novel, published for the first time by Text Publishing in Australia in 2006 Rilke s not exactly the archetypal hero accidental investigator He s in his 40 s his personal hygiene is a bit offhand he s an auctioneer for one of Glasgow s less than salubrious auction houses and he s gay with a taste for anonymous sexual encounters anywhere, anytime When summoned by Miss McKindless to her recently deceased brother s home, stuffed full with antiques, the l THE CUTTING ROOM is Louise Welsh s debut novel, published for the first time by Text Publishing in Australia in 2006 Rilke s not exactly the archetypal hero accidental investigator He s in his 40 s his personal hygiene is a bit offhand he s an auctioneer for one of Glasgow s less than salubrious auction houses and he s gay with a taste for anonymous sexual encounters anywhere, anytime When summoned by Miss McKindless to her recently deceased brother s home, stuffed full with antiques, the likes of which Rilke s firm have never been able to get hold of Despite her demand that the entire house be cleared in a week, Rilke readily agrees to the windfall When she insists that Rilke personally clear her brother s private room in the attic he goes along with that as well, although she s very particular that everything in it must be destroyed Naturally Rilke can t resist a very good look around and in amongst the very impressive collection of exclusive erotica, he finds a cache of photographs The photographs include some of the dead man along with many that have a snuff porn theme Rilke is immediately drawn to finding out where these photos came from and who the girl depicted could be Despite the fact that the search for the origins of the photos and the girl herself is a very fruitless task the photos are obviously old, there is no indication of where they came from or where taken or anything that could possibly provide any sort of lead, Rilke can t leave well enough alone He says himself Let s just say I can t leave her there when pressed to chuck it all in And herein lies one of the great dichotomy s of the book Rilke is in many ways a very confrontational character His pursuit of sexual pleasure is, well, not to put too fine a point on it, a bit mucky His and those of his boss Rose s ethics are a tad on the questionable side, and yet he continues the quest to find out something about these photos in a way that is extremely human and decent At the same time, he s not depicted as a lone wolf, hard man who cares typical of many crime fiction books He is extremely cynical, he s a realist Along with Rilke there s a supporting cast of wonderful characters Rose, his slightly overblown, vaguely past it, sexual predator boss, whose best friend is ultimately Rilke the one man who just isn t vaguely interested in her sexually no matter what she does There s Les the drug dealing transvestite There s a bunch of reprobate second hand dealers in everything from books to porn, furniture to junk There s the old schoolfriend, now policeman, who does Rilkethan one favour by dragging him out of some difficult legal situations All of the supporting characters are drawn as vividly as the Rilke and again, there are some things to like and some things to loathe about many of them Ultimately THE CUTTING ROOM is a fascinating book part morality tale, part crime fiction, part character study, vaguely Gothic, grotty and steeped in a sense of place and people If you are interested in the non black and white, if you can let the obvious flaws in somebody s character roll and look beneath to find a true nature, you should enjoy this book I found this in my daughter s room and as I was between books I figured why not The blurbs made it sound very literary, but I don t agree It wasn t that well written in my opinion At the end a minor character is revealed to be another person from earlier in the book, which might have been worked great if that person had made any impression on the reader when he was encountered first off A missed opportunity I don t know I thought the plot wasn t all that well put together and I found a lot I found this in my daughter s room and as I was between books I figured why not The blurbs made it sound very literary, but I don t agree It wasn t that well written in my opinion At the end a minor character is revealed to be another person from earlier in the book, which might have been worked great if that person had made any impression on the reader when he was encountered first off A missed opportunity I don t know I thought the plot wasn t all that well put together and I found a lot of it unconvincing I ve been trying to readentertaining books over the past few months and finding entertaining too often poorly written and forgettable I m going to have to read something highbrow or classic or plain weird

The Cutting Room PDF ✓ The Cutting  ePUB ✓
  • Paperback
  • 294 pages
  • The Cutting Room
  • Louise Welsh
  • English
  • 21 January 2019
  • 1841954748