Short summary - Marabou Stork Nightmares - Irvine Welsh

British literature summaries -

Short summary - Marabou Stork Nightmares
Irvine Welsh

Roy Strang is in a coma, but his mind is full of memories. Some are more real - about the life of the Edinburgh suburbs - and are conveyed in a grotesquely vulgar, inert language. Others - the fantasy of hunting an African marabou stork - are told in the vivid, imaginative language of an English gentleman. Both stories are excitingly interesting both on their own and on their counterpoint - as a sharp contrast between real life, full of filth and violence, and invented - noble and sublime. The story of Roy Strang is a shocking trip to the life and wild activity of consciousness of modern English lumpen. His hallucinatory desire to destroy the vulture - the marabou stork is actually a desire to destroy the terrifying memories that led him to this state. This is a deadly funny cocktail of pathos, violence and ugly fun, which only Irwin Welch can create. By endowing a dirty tale with compassion and complexity, Welch creates a burning story of despair and possibly redemption.


In parallel, we see three layers of the reality of consciousness: 1) the superficial - the hospital, Roy in a coma, nurses give him injections, relatives, acquaintances come, say something, Roy understands all this, but he doesn't give a damn about them, they only annoy him. He yells at them using profanity in his own imagination. 2) the deeper layer - memories of childhood 3) the deepest layer - hunting in Africa for the Marabu stork, together with the friend of his own invented by Sandy Jamison ("a former professional athlete and experienced hunter of wild cannibal beasts"). Even in this dream, Roy realizes that Sandy is «just a metaphor, a game of imagination,» that Sandy exists only in his head. However, Sandy sometimes gets out of his control, even events sometimes, but not in control - suddenly his girlfriend is in the car with them, the car suddenly turns into a flying ship .... Roy doesn’t remember how he and Sandy became friends, but he knows one thing: for some reason he «must destroy the winged predator that feeds on carrion, known as the Marabou Stork». He wants to "lime this evil creature from the vastness of Africa." In this they are helped by Lockhart Dawson, a local rich man.


Childhood memories: «My family, among whom I grew up, is not a family, but a genetic disaster. Most people live with the feeling that everything is fine at home, but I was embarrassed of my family from early childhood. This awareness came due to close communication with neighboring families, filling the disgusting rabbit paddock in which we lived. Scotland. Edinburgh. Block five-story buildings of the 60s built, concrete coffins with long stairwells, and around there is no cafe, no church, no post office, only the same cells. Elementary normality is what we lacked.

My old man is a clinical case: frostbite on his head. Mamets - and even worse. They were engaged to be engaged a long time ago, but when it came time to get married, a mental disorder happened to her, that is, the first of a series of such disorders. This happened to her periodically throughout her life, until she reached the current state, when it is no longer possible to say with certainty whether she is in a normal state or not. In short, in a psychiatric hospital she met an Italian nurse, with whom she fled. A few years later she returned with my two stepbrothers, Tony and Bernard.

The old man was about to marry another. A wedding had already been scheduled when Mom - Vet reappeared. She told John that he was the only one she always loved, and asked to marry her. In the end, they sealed the bonds of marriage. He took custody of two Italian bambino. I was born about a year after the wedding, a year later my sister Kim was born, and then Elgin - he suffered from autism.

Yes, a beautiful family is not about us. The «Strand breed,» as our neighbors called us, had a moron-lunar physiognomy, and I also had large protruding ears — my heavy burden.

My father had a faithful Sheepdog Winston, forgive the monster, I was happy when he gave the ends. Very soon, his place was taken by an even more ferocious beast of the same breed, inheriting the name Winston. He almost bit me. I was about eight years old, and I watched on TV a cartoon about Superboy. I decided that Winston II, this is Crypto-Superpes, and tied a towel to his collar so that it looked like a cloak, An enraged dog attacked me and tore my leg so that to this day I limp a little ... Father begged , he threatened me not to tell anyone about this - I had to invent that I was attacked by stray dogs. I vowed that I would avenge him. "

My father had a dream to go to South Africa, where Gordon, his brother, lived. South Africa seemed to everyone as a paradise on earth. But when they did arrive there, Johannesburg turned out to be a gray and dull modern city. Roy was terribly disappointed, because he heard that Y. called the City of Gold. Father could not find a good job - the South African dream did not come true. In addition, Uncle Gordon turned out to be a pedophile and constantly molested Roy. Once they both went for a drive, and in South Africa there was a time of political instability - and the terrorists planted explosives in the car. Roy went out to look at the antelope, and uncle at this time began to start the car. An explosion thundered - and uncle died. Well, Roy wasn't very upset. At this time, his father got drunk, beat a taxi driver, and he was sentenced to 6 months in prison. Due to the unfortunate event with his uncle, the authorities relented and released him ahead of schedule.

Hard times began for Roy. Local hooligans pester him, take away food. He decides to take revenge and rapes the girl of one of them. Brother Bernard is a «fagot,» Roy dislikes him. Roy loses her virginity under the guidance of Tony's older brother, an experienced womanizer.

After leaving school, Roy got a job as a system analyst and began to bring money to his family. Roy belonged to casuals, football hooligans, but no one knew about this. "I liked my notoriety." They often fought.

Once Roy returned from work early and brought a bone for Winston, he filled it with six-inch nails. Going out with him for a walk, he saw a pack of dogs. Then Roy threw a bone to Winston. Grabbing her, he could not spit her out anymore, a pack of dogs rushed up on him and tore his face. The vet stitched it, but Winston remained crippled. Roy didn’t stop there and after some time killed him, putting Winston into the mouth of the fireworks.


One day at a party Roy with friends Lexo, Demps and Ozzy decided to properly "fuck one baby." Her name was Kirsty and she was all so proud and impregnable that they decided to teach her a lesson and raped everything in turn. Roy at first liked the idea, but then everything that happened became disgusting to him. However, he did participate. The girl reported to the police, there was a court. But they presented everything as if she herself wanted it. They were found not guilty. Roy admitted his guilt; nightmares began to torment him. He got a job in Manchester, but even there he couldn’t hide from it. He met Dorothy, a wonderful girl, but their relationship after some time went wrong.

Brother Tony and sister Kim are sleeping together. Bernard has AIDS.

Kirsty came to Roy in the hospital and cut off his penis, pulled a pipe from her throat, which killed him. Thus ended the life of Roy, who finally realized that it was he himself - the Marabou Stork. And in this nightmare, Jamieson points his gun at Stork and shoots ...