glork = G = gnarly

glue n.

Generic term for any interface logic or protocol that connects two component blocks. For example, Blue Glue is IBM's SNA protocol, and hardware designers call anything used to connect large VLSI's or circuit blocks `glue logic'.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A book by Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting.

Glue tells about four boys growing up in schemes of Edinburgh:

Juice Terry
The corkscrew-haided cunt fucks every lassie around and excells in avoiding work: coincidically a couple of fires break out in the places Juice Terry is working at.

Billy the boxer
Birrell means business. Billy could have made it big time in the boxing ring but sudden disease prevents his title chase. However, the status of local sporting hero was maintained and Business Bar flourishes.

Carl, the "Milky Bar Kid"
N-sign drops the killer beats from his decks. Music takes Carl in the Top of the Pops and back to underground raves.

The life of wee Gally is fucked. He goes to the prison for a crime he didn't commit - only because he "nivir grass a friend". And mind you, that Polmont cunt never was his friend in the first place. His first shot of intravenous drugs results HIV and finally Gally jumps off for good.

Some sociological retrospective of conditioning of working class and culture can be read between the lines. However, the paths of the boys depart in their twenties illustrating, if you like, recently found trends of individualism in modern life. Some facts of life remain untouched as music changes from punk to techno and intoxicants from beer to E.

The book features also short visits by the anti-heroes of Trainspotting. I am just waiting for the next episode for Welsh should collect all these characters and events together in pretty much same fashion as Gilbert Hernandez did with Palomar.

Glue, an impure gelatine. It is prepared from the clippings of hide, hoofs, and horns. These are steeped for several days in lime-water, to remove the hair and blood, and then drained and dried in a current of air for some days, that the lime may absorb carbonic acid, and thus prevent the injurious effects of the alkali upon the gelatine. They are then boiled in water until the solution is found to gelatinize firmly on cooling. The impurities are allowed to settle, after which it is allowed to gelatinize in shallow wooden boxes, cut into slices, and dried upon nets. Good glue is semi-transparent, and free from spots and clouds. When wanted for use, it is broken in pieces and steeped in cold water until it softens and swells. It is then melted over a gentle fire, or what is better, in a water bath, and applied in a liquid state with a brush. As the stiffening of glue depends on the evaporation of its superfluous moisture, it will not harden in a freezing temperature. Marine glue is a composition used for cementing materials that are exposed to moisture. It is made by dissolving 1 part of india-rubber in 12 parts of mineral naphtha, and adding 20 parts of powdered shellac. It not only resists wet, but cements glass and metals as well as wood. White fish glue, or diamond cement, is made of isinglass dissolved in alcohol.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

p l o t t i n g   a n d   f a t a l i s m :

I can't say I was expecting an overtly mature work out of Irvine Welsh in this, his fourth novel. Welsh has grown more extreme, less restrained, in each of his subsequent efforts, and though I would find it difficult to imagine a more debaucherous novel than the one just prior, Filth, I had expected Glue to be, well, something less than what it now is.

Glue is the story of growing, aging, through a time of social reform and mass unemployment. It's a mostly first-person account from the perspectives of each of its four main characters—Terry Lawson, Billy Burrel, Andrew Galloway, and Carl Ewert—told over the period of three decades—1970 through 2000—and set almost exclusively in Welsh's native Edinburgh, Scotland. It's a story of friendship (hence the title), but should by no means be mistaken for a sappy coming-of-age jaunt.

Populated by ugly, vulgar, extremely human characters, the only true driving force in this novel is time. There's a certain uncommon fatalism to this novel, a cruel but honest device Welsh uses: in each section (except the last), each of the main characters is allowed only one chance to speak, one chapter, one monologue throughout which he is the narrator, and once all four have finished, the section ends and ten years pass in a single page-turn. People who appear salvageable, dreams that appear attainable, careers, addictions, relationships—all of these are resolved in one moment for you, the reader, the moment you reach that new section heading. Everything that you have been anticipating or fearing or trying to imagine a positive solution to is suddenly and finally resolved, and the way it's been resolved is fairly clear, because these are not plot-lines, they are lives.

t h e   s t o r y :

As the story opens, our heroes are all roughly five years old. Andrew's father is "going away," Terry's is basically an absent playboy, but Carl and Billy are members of fairly happy working-class homes. Welsh does not intend to idealize these times, or the nuclear family, but makes it clear that a sense of self-respect pervades workers of this time, that they feel a certain responsibility toward their fellow workers and communities and a great deal of pride in caring for their families. This is epitomized in a set of ten rules (set out by Carl's Father, Duncan), a sort of working-class ten commandments:


At fifteen these four boys find Mr. Ewart's rules mostly irrelevant as they do their best to find girls and soccer brawls and parties and so on. Terry has dropped out of school (as Welsh did) and now sells juice off the back of lorries (pickup trucks). He's known as "Juice" Terry. The others still attend school. Their main obsession is sex, which only Terry seems to be capable of finding. When Andrew is arrested for a crime he didn't commit (but was not altogether innocent of), the "never grass" rule gains immediate importance (though Andrew's situation appears almost secondary to the pressing concern of sex in the minds of his friends).

Then, suddenly, ten years have passed. Our heroes are now twenty-five, with new anxieties and new problems, new lives. There is no work in Edinburgh any longer (or no factory work at least). Billy is now "Business" Burrell, a boxer who has (so far) done well for himself; Carl is a DJ (called N-SIGN); Terry is unemployed; Andrew is a junkie. Their parents are unemployed (in the main) and such rules as "never scab," etc. are beginning to appear particularly outdated. The lack of work has cut the self-respect out of one generation and destroyed any simple expectations the next might have had. Billy's and Carl's success are, in context, clearly the exception. When it becomes clear what Terry really does for a living, we are not surprised.

And again a decade passes, and we cringe because we know some of the particular things that will have happened over that decade, things that we fear. There is a sense of finality as the fourth section of the novel opens (at "Approximately 2000"): Now those things we feared have happened. There is violence in this novel—not a great deal of it, not to the level of some of Welsh's other work—but it is this passage of time, this decade, that is the most violently jarring moment in this book.

f a l s e   d r e a m s :

It is appropriate, I think, that Welsh's most famous characters, Mark Renton and his fellow conspirators from Trainspotting, make cameo appearences in this novel—Glue is, after all, a sort of counterpart to that earlier novel. Trainspotting is about escape, about the personal growth that's only possible once one has left all of the dragging, lazy, comfortable influences behind. Glue is about the realization that escape is impossible, that there's nowhere to go that isn't eventually going to be the same. Escape is a false dream, learning to live with your past is paramount, and transcending your community is ultimately at odds with caring for those within it.

This is not to say that Welsh has lost his brash, rude tone or his anarchistic leanings. He still moves in the same circles and he still aims his camera dead center on the filth and ugliness just as comfortably as the beauty and the friendship. He just, now, has a better understanding of what he sees.

Glue is an excellent novel, as good as anything Welsh has yet written.

Glue by Irvine Welsh
467 pages, Copyright © 2001 by Irvine Welsh
W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0-393-32215-7 (Paperback)

Next: Irvine Welsh


The word "glue" comes from Old French and Late Latin verbs meaning "to draw together" (Websters Abridged). The idea of using a substance to hold things together has a long history. On the walls of Egyptian tombs that are more than 3000 years old, archeologists found a painting of workmen using glue! (Ramses II, in 1213BC and Tutankhamun)

Since the meaning of "glue" is "that which sticks objects together," many substances can be categorized as "glues." For example, there are mineral glues, vegetable glues, marine glues, and new synthetic glues.The traditional glue is made from bones, sinews, and the hides of animals. (No lizard intestines or dragon scales...) These are properly prepared, heated, and then the solution is dried. In fact, a cooked chicken that is refrigerated will develop a jelly on the surface. This is simply an impure form of glue.

When glue is prepared commercially, the hot solution is filtered, clarified, and evaporated. The concentrate is then dried. Another method is to alow the solutions to chill into a firm jelly. The jelly is cut into thin slices that are then spread on nets. Workers place the nets in a drying tunnel for a few hours, and then you have glue.

Glue does not only hold things together. One little known use of glue is to give new paper money its "crackle" when mauled. The sheet of paper gets coated in a very fine layer of glue to keep it from bending and ripping too easily.

Glue, being made of natural substances, decays quickly. For this reason, preservatives are added. However, a standing solution of glue laying around will quickly mold and rot, developing a rancid and vile odor. This is why it should be freshly prepared. Glue is sold in a granulated form, which can be purchased in bulk.

The Big Book of 'Tell Me Why', by Arkady Leokum
Websters Abridged Dictionary
Elmer's Glue (

Glue (?), n. [F. glu, L. glus, akin to gluten, from gluere to draw together. Cf. Gluten.]

A hard brittle brownish gelatin, obtained by boiling to a jelly the skins, hoofs, etc., of animals. When gently heated with water, it becomes viscid and tenaceous, and is used as a cement for uniting substances. The name is also given to other adhesive or viscous substances.

Bee glue. See under Bee. -- Fish glue, a strong kind of glue obtained from fish skins and bladders; isinglass. -- Glue plant Bot., a fucoid seaweed (Gloiopeltis tenax). -- Liquid glue, a fluid preparation of glue and acetic acid oralcohol. -- Marine glue, a solution of caoutchouc in naphtha, with shellac, used in shipbuilding.


© Webster 1913.

Glue, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Glued (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Gluing.] [F. gluer. See Glue, n.]

To join with glue or a viscous substance; to cause to stick or hold fast, as if with glue; to fix or fasten.

This cold, congealed blood That glues my lips, and will not let me speak. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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