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November 11, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Fiction
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The Seal Club

Irvine Welsh, John King and Alan Warner
Irvine Welsh John King Alan Warner 3x2


Pay What You Can

Still hungry for anarchy after 25 years… Trainspotting’s Irvine Welsh teams up with Football Factory’s John King and Alan Warner for their new book.

Essex Book Festival and Anglia Ruskin University are delighted to invite you to this online event with all three authors, chaired by BBC Essex’s Tony Fisher.

The Seal Club is a three-novella collection by the authors Alan Warner, Irvine Welsh and John King, three stories that capture their ongoing interests and concerns, stories that reflect bodies of work that started with Morvern Callar, Trainspotting and The Football Factory – all best-sellers, all turned into high-profile films.

The Seal Club – maverick, free-thinking fiction for the 2020s.



Tickets: Pay What You Can


Pay What You Can

We invite you to Pay What You Can for this event. You may choose to pay any amount you wish (suggested price £10). The price you pay for your ticket will help support Essex Book Festival and our efforts to make the festival accessible to those with limited means.


About the Book –  The Seal Club

In Warner’s Those Darker Sayings, a gang of Glaswegian nerds ride the mainline trains of northern England on a mission to feed the habit of their leader Slorach. Frustrated, cynical and a big disappointment to his family, Slorach is also a man of great intelligence and deep knowledge, a British Rail timetables call-centre guru who just happens to be addicted to gambling machines. And pubs. Welcome to the world of the quiz-machine casual.

In Welsh’s The Providers, the Begbie family gather in Edinburgh for a terminally ill woman’s last Christmas, but everyone needs to be on their best behaviour, and that includes her Trainspotting son Frank, recently released from prison and trying to forge a new life as an artist. Also present is his brother Joe, who arrives in a state of alcoholic dissolution. The ultimate nightmare family Christmas looms, where secrets and lies explode like fireworks.

In King’s The Beasts Of Brussels, thousands of thirsty Englishmen assemble in the city ahead of a football match against Belgium, their behaviour monitored by two media professionals who spout different politics but share the same interests. Meanwhile, The Football Factory‘s Tommy Johnson and a small crew of purists run the gauntlet in Germany, eager to join the fun. As order breaks down and the media goes into overdrive, we are left to identify the real beasts of the story.

The Seal Club will be released on 12th November 2020.

Pre-order your copy of The Seal Club now from Red Lion Books or your local bookshop.


About the authors

Irvine Welsh

Author, DJ, director, traveller – Irvine Welsh has written novels, short stories, plays and screenplays, and his work and its themes have long been sources of inspiration for new writers emerging from the rank and file.

Since Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of Trainspotting was released in February 1996 Irvine Welsh has remained a controversial figure, whose novels, stage and screen plays, novellas and short stories have proved difficult for literary critics to assimilate, a difficulty made only more noticeable by Welsh’s continued commercial success.

More books have followed, Ecstasy becoming the first paperback original to go straight in at No1 on the Sunday Times best-sellers list, a feat emulated by Filth, which became Welsh’s highest selling book after Trainspotting. His first novel has now sold almost 1 million copies in the UK alone and is a worldwide phenomenon. Books such as Glue, Porno and The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs have seen him increase his profile in America and Canada.



Alan Warner

Alan Warner is the author of eight novels: Morvern Callar, These Demented Lands, The Sopranos, The Man Who Walks, The Worms Can Carry Me to Heaven, The Stars in the Bright Sky, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, The Deadman’s Pedal and Their Lips Talk of Mischief. He is Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University.

Two of his novels have been turned into films. His influences range from the author JG Ballard to the band Can.


Read Sophie Mackintosh’s Guardian review of Morvern Callar


John King

John King is the author of nine novels – The Football Factory, Headhunters, England Away, Human Punk, White Trash, The Prison House, Skinheads, The Liberal Politics Of Adolf Hitler and Slaughterhouse Prayer. The Football Factory was turned into a play and a high-profile film.

King has written short stories and non-fiction for a number of publications, with articles appearing in the likes of The New Statesman, Le Monde and La Repubblica. His books have been widely translated abroad. He edits the fiction fanzine Verbal and lives in London.



Photo credits

Photo of Alan Warner © Gemma Day

Photo of Irvine Welsh © Jeffrey Delannoy


Anglia Ruskin University