“There are many knuckle-dragging hardmen in Scottish literature but Leith sociopath Francis Begbie, introduced in Irvine Welsh’s modern urban landmark Trainspotting and bolstered in its sequel Porno, is perhaps the one who has left the greatest impression. This proud member of the Young Leith Team of football hooligans is an awful, grotesque, violent creature driven by bouts of raging red mist and an intense dislike of anyone who gets on his nerves any place any time. For Begbie, the sweetest kiss is a Glasgow kiss. But, somehow, against our better judgment, he also often makes us laugh.”
Earnest Hemingway was an architect of prose admired by its beautifully powerful economy. He also had an unwavering blood lust. If it lived, ran, flew or swam he wanted to catch, stab, or shoot the beast; including himself in the end. Furthermore, any writer whose style is described as “lean, hard and athletic” is an incontestable literary hard man in anyone’s book.