[[quoteright:266:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/filth_8080.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:266:You can kiss mah bacon-flavoured po-leese ass muthafuckah.]]

->''"Filth? Ah'll gie the cunt fuckin filth."''
-->--'''Bruce'''

->''"You loved once. Surely everybody does."''
-->--'''The Self'''

Bruce Robertson is pure filth in every sense of the word. He's a misanthropic, racist, sexist, homophobic and ''very'' corrupt sergeant detective working for the Edinburgh "Polis" who, when not satisfying his cravings for drugs, junk food or orgasms, entertains himself by manipulating and tormenting his friends, colleagues, and everyone else he meets with vindictive schemes he calls "the games". His wife's just left him, taking his daughter, but he doesn't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the divorce, preoccupied as he is with his upcoming vacation in Amsterdam, the growing rash on his testicles, a prospective promotion from his hated boss, and the case of the murder of the Ghanian ambassador's son (which he doesn't plan on solving).

When Bruce eats an uncooked gala pie, however, he ingests an existentially-curious tapeworm. The tapeworm, who starts calling itself The Self, strangely seems to have the ability to read Bruce's mind and comment eloquently on his life; eventually, it begins to unearth Bruce's most repressed memories, which quickly explain why he is the way he is.

Written by Irvine Welsh, so expect lots of phonetic Scots, salient characters, petty crime, typographical experimentation, and extremely dark humour. It's got something of a twist ending and is creatively written, so it's the kind of book you have to read twice to get the full understanding of.

A film starring {{James McAvoy}} in the lead role was released Oct 2013; the NSFW trailer can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Yhu-gDsAg here]].

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!!''Filth'' contains examples of:

* [[spoiler:AbusiveParents: Bruce's stepfather, who made him eat coal, among other things.]]
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Bruce is very fond of the Sun's page three girls. And [[PoorMansPorn gymnasts.]]
* ArcWords:"How did it make you feel?" [[spoiler:Bruce is asked this by a reporter who sees him unsuccessfully try to save a man's life. Dumbstruck by the question, Bruce pushes him aside. In the book's final chapter, it is revealed that Bruce's emotional response is rage and self-loathing at being unable to be a "better" person. It is this rage and self-loathing (which Bruce refuses to acknowledge) that drives much of his antisocial behaviour.]]
** "The same rules apply in each and every case." [[spoiler:Initially used when Bruce discusses his police work, the line eventually comes to stand for his inability to separate his present circumstances from those of his past.]]
** "My methods are my methods are my methods." [[spoiler:Bruce learned much of what he does from his stepfather, whose "methods" included making a young Bruce eat coal.]]
* BadDreams: Bruce gets very little sleep because of these.
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:The descriptions of Bruce as a young boy.]]
* BrokenBird: [[spoiler: Bruce.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Bruce''': I only care about me and about why I don't care about anybody else.]]
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: "How did it make you feel?" again.
* BerserkButton: Bruce doesn't like being called filth. He ''really'' hates sympathy, though.
-->'''Bruce''': ''GET ON WITH YOUR FUCKIN JOB AND QUIT PLAYING THE AMATEUR FUCKIN PSYCHOLOGIST!''
* BeingEvilSucks
* ChildByRape: [[spoiler: Bruce.]]
* ComedicSociopathy: In-story Bruce delights in abusing his fellow citizens, while, for the reader, a good part of the book's humour derives from the crassness with which Bruce handles different situations.
* ContinuityNod: True to form other Welsh characters make cameo appearances: Mark Renton, Ghostie Gorman, Sick Boy, Spud, Lexo Setterington, Post Connelly, Juice Terry and Francis Begbie are encountered or referenced.
* CreepyCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Bruce]].
* TheCynic: Bruce.
* DarkComedy
* DespairEventHorizon: For Bruce it's when Carole, his wife, leaves him, also taking his daughter.
* DeusAngstMachina: [[spoiler:Let's see: Bruce is the biological son of a famous rapist, which earned him the contempt and hate of his entire hometown before he was six years old. Then his stepfather abused him horrifically. Then he accidentally indirectly killed his younger brother. And his first love. Then he was thrown out of his hometown for joining the police force (even though one of the major reasons he did it was to distance himself from his biological father's criminal reputation with the hopes of earning some respect). Then he moved to Australia, where he saw, among other things, his colleague get systematically tortured to death. And then his wife and child leave him, catalysing a nervous breakdown and suicide. Christ.]]
* DepravedBisexual: "Ghostie" Gorman. Frequents a brothel, and [[spoiler: tries to make out with Bruce in the climax.]]
* DirtyCop: Bruce. Some ([[spoiler:all, barring Drummond]]) of his colleagues, like Ray, also qualify to a degree, but unlike him, they're still pretty decent people.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Bruce resents it "more than anything".
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Bruce, and Gus Bain tries as well. In the movie, it's Dougie Gillman.]]
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: Bruce commits suicide to claim revenge on his ex-wife, but his final thoughts are of regret.]]
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:In the movie, just before he hangs himself, Bruce looks into the camera, breaks the four wall by speaking to the audience, and lets out a manic laugh before jumping off the chair.]]
* DrugsAreBad: Bruce really starts to lose it when he gets what he believes to be a particularly bad batch of cocaine from Ray Lennox. The Self tries to keep urging Bruce to give up the drugs.
* EarlyBirdCameo: During an interrogation, Bruce briefly reflects on the [[ContinuityNod Begbies]], [[{{Literature/Glue}} Doyles]] and Wylies. The latter references Larry Wylie, a psycho mate of Begbie's who has minor roles in ''{{Literature/Glue}}'', ''{{Literature/Porno}}'' and ''{{Literature/Skagboys}}''. As for Alec "Dozo" Doyle, he's another part of the bampot network, and one of the antagonists in ''{{Literature/Glue}}''.
* EroticAsphyxiation: With Chrissie. Could be seen as {{Foreshadowing}}.
* EvilAlbino: The aptly nicknamed Ghostie.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: While Bruce is watching some [[GirlOnGirlIsHot lesbian porn]], a black male comes into the video and completely kills his mood. [[spoiler:We latter find out that his wife has been dating - or possibly even remarried - to a black man]].
* FriendlessBackground: Relationships make Bruce "suspicious".
* FreestateAmsterdam: Bruce takes a vacation there and does little but take drugs and have sex with hookers.
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Bruce, in the film.]]
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: [[spoiler:Bruce's behaviour is actually driven by self-loathing.]]
* JerkAss: Bruce, many more.
* KavorkaMan: The list of Bruce's sexual conquests seems endless. Occasionally he's paying, but quite often the women simply fall for his self-assuredness and greasy charm.
* LonersAreFreaks
* MagnificentBastard: In universe, Bruce believes himself to be this. However, Bob Toal fits this better, as the script he's been writing [[spoiler: is actually a ploy to draw Bruce out, as Toal knows that Bruce is responsible for Efan Wurie's murder in the first place, though he won't turn him in.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: That Bruce is. Without question.
* MeaningfulName: The Self is the tapeworm that acts as Bruce's conscience and tells his life story. The Others are other tapeworms representing society in general, forming a crude metaphor for how Bruce interacts with the world.
* MoodWhiplash: Once the tapeworm becomes self-aware. Any pretense of comedy has been dropped by the second-to-last chapter, "The Tale of a Tapeworm".
* [[spoiler: NarratorAllAlong]]
* PetTheDog: Any time that Bruce is ''not'' feeling overtly hostile towards everyone around him is notable and comes across as this, such as his one-time description of Ray as a "sound cunt".
** [[spoiler:A major one occurs when Bruce unsuccessfully attempts to revive a dying man.]]
** [[spoiler: His last thoughts are that he doesn't want his daughter to see his suicide.]]
* ThePigPen: Bruce's personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. His flannels are always filthy, as he isn't able to operate the washing machine. The one time he manages to get his hands on a clean pair, Hector the Farmer's dog [[{{Squick}} ejaculates over them]].
* PragmaticAdaptation: The movie manages to stay relatively close to the source material and is faithful to the novel's spirit, however, it does cut several aspects of the book that wouldn't work in film in order to make a more cohesive work. Bruce's cruelty is (very slightly) toned down to make him less irredeemable (although he is far from sanitized) and [[spoiler: The Self/The Tapeworm]] is played down, with his role being given to Bruce's psychiatrist, Dr. Rossi. [[spoiler: It still makes a brief appearance in one of the film's most intense scenes.]]
** In addition, the black man who is murdered [[spoiler: by Bruce,]] has been changed to a Japanese tourist. [[spoiler: Also, instead of Bruce being responsible for the murder, he is now merely witness to it while dressed as Carole, leaving Gorman's gang as the true culprits.]]
* SevenDirtyWords: All of them. Repeatedly.
* SingleIssuePsychology: Averted. Bruce's shitty memories are as numerous as his bad habits.
** However, some of Bruce's habits are directly explained by single issues in his upbringing ([[spoiler:for instance, his gluttonous consumption of junk food and coke addiction are a result of being forced to eat coal:]]
->[[spoiler:'''The Self''': Can you still taste it Bruce? Can you taste the filth, the dirty oily blackness of fossil fuel in your mouth as you choke and gag and spit it out? Can you still hear your father's voice in your head telling you to eat? Eat, eat, eat ... Because I know that it's never left you alone. Now you can eat what you want to eat. For me, for you, for all the Others. Now you can consume to your heart's content or your soul's destruction, whichever comes first.]])
* StartOfDarkness: Though the Efan Wurie murder is the novel's main plot, this is its major intrigue.
* TheSnarkKnight: Bruce is his own breed.
* TheSociopath: Bruce, to a certain extent, and also Ghostie Gorman.
* TherapyIsForTheWeak: Bruce.
* TitleDrop: Bruce is called "filth" many times over the course of the novel, but most notably by his father (not his biological father), as narrated by The Self.
* TinMan: Bruce actively tries to be this.
-->'''Bruce''': Even if I wanted a conscience, which I most certainly don't, where would I go about getting one?
* UnreliableNarrator
* TheVerse: See ContinuityNod above.
* VillainProtagonist: Then there isn't really anyone good or heroic around.
* VulgarHumor: Try counting the times Bruce's festering rash is graphically described. Or his filthy flannels. Or the texture of his excrements.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: The Self gives a monologue to this effect near the end of the book.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: Bruce hates "schemies" despite growing up in a housing project himself. Additionally, there are parallels between his behaviour and that of The Beast, "the one [he] hates the most", despite Bruce's intense desire to prove that he's nothing like him.
-->'''Bruce''': We want to make it up... We're no like the scum they put in the prisons... We want to make things right...
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->''0000000000000'''eat'''0000000'''eat'''0000000'''oh yes'''0000000000000''