Last night at the LAPL Aloud series, Irvine Welsh appeared in conversation with David Ulin. (I love that - "in conversation" - I'm going to use that to get out of plans. "Oh, I'm sorry. I can't attend your first communion rodeo. I'm in conversation right now.") After an animated reading from his new novel Crime- later described as an "existential thriller" - Welsh and Ulin discussed topics such as how we love what kills us, Filth, finding a character to fit a story, Dublin, pedophile priests, how a lack of moral ambiguity makes writing about pedophilia boring, survivors' groups, Lolita, tackling the effects rather than the cause, paranoia, claustrophobia, making readers squirm, avoiding internet research on pedophilia, interviewing police in Chicago and Miami as a novelist, the U.S. as a setting, Miami as the new Ellis Island, the noir detective as entrée to varied social strata, Kafka, police procedurals, sports obsession, the beauty and terror of being alive, snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, the many forms of failure, Glue, the fourth's foreskin, the Celtic Tiger economy, being an ambassador for Scotland, dependency culture, golf-playing shortbread munchkins, Haggis-eating country gentlemen, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters as the soundtrack for Crime.