Books Magazine

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

By Pamelascott

Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.


[The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling]


(Random House, 13 September 2012, 12 hours 5 minutes, audiobook, narrated by Tam Dean Burn, borrowed from my library)



This is my first time reading the author.

I really like both Trainspotting movies. I tried to read the book years ago but struggled to get into it because of the Glaswegian slang it uses. The audiobook was much easier to get into. Welsh's novels work for me in this format.

The movie is very close to the book. So much so, that at times I didn't hear the narrator but the voice of the characters who portray them on screen.

Trainspotting is one of those cult book's you feel reluctant to admit you like. This is a book about junkies. The characters are horrible people who do horrible things to each other and people outside their group. They could easily be dismissed. As junkies. As scum. As criminals. As psychopath's.

However, Trainspotting is much more than the sum of its parts. It does not glamorise taking drugs. There is nothing glamorous about the lives of Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie or anyone else in this book. Do thrillers glamorise murder or other books glamorise rape or domestic violence? I think not.

The book is gritty, painfully realistic and hard to read at times. Welsh shines a light in a dark corner of our society most people pretend doesn't exist. There is a lot of humour in the book as well. A stand-out scene in the book (and movie) is when Renton and Spud go for a job interview. Spud takes some smack and hilarity ensues.

I loved Trainspotting. It's an important book that shouldn't be dismissed.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

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