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Trainspotting

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Trainspotting PDF, ePub eBook Ils sont quatre amis inséparables qui ont en commun une enfance, une ville, des voisins, le chômage. Et surtout une dévotion appliquée pour une seule et unique héroïne en forme de seringue. On entend ces quatre-là, on les écoute : chacun raconte son Edimbourg, entre deux pintes de bière, après un fix, avant une tasse de thé, ou pendant une baston à coup d'aiguilles à trico Ils sont quatre amis inséparables qui ont en commun une enfance, une ville, des voisins, le chômage. Et surtout une dévotion appliquée pour une seule et unique héroïne en forme de seringue. On entend ces quatre-là, on les écoute : chacun raconte son Edimbourg, entre deux pintes de bière, après un fix, avant une tasse de thé, ou pendant une baston à coup d'aiguilles à tricoter taillées en pointe. On voit les corps mangés par le virus, la drogue, les hallucinations, et puis quelque chose se détache : on est d'Edimbourg, mais comme on est de Fresnes ou de la Santé. Il faut s'échapper. Livre culte des années 1990, Trainspotting a été porté à l'écran par Dany Boyle.

30 review for Trainspotting

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jafar

    Fuck me insensible. Oh ya cunt, ya! Ah dinnae watch the movie, bit ma heid’s spinnin fae readin this shite, ah kin fuckin tell ye. The book’s no novel – mair a collection ay short stories, likesay, aboot a bunch ay Scot junkies. The cunts go aroond, fartin n shitein n shootin smack. The book is written in the Scottish dialect, sortay like whit ah’m tryin tae imitate, ken whit ah mean? It wisnnae easy fe us tae git intae it. It made us scoobied aboot whit the cunts were sayin, likesay, bit after Fuck me insensible. Oh ya cunt, ya! Ah dinnae watch the movie, bit ma heid’s spinnin fae readin this shite, ah kin fuckin tell ye. The book’s no novel – mair a collection ay short stories, likesay, aboot a bunch ay Scot junkies. The cunts go aroond, fartin n shitein n shootin smack. The book is written in the Scottish dialect, sortay like whit ah’m tryin tae imitate, ken whit ah mean? It wisnnae easy fe us tae git intae it. It made us scoobied aboot whit the cunts were sayin, likesay, bit after a while it became very enjoyable, ken. There’s like a hundred “cunts” in ivry paragraph ay this book, bit it doesnnae mean bad. Ivrybody jist caws ivrybody a cunt – no offense meant or taken, likesay. Bit nivir caw a lassie a cunt – thit shite is sexist. Ah dinnae see no glossary at the end ay the book, like some people here say. Ah thoat ma livin in London fe mair thin a year wid help us wi the dialect, bit ah’d be fucked if it did. Ah’d be the last foreign cunt tae pit doon the Queen’s English, likesay, bit truth be telt, ah cannae understand iny cunt if they’re fae iniwhair north ay Birmingham. Jist the other night this pished cunt came tae us in a bar, talkin shite. Ah asks um whair he’s fae. He sais Sheffield. I sais tae um thit ah saw Full Monty, which wis filmed in Sheffield, n ah dinnae understand inything. Ah wis jist bein a polite cunt, likesay, tellin um indirectly tae speak posh tae us. He sais, awright, ah speak posh tae ye, ye American cunt. Bit he wis a good cunt. He telt us a few good jokes thit made us spill ma pish. Ah should go there some day. The cunt telt us thit the pish gits cheaper n the burds git easier the further north ye go, ken whit ah mean? Life is mundane n depressin, bit sae whit? Pittin poison intae yir body is a load ay shite, only good fe cowardly cunts. Choose life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    I must have read the first page of Trainspotting more than twenty times since purchasing the book years ago, and each time I would put it back in fear of all the Scottish dialect. There's no point lying, this is a challenging novel, sometimes you have to read things twice or pause to think about them to fully understand what's being said. But, unlike a lot of books that are difficult to read, this was ultimately rewarding and once you get used to the slang words it becomes a very gritty, moving I must have read the first page of Trainspotting more than twenty times since purchasing the book years ago, and each time I would put it back in fear of all the Scottish dialect. There's no point lying, this is a challenging novel, sometimes you have to read things twice or pause to think about them to fully understand what's being said. But, unlike a lot of books that are difficult to read, this was ultimately rewarding and once you get used to the slang words it becomes a very gritty, moving and funny read. Trainspotting is a story about a bunch of Scottish heroin addicts (Rents, Sick Boy & others), it's about the dregs of society and it's about prostitutes. If you don't like reading about these kind of people, you won't like the book. If you have problems with the 'C' word, you definitely won't like this book. It's told in several short stories that switch between first and third person narrative and switch between character point of views. Many of my usual rules have been broken for this book: I don't like multiple perspectives, I don't like spending time deciphering the text, I don't like sentences that are made up of profanities. But all of those factors come together to make a great novel in this rare case. All the characters are oddly likeable in a way, which really says something to me about the author's talent as a writer. Even though they are morally questionable individuals with an ocean of problems, they have a very dark and hilarious sense of humour, and it is this colour and vivacity that makes it all the more heartbreaking when Rents' loses his close friends to HIV and other illnesses. It won't suit everyone, Trainspotting is about the people at the bottom of the pile who get easily written off as hopeless and a waste of space, but Welsh gives a sense of humanity to these addicts, he makes them people with unique characteristics and personal struggles that we can offer sympathy to. I'm just sorry I put it off for so long.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    As seen on The Readventurer This is why I love reading challenges - they allow me to discover books I would have never picked up on my own. Let's face it, would I ever intentionally seek a book about Scottish low-lives - junkies, thugs, and prostitutes? Don't think so. But alas, the fate threw Welsh's "Trainspotting" my way and I ate it up like hot cakes. "Trainspotting" is a collection of short stories narrating scenes in the lives of a Skag Boys (skag = heroin) - Rents, Sick Boy, Begsbie, Spud, As seen on The Readventurer This is why I love reading challenges - they allow me to discover books I would have never picked up on my own. Let's face it, would I ever intentionally seek a book about Scottish low-lives - junkies, thugs, and prostitutes? Don't think so. But alas, the fate threw Welsh's "Trainspotting" my way and I ate it up like hot cakes. "Trainspotting" is a collection of short stories narrating scenes in the lives of a Skag Boys (skag = heroin) - Rents, Sick Boy, Begsbie, Spud, and various people around them - their families, lovers, drug suppliers, partners in crime, or victims. Mark Renton (Rents) is more or less is the protagonist, this is mostly his story, even though the stories are written from multiple points of view in 1st and 3rd person. The majority of them is also narrated in Scottish dialect, so some initial effort to understand is required. The best thing about this book is that it takes you on a roller-coaster ride - it takes you from revulsion to uncontrollable boasts of laughter to tears of compassion. Considering that every other word in this book is a profanity, I think Irvine Welsh has talent. "Trainspotting" starts off as a rather repulsive read - within the first 10 pages Rents is fishing out the drugs that he has just rectally ingested out of the filthy overflowing public toilet. The repulsive factor doesn't really go away as the story progresses, we are faced with psychopath Begsbie who is extremely abusive to everyone around him, including his girlfriends, or Sick Boy who is very popular with women and at some point becomes a pimp of a few of them, or Rents himself, who drunkenly has sex with a 14-year old girl or shags his dead brother's pregnant fiance in the bathroom during his funeral. The list goes on and on. But the thing is, in spite of all these depravities, Skag Boys are strangely relatable and, dare I say it, often likable. They are losers and addicts and criminals, but their emotional and moral struggles are real. The book is, although very dark, at the same time hilarious, it is filled with Rents' sarcastic humor. This quote from the scene can give you a good taste of the writing. Here Rents is held by his parents under the house arrest. They are attempting to get him off the heroin, Rents' mom is trying to feed him. "The auld girl sticks us in the comfy chair by the fire in front ay the telly, and puts a tray oan ma lap. Ah'm convulsing inside anyway, but the mince looks revolting. - Ah've telt ye ah dinnae eat meat Ma, ah sais. - Ye eywis liked yer mince and tatties (potatoes). That's whair ye've gone wrong son, no eating the right thing. Ye need meat. Now there is apparently a casual link between heroin addiction and vegetarianism." In the latter part "Trainspotting" is no longer a repulsively hilarious read, it gets darker and darker, as we follow the fates of Rents' many friends, and it's not pretty - too many of them are dying - from HIV from sharing needles, from cancer, gangrene, heart attacks. Seeing this many deaths, 25-year old Rents attempts to kick his habit over and over again, but will he and his friends succeed? I think "Trainspotting" is a remarkable read and I will definitely read more of Welsh's work. But is this book for everybody? Absolutely not. It is filled with human depravities, profanity, and written in Scottish dialect. This will turn off many readers. But if you are looking for a challenging (in many ways) read, give "Trainspotting" a try. You won't be disappointed. Reading challenge: #13 - transgressive

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Everything you heard about this book is true. It will not only melt your face, but also the faces of anyone in the same room as you. Be prepared for a deluge of c-words from page one to page last, be prepared for a detailed account of a bunch of lively Scottish junkies scuffling and waiting for their man and spiking up and all of that. This is offensiveness which achieves transcendence. There are scenes which will make you will drop your jaw so far you'll have to spend half an hour looking for i Everything you heard about this book is true. It will not only melt your face, but also the faces of anyone in the same room as you. Be prepared for a deluge of c-words from page one to page last, be prepared for a detailed account of a bunch of lively Scottish junkies scuffling and waiting for their man and spiking up and all of that. This is offensiveness which achieves transcendence. There are scenes which will make you will drop your jaw so far you'll have to spend half an hour looking for it (it fell off and rolled under the bed). You will guffaw in public, stuff may emit forcefully from your nasal region. Yes, the first ten or 15 pages will be tough tough tough like Clockwork Orange since it's written in the language of Scottish junkies. Bit et's nae bother. Hack your way through the first few pages and you'll be hurtling along, larfing and barfing, lurching and hurling, all the way to the sticky end. Apparently some people find the title of the book obscure. Especially if they only see the extremely-watered-down but still pretty good film. Sometimes the notorious psycho Begbie decides after the pub shuts to go to the station and find anyone who's unfortunate enough to be waiting for a train and give them a random vicious beating. In a spirit of fun he calls that trainspotting.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    Probably the most famous passage from the book: "Whin yir oan junk, aw ye worry about is scorin. Oaf the gear, ye worry aboot loads ay things. Nae money, cannae git pished. Goat money, drinkin too much. Cannae git a burd, nae chance ay a ride. git a burd, too much hassle, canne breathe withoot her gitten oan yir case. Either that, or ye blow it, and feel aw guilty. Ye worry aboot bills, food bailiffs, these Jambo Nazi scum beatin us, aw the things that ye couldnae gie a fuck aboot whin yuv goat Probably the most famous passage from the book: "Whin yir oan junk, aw ye worry about is scorin. Oaf the gear, ye worry aboot loads ay things. Nae money, cannae git pished. Goat money, drinkin too much. Cannae git a burd, nae chance ay a ride. git a burd, too much hassle, canne breathe withoot her gitten oan yir case. Either that, or ye blow it, and feel aw guilty. Ye worry aboot bills, food bailiffs, these Jambo Nazi scum beatin us, aw the things that ye couldnae gie a fuck aboot whin yuv goat a real junk habit. Yuv just goat one thing tae worry aboot. The simplicity ay it aw. Ken whit ah mean? Rento stops to give his jaws another grind." I've read this book three times now. Once during high school, once during college, and once as an adult. Reading this book feels like going home. It makes me believe that really great books can be found anywhere. In some ways I feel the book is a product of the 80s, but I remember it as an essential part of the 90s. For some reason, the Renton's mates seem like the most universal set of characters in the world. Everyone has one friend who is a lady-killer like Sick Boy, a good-hearted man like Spud, a stalwart like Tommy, and an absolute bastard like Begby. As for Mark, well, he is the dude most likely to be the one narrating the tale. I sensitive, never-do-weller who is too sensitive for his own good. Who of us hasn't had these problems; who of us hasn't had friends like these; who us hasn't wanted an escape from the tedium of modern life? Others on goodreads have analyzed the novel from a writerly perspective. I wonder how the book got published--because it is a bad book, but because it is so uniquely good that you only realize how good it is by investing your time in reading it again and again (and learning the slang if you don't know Scottish dialect). The book seems to be authentic because it doesn't try too hard to be something it's not. Perhaps that's the message for writers reading this book: be who you are as a writer, for good or ill, and hopefully it will all work. Or, you can just give up writing and live a normal, happy, healthy life. Whin yir off the writing, all you think about is writing. Oan the writing, ye worry aboot loads ay things. Nae money, cannae git an agent. Goat an agent, won't return your calls. Cannae git a publisher, nae chance ay a making it. Git a publisher, too much hassle, canne breathe withoot them gitten oan yir case. Either that, or ye blow it, and feel aw guilty. Ye worry aboot bills these effete critics beatin us, aw the things that ye couldnaegie a fuck aboot whin yuv given up the writing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    Very very big novel to have read even if it is not for "all public". We are in the authentic, it is dug and dense, we fully live these characters who are nevertheless drug addicts and we feel their desires, passions, sufferings and even lack of people! Really a great novel, a very great author this Irvine Welsh.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    I'm a little confused about why I'd had the other edition reviewed, when I didn't read the John Hodge after-movie version. *delete, delete, delete* If I hadn't seen the movie first, I probably wouldn't have even tried reading the book because the language difference is not the most accommodating to read in print. The writing works for the people, place, and lifestyle that's being shown, but it's definitely easier to understand when you have the movie to refer to in your mind. I will say that afte I'm a little confused about why I'd had the other edition reviewed, when I didn't read the John Hodge after-movie version. *delete, delete, delete* If I hadn't seen the movie first, I probably wouldn't have even tried reading the book because the language difference is not the most accommodating to read in print. The writing works for the people, place, and lifestyle that's being shown, but it's definitely easier to understand when you have the movie to refer to in your mind. I will say that after a few pages it did get easier, once I started to figure out which words meant what. If you missed out on this movie back in the mid 90's, here's a basic rundown : Heroin addicts struggle to live life while fighting their addiction. The movie (and book) is gritty, bleak, raunchy, sexy, funny, and heartbreaking. This paragraph sums it up in a better way than I'm capable of - Syringe, needle, spoon, candle, lighter, packet ay powder. It's all okay, it's all beautiful; but ah fear that this internal sea is gaunnae subside soon, leaving this poisonous shire washed up, stranded up in ma body. Ah start tae cook up another shot. As ah shakily hand the spoon ower the candle, waitin for the junk tae dissolve, ah think; more short-term sea, more long-term poison. This thought though, is naewhere near sufficient tae stop us fae daein what ah huv tae dae. After finishing my read and watching the movie again, I will say that this story is one I'll never forget. The movie came along when I was in a period of my life where I needed to have some things pounded into my head and Trainspotting was a reference point for all things which I needed to remind myself to stay away from. I laughed, I cried, I almost lost my lunch...how's that for a story?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha

    I love the movie so much, I didn't think this book could be better than the movie. Oh, but it is. Review to come, because I need to process what I've just read. P.S. I'm attempting to review the book in phonetic Scots, it's immensely difficult.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    Buddy Read with Murugesh. This is the first time I am reading a book that involves Drug Addiction. It does not just involve Drug addiction but that is the center theme of the story. The writing is a bit different and most of the chapters are written in Scottish dialect and I had to actually go and re-read sentences many times! The narrator changes with each chapter, and at first it was difficult to follow whose point of view we are reading. But as the book progresses, just by looking at the langu Buddy Read with Murugesh. This is the first time I am reading a book that involves Drug Addiction. It does not just involve Drug addiction but that is the center theme of the story. The writing is a bit different and most of the chapters are written in Scottish dialect and I had to actually go and re-read sentences many times! The narrator changes with each chapter, and at first it was difficult to follow whose point of view we are reading. But as the book progresses, just by looking at the language and particular use of words, I was able to identify who the narrator for the chapter is. We follow the lives of drug addicts, the depth of the addiction, the fight to come out of it and then back to the addiction. The diseases that the addicts are prone to (AIDS because of the needle sharing) and apathetic daze they live and die in. There are some very unlikable set of characters and at the end of it you don't feel like rooting for any of them. Out of the all the characters , Spud was naive and Davie was decent (apart from the one act). Rent Boy was all shades of grey whereas Sick Boy and Begbie were despicable by the end of it! Sounds dreadful doesn't it, but the author has done an interesting job of putting it all forward and making this an interesting read. There were inventive ways of taking drugs, that I had no idea about and there were numerable scenes that made me very uncomfortable. This was definitely out of my comfort zone but I am still glad that I read this dark, troubling, disgusting, depressing but still funny at times story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    I actually quite enjoyed this book though some parts of it were really hard to take. There's a lot of vulgarity, sex and violence, but the book also talks about some important issues, such as Scottish nationalism, HIV/AIDS, drug use (there's a LOT of drug use), racism in the UK and the problems in Northern Ireland. The characters are quite colourful and interesting, I think they are well-developed.The book was quite philosophical and witty at times, though mainly from a misanthropic viewpoint! Th I actually quite enjoyed this book though some parts of it were really hard to take. There's a lot of vulgarity, sex and violence, but the book also talks about some important issues, such as Scottish nationalism, HIV/AIDS, drug use (there's a LOT of drug use), racism in the UK and the problems in Northern Ireland. The characters are quite colourful and interesting, I think they are well-developed.The book was quite philosophical and witty at times, though mainly from a misanthropic viewpoint! This was definitely a tough book to stomach, especially with the vivid way violence of all kinds is portrayed. I do appreciate Welsh introducing a subculture I know next to nothing about. I will probably be reading the sequel to this book in the near future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    I watched the movie first years ago and absolutely love it even to these days, the book itself is almost just as good although the book's ending is a bit weak when comparing to the movie's ending. I love how Irvine Welsh weaved his sharp, cutting observation of the 1980 to 1990 Scotland society and the teens' subculture into his sassy tale about coming of age, trust and friendship for a bunch of up-to-no-good drug addicted teenagers. And it's one of my most favorite coming of age tales of all ti I watched the movie first years ago and absolutely love it even to these days, the book itself is almost just as good although the book's ending is a bit weak when comparing to the movie's ending. I love how Irvine Welsh weaved his sharp, cutting observation of the 1980 to 1990 Scotland society and the teens' subculture into his sassy tale about coming of age, trust and friendship for a bunch of up-to-no-good drug addicted teenagers. And it's one of my most favorite coming of age tales of all time!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Choose mainstream. Choose cheap ebooks that won't challenge you, stretch you, change you or otherwise fuck with your mind. Choose YA and chicklit and bland massproduced airport thrillers with sanitised violence and the kind of sex you're sure you can get from a random stranger you picked up half an hour ago when you were both pretending to be too drunk to know what you were doing. Choose to ignore anything unexpected or transgressive including but not limited to Plato, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespear Choose mainstream. Choose cheap ebooks that won't challenge you, stretch you, change you or otherwise fuck with your mind. Choose YA and chicklit and bland massproduced airport thrillers with sanitised violence and the kind of sex you're sure you can get from a random stranger you picked up half an hour ago when you were both pretending to be too drunk to know what you were doing. Choose to ignore anything unexpected or transgressive including but not limited to Plato, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Newton, Voltaire, Flaubert, Einstein, Joyce, Proust, Dirac, Sartre and the New Testament. If possible, choose not even to have heard of them. Choose to vote for the dishonest political party whose mindless focus group tested slogan appeared most often in your fucking Facebook feed on your fucking iPhone which you touch or swipe an average of 2600 times a day. Choose to develop Alzheimers and fall asleep while rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on your fucking Kindle and never wake up. But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose mainstream. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got real books?

  13. 5 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Audio # 37 This was superb as an audiobook! I cannot push this enough. The narrator’s voice makes it all the more heinous. I stopped looking for redeeming qualities. I just let the story flow. Just disgusting but in such a good way. Could not stop listening

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matt Albers

    I love this novel. I've read it three times, and I never re-read books. What surprised me at the first reading of this book was how disjointed it was when compared to the movie. Only a fraction of the chapters are represented in the film version, and several characters are missing completely. I learned that each chapter was actually a short story and Trainspotting itself was merely a collection. However,I found that the book characters were much more engaging and human. It seemed that each one I love this novel. I've read it three times, and I never re-read books. What surprised me at the first reading of this book was how disjointed it was when compared to the movie. Only a fraction of the chapters are represented in the film version, and several characters are missing completely. I learned that each chapter was actually a short story and Trainspotting itself was merely a collection. However,I found that the book characters were much more engaging and human. It seemed that each one of them, from Renton to Spud, painted a picture of a part of myself. Admittedly they weren't all parts I liked, but each of them felt soberingly real. I have no proof, but I believe that Irvine Welsh lived the stories he has written down, and that each of the characters is based on himself. The stories themselves were strikingly powerful and sometimes moving. Sometimes they were shocking disturbing or just a little gross, but they all have a life of their own that you can almost feel and smell and taste. Plus, I loved looking into the spyglass of modern Scotland it provided. Perhaps only the Scotland of a few junkies, but a vivid spyglass nonetheless. Remember though, this isn't William Burroughs, and it sure as shit isn't Braveheart. A review of this book has to talk about language. It's a shame that written communication is being so cheapened by electronics, because Trainspotting's language could be as important to the development of the English language as, at worst Anthony Burgess with A Clockwork Orange, and at best William Shakespeare. Yes, I am that impressed with the use of written word in Trainspotting. It certainly felt something like reading Shakespeare, since you sometimes had to read it aloud to comprehend what was being said, which I found to be a delightful challenge. Please, unless you shy away from blood, sweat, pain and human shit, please read Trainspotting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ria

    'We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it... Basically,we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.' Lately I've been really into books that involve drug addiction. I don't fucking know why... Okay sooo the edition i got is in Greek because it came for ''free'' with a newspaper i purchased. Since i liked the movie i was like 'Shit i liked the movie.why 'We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it... Basically,we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.' Lately I've been really into books that involve drug addiction. I don't fucking know why... Okay sooo the edition i got is in Greek because it came for ''free'' with a newspaper i purchased. Since i liked the movie i was like 'Shit i liked the movie.why not get it'. So i got it, read it, didn't experience the pain of having to read the Scottish dialect and loved it. Such a thrilling story, i know. I didn't expect it to be a collection of short stories. I'm glad i wasn't aware because i don't like reading those kind of books & if i knew, i don't think i would have bought it. Yes i'm a fucking weirdo, Yes i'm aware i love Bane Chronicles/Shadowhunter Academy but i think it's because i love Magnus Bane... what did this paragraph turn into.... It's 3am and my brain is tired so i'm gonna sum it up. If you like the movie get it, If these kind of books interest you/you are in the mood to read something ¿different? get it & If you are like me and love violence and the word 'Cunt' get it... P.S, I'll never understand why people hate the word cunt.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris_P

    Welsh's novel made me appreciate the movie even more than I already did, even though I didn't think it was possible. As it turns out, Boyle's adaptation is faithful to its source, while at the same time it follows its own paths, creates its own trademarks and tells its own story. Just reading the book or just watching the film wouldn't be enough since one can do both and not get the "I've seen it before" kind of feeling. That's not to say that some of the scenes aren't identical in both the nove Welsh's novel made me appreciate the movie even more than I already did, even though I didn't think it was possible. As it turns out, Boyle's adaptation is faithful to its source, while at the same time it follows its own paths, creates its own trademarks and tells its own story. Just reading the book or just watching the film wouldn't be enough since one can do both and not get the "I've seen it before" kind of feeling. That's not to say that some of the scenes aren't identical in both the novel and the film. However, Boyle and Welsh gave their distinct styles to this magnificent work, which makes them brilliant, each in his own field. I remember having a conversation with various people about which scene of the movie is the most shocking. While the majority would vote for the one with the baby in the crib, I've always considered the one where Mark od's and sinks into the floor before he's taken to the hospital, while Lou Reed's Perfect Day plays in the background to be the most brilliantly shocking scene of the movie. To me, that scene is the perfect depiction of emptiness, degradation and lack of anything meaningful and necessary for one to be called a human being. Now, while the film conveys these feelings to a certain extent, the book does nothing but that. Welsh took all that's wrong with the world, everything bad and rotten, and used it as ink for his pen, without ever failing, however, to maintain a humorous, almost light aspect in his style. If you think that makes it easier to swallow, think again. I never imagined that a combination of humour and rawness such as this would be so haunting but trust me, it is. This book, with its trademark style, its rawness and the depth of its characters rounds for me, along with the film, a masterpiece of the 90's. It's not only a stunning piece of literature, but the anthem of a generation drowned in the mud of all that was wrong with society then, and has been to this day.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Banks

    I've actually read this book several times (as it never fails to wow me) - when the original film came out, I remember rushing to the book shop in a frenzy to go and buy it... now I'm showing my age! Irvine Welsh is such a fabulous writer - visceral, searingly truthful and highly amusing in places. I thought he hit the Scottish brogue just right with his dialogue, and the characters were so convincingly conveyed...I defy anyone not to fall in love with the hapless Spud! (Just beware when you rea I've actually read this book several times (as it never fails to wow me) - when the original film came out, I remember rushing to the book shop in a frenzy to go and buy it... now I'm showing my age! Irvine Welsh is such a fabulous writer - visceral, searingly truthful and highly amusing in places. I thought he hit the Scottish brogue just right with his dialogue, and the characters were so convincingly conveyed...I defy anyone not to fall in love with the hapless Spud! (Just beware when you read Porno...images of Spud=ruined FOREVER!). I always loved the film, but for me, the book has the edge. Sharp, witty, depressingly authentic - a modern classic, in my opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia Anske

    If you ever told me I'd cry reading this book, I'd be like, what? I've seen the movie, you see, a long time ago. But I did. I cried like a baby. I cried at a part in the middle of the book, the part that starts off the movie, the famous words of "Choose life. Choose…" Well, in case you haven't read the book and haven't seen the movie, you'll get what I mean, once you do both. I'm actually about to jump into re-watching the movie again, now that I'm done reading. And, WOW. Just, WOW. This is not If you ever told me I'd cry reading this book, I'd be like, what? I've seen the movie, you see, a long time ago. But I did. I cried like a baby. I cried at a part in the middle of the book, the part that starts off the movie, the famous words of "Choose life. Choose…" Well, in case you haven't read the book and haven't seen the movie, you'll get what I mean, once you do both. I'm actually about to jump into re-watching the movie again, now that I'm done reading. And, WOW. Just, WOW. This is not prose, this is poetry, a powerful cocktail of juxtaposition, Scottish profanities galore injected with searching for the answer to this persistent question. Why live? Why go for hypocrisy, for squalor, for stark morose grim existence of the so called life if we're all going to die anyway? Why not get on the needle and not bother about anything, basking in that mythology of everything will be just splendid? There are so many layers here, I feel like I only started digging. And then, of course, I don't think I can read proper English after this, after indulging on phonetically spelled Scottish awesomeness, on top of it, me being not a native English speaker. It's a feast. Well, so the story itself is a maze of episodes taken from the lives of junkie mates and their friends, narrated primarily by Rents, or Mark Renton. We jump back and forth between scenes of scoring drugs, injecting drugs, withdrawing from drugs, getting on drugs again, all the while revolving around everything that goes with it, HIV infections, sex, violence, death, neglect, you name it, everything under the sun is here, and more, the constant background of moral choice against pure survival. Which outweighs which? We get to see several different perspectives of different characters, most of them colorfully doused with all kinds of human liquid, like puddles of urine, vomit, feces, blood, and everything in between, with rare glimpses of love here and there and this strange soberness that causes them to look up and realize what hole they've sunk into, but only for a moment, before returning back to the needle. The power of language is such that when you raise your head to catch a breath from reading, you're disoriented for a while, not sure where you are and how you got there. The only wish I had was to get back into the book, annoying those around me, perhaps because the topic rung true to me. I've never been on drugs, but I've been suicidal, and maybe that's why I cried. I felt this desire to destroy yourself behind the rage, the anger, the need to escape it all, for not being accepted, for being lonely, for being so numb that the only way to feel something was to get high. You know it's an illusion, but you don't care. Anything goes. it hit me in the gut, this book, and it will hit me again and again, as I plan to reread it. Now I'm off, watching the movie, and I hope you're off to read this book, because you bloody have to.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Smokinjbc

    Those that know me are aware that I've never seriously (and can count on two fingers how often) done any serious drugs- the worse I 've tried was weed and it did absolutely nothing for me except make me feel like I was choking to death. So.. why the attraction of Irvine Welsh's lovely books? They are anything but lovely, more like a trip down into the sewer but they are still, to my ears anyways, gorgeous in the dialogue, characterizations and most of all, the original, frantic storylines. Who Those that know me are aware that I've never seriously (and can count on two fingers how often) done any serious drugs- the worse I 've tried was weed and it did absolutely nothing for me except make me feel like I was choking to death. So.. why the attraction of Irvine Welsh's lovely books? They are anything but lovely, more like a trip down into the sewer but they are still, to my ears anyways, gorgeous in the dialogue, characterizations and most of all, the original, frantic storylines. Who else writes about junkies dying of AIDS or rape victims wrecking revenge on comatose perpetrators (Marabou Stork Nightmares)? How about abusing women (or children, or mates, or whoever is handy), doing drugs until your head explodes and *** all to anyone who cares? Sick huh? Sick but attractive nonetheless. What is fiction if not to live another's life? I think Irvine Welsh brings to life the "lowest of the low" in a way that many can appreciate. Or not. Ok.. unless you are a little weird, probably not at all. But bugger off if you don't get it.... (unless your my boss, or coworker or someone who shouldn't be snooping on me anyways). The works of Irvine Welsh have absolutely nothing to do with my life. I don't identify really with most of the characters (although in my previous life, I'm sure I was as hot and smart as Dianne.). He is still one of my favorite authors, and I swear I don't have to do heroin to feel that way (maybe it helps, I really wouldn't know).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia Zamfir

    This book is definitely a masterpiece, succeeding into portraying the junkie life as close to reality as possible. I had a great time reading it, I even enjoyed the Scottish dialect and the bad words. If I had to choose a word to describe Trainspotting, it would be art; you get to know the characters, to understand what they are going through and to feel their pain, their reality. You get to see them struggle, trying to escape their addiction but eventually going back to the good old needle. The This book is definitely a masterpiece, succeeding into portraying the junkie life as close to reality as possible. I had a great time reading it, I even enjoyed the Scottish dialect and the bad words. If I had to choose a word to describe Trainspotting, it would be art; you get to know the characters, to understand what they are going through and to feel their pain, their reality. You get to see them struggle, trying to escape their addiction but eventually going back to the good old needle. The book is about an alternative way of living, being aware of the fact that we have no clear purpose on this planet, and choosing to dodge the burdens of life like a genuine rebel. “Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers... Choose DSY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away in the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself, choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Asghar Abbas

    Best Scottish thing ever. If you can read, as in just read this, then you are my hero. It's written in pure Scottish dialect. And it's movie gave us a young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    What is this book about at the end of the day? Let the book speak for itself: People think it's all about misery and desperation and death and all that shite, which is not to be ignored, but what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. After all, we're not fucking stupid. At least, we're not that fucking stupid. The above quote is about shooting heroin, but it can pretty well be applied to the book as a whole. What we, as the reader, get is a glimpse of some fairly messed u What is this book about at the end of the day? Let the book speak for itself: People think it's all about misery and desperation and death and all that shite, which is not to be ignored, but what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. After all, we're not fucking stupid. At least, we're not that fucking stupid. The above quote is about shooting heroin, but it can pretty well be applied to the book as a whole. What we, as the reader, get is a glimpse of some fairly messed up situations and a way of life that most of us will luckily never really know. At first these interlinked stories seem miserable, confusing, and dark (and boy are they), but then you start to catch onto just how funny and smart this book really is. Laced with the words cunt and shite, and scenes that may raise bile to the back of your throat, this book takes some fortitude and persistence. The pleasant surprise in all this turns out to be the characters, the Skag boys. They are killing themselves and in many ways utterly repulsive, but they are also irresistibly likable by the time you reach the end. These characters generally turn out to be lost, sensitive, and intelligent (well, some of them anyway). Thing is, as ye git aulder, this character-deficiency gig becomes mair sapping. Thir wis a time ah used tae say tae aw the teachers, bosses, dole punters, poll-tax guys, magistrates, when they telt me ah was deficient:'Hi, cool it, gadge, ah'm jist me, jist intae a different sort ay gig fae youse but, ken?' Now though, ah've goat tae concede thit mibee they cats had it sussed. Ye take a healthier slapping the aulder ye git. The blows hit hame mair. It's like yon Mike Tyson boy at the boxing, ken? Every time ye git it thegither tae make a comeback, thir's jist a wee bit mair missin. So ye fuck up again. Yip, ah'm jist no a gadge cut oot fir modern life n that's aw thir is tae it, man. Sometimes the gig goes smooth, then ah jist pure panic n it's back tae the auld weys. What kin ah dae? Your not wrong, but don't give up - I want you to make it, I find I'm doing something that I have no right to be doing, rooting for the Skag boys (again, some of them at least).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie

    I imagine when people hear the title of this book, they immediately think something scene. As if it's the story of a bunch of junkies in Scotland. The thing is about Welsh is that the culture of the people who live on these streets is really a grand metaphor for all kinds of political criticisms and systems. It has to do with the relationship of the Scottish to their own gov't as well as their relationship with Ireland and England. At the same time, these points may be easy to miss when mired wi I imagine when people hear the title of this book, they immediately think something scene. As if it's the story of a bunch of junkies in Scotland. The thing is about Welsh is that the culture of the people who live on these streets is really a grand metaphor for all kinds of political criticisms and systems. It has to do with the relationship of the Scottish to their own gov't as well as their relationship with Ireland and England. At the same time, these points may be easy to miss when mired with the dialect. There is a helpful glossary at the back for those who feel especially clueless. After awhile, you learn to accommodate and may even find a couple of Scottish sounding words slipping from between your own lips if you've been reading it for long enough. (I swear my own thoughts started sounding Scottish.) To me, what's shameful is how people think the film is so great...compared to the novel, the film is really Trainspotting light..and it's the reason why it's passed off so easily as just a book about druggies. It misses several key scenes and characters which are conveniently dropped in favor of more mainstream appeal. In comparison, it raises less questions and is a weak version of the storytelling. (I thought Danny Boyle did a much better job of Shallow Grave personally.) This book deserves to be treated not as simply an icon of pop culture but with the deftness of a surgeon using a scalpel, carefully dissecting each hidden meaning and character. Without that, it will be lost forever in a category it neither belongs in nor deserves.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jen from Quebec :0)

    Huh...Finishing up a lot of books at the end of the month as 2018 approaches, and had a few minutes left of this one on Audible; I had thought I was finished. The AUDIO version of the novel is like AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENTITY ENTIRELY. I enjoyed it a lot, but it was very different from reading *that lingo* in your own head, with your own inflections! Having it read to you with the proper native tongue is so helpful, because-if you have not read this book- it IS an entirely different dialect tha Huh...Finishing up a lot of books at the end of the month as 2018 approaches, and had a few minutes left of this one on Audible; I had thought I was finished. The AUDIO version of the novel is like AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENTITY ENTIRELY. I enjoyed it a lot, but it was very different from reading *that lingo* in your own head, with your own inflections! Having it read to you with the proper native tongue is so helpful, because-if you have not read this book- it IS an entirely different dialect than North American English spoken by the characters, making it difficult to READ even if you speak English...the film's subtitles were NOT just to be funny or cute. The audio book is amazing. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cbj

    I first read Trainspotting when I was in college in Glasgow. It was my first time in a Western country and I was just about recovering from the culture shock when I discovered this book in the library. The first hundred pages were really tough to get through because it is written in the Scottish accent. But once I understood what was going on, I felt like Renton, Sick Boy and Spud were like best friends that I never had. As we grow older we all adopt a certain persona and then we stick to it for I first read Trainspotting when I was in college in Glasgow. It was my first time in a Western country and I was just about recovering from the culture shock when I discovered this book in the library. The first hundred pages were really tough to get through because it is written in the Scottish accent. But once I understood what was going on, I felt like Renton, Sick Boy and Spud were like best friends that I never had. As we grow older we all adopt a certain persona and then we stick to it for the rest of our lives (atleast, that's the middle class Indian way). As someone from a conservative country and family, I was attracted to the care free adventures of the working class characters in this book. I know the book is supposed to be depressing but it is also an example of a book that is like a crutch. I have a feeling this book is to Scottish youngsters what Catcher in the Rye was to American youngsters when it first came out. It has some truly scathing social commentary: “Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae's behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah'm gaunnae huv a short life, am ah sound mind, ectetera, ectetera, but still want tae use smack? They won't let ye dae it. They won't let ye dae it, because it's seen as a sign ay thir ain failure." People anywhere in the world (especially the ones from tightly knit societies like India) could identify with writing like the above. I think Welsh is very popular in India. I see his books in nearly all Indian bookstores, even the secondhand ones. Anyway, the book had a huge impact on my extremely impressionable mind and led to me doing a lot of things that I am not so proud of when I look back. Which is why I think it is among the most dangerous books that I have ever read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Read as part of the Infinite Variety 2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll. A series of short stories, from various drug-fuelled view points in 90s Scotland that together make up a vivid and dire account of some Scottish junkies, the lowest of the low, who don't want to own a washing machine and watching game shows. I only made my way to about half way. I do get the point, or the non-point, of this book, I do. But I didn't like it. I disliked the whole of it and I couldn't bring Read as part of the Infinite Variety 2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll. A series of short stories, from various drug-fuelled view points in 90s Scotland that together make up a vivid and dire account of some Scottish junkies, the lowest of the low, who don't want to own a washing machine and watching game shows. I only made my way to about half way. I do get the point, or the non-point, of this book, I do. But I didn't like it. I disliked the whole of it and I couldn't bring myself to care to read it any longer. I personally don't think, these days, it's anything new, but at the time it was actually written (the early 90s) I can see the impact it would have had. It's not as if it's the first book about drug-abuse from an abusers point of view, either (see Confessions of an English Opium Eater for the first one), nor will it be the last, and it's not the most out-there book I've ever come across (a novel from the point of view of a T-Rex probably holds that title). Is it great that we're seeing the very dredges of society in book form? Yeah, probably. We need a little of everything here, not just girly romance and myths and magic and Mordor, and not just linear books that have endings, either. I've seen the film, too, and I'd say from what I gleaned here that it's an accurate visual representation of what the book was trying to do, but not everything you write down has a visual counterpart. Yup. Fine and happy with trying it out but it wasn't for me and I'll never pick it up again. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daren

    I love this book, and I have since I first read it back in the early 90s. Having just finished reading Skagboys, which is the prequel to Trainspotting, published a little under twenty years later, I couldn't resist re-reading Trainspotting to see how good the follow-on was. What became apparent was how much better Welsh has got at this particular style of writing - the chapter per character, written in dialect. I commented in my Skagboys review that it was immediately obvious which character we we I love this book, and I have since I first read it back in the early 90s. Having just finished reading Skagboys, which is the prequel to Trainspotting, published a little under twenty years later, I couldn't resist re-reading Trainspotting to see how good the follow-on was. What became apparent was how much better Welsh has got at this particular style of writing - the chapter per character, written in dialect. I commented in my Skagboys review that it was immediately obvious which character we were with on commencing a chapter. I was surprised in Trainspotting to find that this wasn't always the case - I had to read a bit and place the context to figure this out. Not a bad thing, just interesting that Welsh was able to improve. I had no expectation that I would reduce from 5 stars on this reading, and I have not. For me this book, probably along with Vurt, by Jeff Noon represent a point in my youth when I started reading more, as these books really delivered something new and different from all I had read before. Excellent.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    DNF at 2%. I tried reading the book, but couldn't understand over half of the language. Tried listening to it and couldn't understand half of the narration. The film is fantastic, one of my favorites, but I'm just not capable of translating the vernacular of the text. This is my bad. I decline to rate because this is definitely my problem and no problem with the book. Bitching about not being able to read this book would be like bitching about not being able to read a book in Japanese because I DNF at 2%. I tried reading the book, but couldn't understand over half of the language. Tried listening to it and couldn't understand half of the narration. The film is fantastic, one of my favorites, but I'm just not capable of translating the vernacular of the text. This is my bad. I decline to rate because this is definitely my problem and no problem with the book. Bitching about not being able to read this book would be like bitching about not being able to read a book in Japanese because I don't know Japanese. Just because I don't know what the author's saying in his native dialect, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the book. It's just not written in language I can translate. I think I'll give one of his English books a try.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Unpopular opinion: I did not like the way this story was told. It wasn’t the use of the Scottish dialect – living in Scotland I can deal with such a thing – rather what I couldn’t enjoy was the way the story seemed to be told through short stories. To me, this ruined some of the impact of the story. Events seemed to be thrown at us rather than things slowly coming together. It felt more like things simply were rather than being allowed to see how things slowly came to fruition. Honestly, I wanted Unpopular opinion: I did not like the way this story was told. It wasn’t the use of the Scottish dialect – living in Scotland I can deal with such a thing – rather what I couldn’t enjoy was the way the story seemed to be told through short stories. To me, this ruined some of the impact of the story. Events seemed to be thrown at us rather than things slowly coming together. It felt more like things simply were rather than being allowed to see how things slowly came to fruition. Honestly, I wanted to enjoy this one much more than I did, yet my interest kept slipping each time the story changed. I would really get into one event and the next would start up instantly. I kept putting the book aside, at far too regular intervals, just because I had reached a new section and could do such a thing. This, however, all boils down to one thing: I’m really not good at reading short story collections. Even when they link together in the way this story did – and it linked wonderfully, the way events linked back together – I find my attention is not what it should be. It’s a fault of my own and not the book. I really shouldn’t say this, but I plan to watch the film (I held off for years because I wanted to read the book first) and I somehow feel as though I’ll enjoy that more. Overall, I’m disappointed in myself rather than the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    As I’ve lived in Edinburgh for three years now, it seemed past time to read such an important part of its literary canon. (Next I should watch the films, I guess.) I found the experience similar to Infinite Jest, another distinctively written and grim as fuck depiction of substance abuse that I don’t regret reading but never want to again. I recommend watching a few episodes of Derry Girls part-way through ‘Trainspotting’ to alleviate the gloom. Like Foster-Wallace, Welsh evokes opiate withdrawa As I’ve lived in Edinburgh for three years now, it seemed past time to read such an important part of its literary canon. (Next I should watch the films, I guess.) I found the experience similar to Infinite Jest, another distinctively written and grim as fuck depiction of substance abuse that I don’t regret reading but never want to again. I recommend watching a few episodes of Derry Girls part-way through ‘Trainspotting’ to alleviate the gloom. Like Foster-Wallace, Welsh evokes opiate withdrawal disgustingly viscerally, which is impressive but hardly fun to read. The most horrific parts of the book for me, however, concerned the background female characters. The main cast are all men, with only two or three chapters from a woman’s point of view. I’ll struggle to forget the section with the dead baby, or the appalling gradual realisation that Renton has fucked a fourteen year old girl, or the elaborate HIV infection revenge plot. Welsh’s characterisation is vivid and convincing. After the initial confusion of shifting narrators and varying nicknames, the claustrophobia of addiction is shown to trap each person slightly differently, turning them into a grotesque version of themselves. Yet they’re also in the same hell together, despite some depending upon alcohol, some prescription drugs, and some heroin. Recovery is always brief and tenuous, while daily life is full of violence, chaos, and struggle. There are a few moments of dark humour, generally when Renton goes off on a grandiose monologue, however they offer little respite: Spud tries to cut in, but Renton is in full flight. A bottle in the face is the only thing that could shut him up at this point; even then only for a few seconds. - Uh, uh… wait a minute, mate. Hear us oot. Listen tae whit ah’ve goat tae say here… what the fuck wis ah sayin... aye! Right. Whin yir oan junk, aw ye worry aboot is scorin. Oaf the gear, ye worry aboot loads ay things. Nae money, cannae git pished. Goat money, drinkin too much. Cannae get a burd, nae chance ay a ride. Git a burd, too much hassle, cannae breathe withoot her gittin oan yir case. Either that, or ye blow it, and feel aw guilty. Ye worry aboot bills, food, baliffs, these Jambo Nazi scum beatin us, aw the things that ye couldnae gie a fuck aboot whin yuv goat a real junk habit. Yuv just goat one thing tae worry aboot. The simplicity ay it aw. Ken whit ah mean? Renton stops to give his jaw another grind. - Yeah, but it’s a fuckin miserable life, likesay, man. Leith seems to have gentrified a fair bit since ‘Trainspotting’ was written. Leith Walk certainly has plenty of nice coffee shops now. That doesn’t mean that poverty and drug use have evaporated; I imagine they’ve just been pushed further out towards the edge of the city by rising rents. This recent Guardian article suggests as much. As a portrait of Edinburgh’s dark side in the 90s, ‘Trainspotting’ is certainly effective. I can’t say I enjoyed it, and there are scenes I would very much like to forget, but it’s a powerful and angry depiction of poverty and addiction. Just because it isn’t pretty to look at doesn’t mean we should ignore it.

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