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Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
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Trainspotting (original 1993; edition 1996)

by Irvine Welsh

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5,84464724 (4.02)233
Member:avatiakh
Title:Trainspotting
Authors:Irvine Welsh
Info:Vintage (1996), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, 13 in 13, Read in 2013

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Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (1993)

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
How do you even review Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.

Oh my goodness.

First, this book is difficult. It's written in phonetic Scots, so, it can be really hard to get into until you're accustomed to that at first. Secondly, it's brutal. It's hard, it's brutal, the main themes are drugs, death, financial difficulty and the growing dread that comes along with knowing you're not happy in your life.

It's one of the best books I've read.

But it's not an easy book for me to read. I didn't like it. It's visceral, it's raw, it's exhausting. But it feels real. It doesn't feel like fiction. Some of the lines leave me speechless. Some of the lines hurt and I have to close the book.

But I always came back to it, however reluctantly, and paused it when I needed to. I read it as an audiobook, and I enjoyed that a lot. It might be a really good idea if you struggle with how the text is actually written out.

It's a brilliant book, but if you have any triggers or troubles reading about drugs, explicit drug use, violence, dubious, awful characters - steer clear of this book. It might be way too intense overall.

(And it might be a good idea to have a light, fluffy reread at the end of Trainspotting!) ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
I'll never think of Scotland in the same way after reading this book of five Heroin users. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
I've heard this novel being described as 'hilarious', but I mainly found it dark and depressing.
The novel follows a group of young Scottish drug addicts, in their daily lives. It's written in short episodes from different viewpoints, and very gradually you get quite a deep and vivid insight into their lives and their relationships.
Though I cannot say I 'enjoyed' the novel - enjoying is really not the right word for it - I do appreciate it for the insight it gives into a wholly different culture. A culture of drugs, violence, and despair - where people only live for the next shot, and suffer the agonies of withdrawal when they can't get it. The novel is an illustration of disillusioned youth, unable to hold down a job and live a great and exciting life, stuck in the poorer quarters of the city, where drugs seems the only way out of a life that has nothing to offer.
I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. I think Welsh did a great job in describing this part of society that often escapes our view. Definitely not something to read if you need cheering up though! ( )
  Britt84 | Jun 1, 2016 |
Was surprised to find out it was a set of short stories, having seen the film first. Great book (but you need to be able to read with a Scottish accent!)....not really! ( )
  .cris | May 31, 2016 |
Once I got over the Scottish accented dialogue found this a very enjoyable though dark read. I find for books that are written phonetically I need to set aside a large block of time to get into a mindset to almost translate the writing. ( )
  kale.dyer | May 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
to Anne
First words
The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling.
Quotations
"Life's boring and futile. We start oaf wi high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we're all gunnae die, withoot really findin oot the big answers. We develop aw they long-winded ideas which jist interpret the reality ay oor lives in different weys, withoot really extending oor body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. Basically, we live a short, disappointing life; and then we die."
Johnny wis a junky as well as a dealer. Ye hud tae go a wee bit further up the ladder before ye found a dealer whae didnae use. We called Johnny "Mother Superior" because ay the length ay time he'd had his habit.
See if it wis up tae me, ah’d git ivray fuckin book n pit thum on a great big fuckin pile n burn the fuckin loat. Aw books are fir is fir smart cunts tae show oaf aboot how much shite thuv fuckin read. Ye git aw ye fuckin need tae ken ootay the paper n fae the telly. Posin cunts. Ah’ll gie them fuckin books …
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393314804, Paperback)

Irvine Welsh's controversial first novel, set on the heroin-addicted fringe of working-class youth in Edinburgh, is yet another exploration of the dark side of Scottishness. The main character, Mark Renton, is at the center of a clique of nihilistic slacker junkies with no hopes and no possibilities, and only "mind-numbing and spirit-crushing" alternatives in the straight world they despise. This particular slice of humanity has nothing left but the blackest of humor and a sharpness of wit. American readers can use the glossary in the back to translate the slang and dialect--essential, since the dialogue makes the book. This is a bleak vision sung as musical comedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:19 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Trainspotting is the novel that launched the sensational career of Irvine Welsh - an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating group portrait of blasted lives in Edinburgh that has the linguistic energy of A Clockwork Orange and the literary impact of Last Exit to Brooklyn. Rents, Sick Boy, Mother Superior, Swanney, Spuds, and Begbie are as unforgettable a clutch of rude boys, junkies, and nutters as readers will ever encounter.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393314804, 0393057240

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