Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Trainspotting (original 1993; edition 1996)

by Irvine Welsh

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,383None810 (4.04)201
Authors:Irvine Welsh
Info:Vintage (1996), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 13 in 13, Read in 2013

Work details

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (1993)

1001 (36) 1001 books (40) 1990s (24) 20th century (59) addiction (69) British (45) British literature (22) contemporary (27) contemporary fiction (33) crime (20) dialect (19) drugs (287) Edinburgh (76) fiction (663) film (17) heroin (74) humor (28) literature (31) made into movie (40) movie (21) novel (101) own (25) read (78) Scotland (216) Scottish (112) Scottish literature (35) sex (16) to-read (75) UK (17) unread (40)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 201 mentions

English (46)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
One of My favorite Books/movies. I know that Irvine Welsh is not everyone's cup of tea but I really like his writing style. His books are always interesting and I always finish happy. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Jan 3, 2014 |
Rereading this after a long time, I understand it a lot better. It's brilliant and an important statement on decolonization sentiments. Renton is a fantastic example of a narrator too shortsighted to do more than live moment by moment. Recommended. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
I attempted to read this years and years ago. Finally got to it again and I always knew I'd love it. It's a challenge to read and knowing that this was Welsh's first novel really makes me appreciate the effort he put into it. ( )
  capiam1234 | Aug 14, 2013 |
I attempted to read this years and years ago. Finally got to it again and I always knew I'd love it. It's a challenge to read and knowing that this was Welsh's first novel really makes me appreciate the effort he put into it. ( )
  smcamp1234 | Aug 14, 2013 |
More of a collection of loosely connected short stories than an actual novel, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh can be a difficult and depressing read but it can also be highly rewarding as well. I use the term read loosely as I actually listened to this book as read by Tam Dean Burn in a thick Scottish accent. His voice was perfectly suited to convey these stories of a group of young people in 1980’s Edinburgh who are either hooked on heroin or move in the same circles as the heroin users. I can’t praise this audio version enough, the reader totally made the book come alive. I laughed, cringed and cried my way through the life experiences of these characters.

Each chapter is narrated by a different character and it isn’t long before they are recognizable by their speaking patterns. The various characters all have their own well established identities and while Spud is the most vulnerable and likeable, Begbie is a violent sociopath, acts the hard man and is downright scary, Rent comes across as having the most intelligence in that he can see the downward spiral they are on and often thinks about kicking his habit but he can also be the most frustrating as he likes to philosophize on his problems and Scotland’s place in the world, yet does little to change things. Then there is Sick-Boy who has his own reptilian charm. He is totally amoral, openly displays contempt for women and yet women seem drawn to him. He often holds hilarious internal conversations with himself in the voice of Sean Connery and can display an effortless charm, but he is also the most shallow and callous of the group.

I can tell that this is going to be a book that stays with me, it’s unconventional style is one that I found captivating. Trainspotting was brutal, terrifying and, at times both heart breaking and very funny. Author Irvine Welsh has reached an almost cult-like status and this book is a good example of how this came to be. ( )
6 vote DeltaQueen50 | Jul 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
to Anne
First words
The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling.
"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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:41 -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

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
94 avail.
161 wanted
4 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.04)
1 16
1.5 2
2 48
2.5 13
3 189
3.5 64
4 545
4.5 68
5 406


Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393314804, 0393057240

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,439,584 books! | Top bar: Always visible