Kirstie's Reviews > Trainspotting

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
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Jan 09, 08

Recommended for: people interested in politics just as much as the human condition.
Read in April, 1998

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.
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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Tusa Noticed you liked Trainspotting, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here (as well as on a few other book-related sites).Thought you might like my novel since it's also about a group of disturbed kids and a bit dark. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:

http://www.christophertusa.com/

Thanks,

Chris


Carac Allison "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."

I love the film. But you are right about this. It sets up readers for a Brett Easton Ellis novel and not the ranting social commentary of Welsh.

C


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