Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trainspotting” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Mark Renton #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  126,053 ratings  ·  2,368 reviews
The bestselling novel by Irvine Welsh that provided the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s hit film 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 ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published July 11th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trainspotting, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alicia I'd go for Trainspotting, Skagboys is a prequel, but it was written afterwards. Although I haven't read Skagboys yet, I just finished Trainspotting…moreI'd go for Trainspotting, Skagboys is a prequel, but it was written afterwards. Although I haven't read Skagboys yet, I just finished Trainspotting and would highly recommend.
I'm not sure if Skagboys will refer forward to events or not, but it very well might be useful to have read the 'main event' first. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  126,053 ratings  ·  2,368 reviews

Sort order
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Emily May
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, contemporary
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 ...more
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are not easily scared off by junkies, profanity, and Scottish dialect.
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,
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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 ...more
Daniel Clausen
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-books
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 ...more
Gianfranco Mancini

“Scegli la vita. Scegli il mutuo da pagare, la lavatrice, la macchina; scegli di startene seduto su un divano a guardare i giochini alla televisione, a distruggerti il cervello e l'anima, a riempirti la pancia di porcherie che ti avvelenano. Scegli di marcire in un ospizio, cacandoti e pisciandoti sotto, cazzo, per la gioia di quegli stronzi egoisti e fottuti che hai messo al mondo.”

“Beh, io invece scelgo di non sceglierla, la vita. E se quei coglioni non sanno come prenderla, una cosa del gener
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!

Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon19
Τι είναι για εσάς το Trainspotting;

Για μένα, είναι ο Mark Renton, o Spud, o Sick Boy (και οι άλλοι, φυσικά). Είναι η ωμή σκιαγράφηση όχι μόνο του Εδιμβούργου, αλλά ολόκληρης της Σκωτίας, και κυρίως των οικονομικά περιθωριοποιημένων περιοχών. Εκεί που τα ναρκωτικά και η ανεργία ήταν (και, πιθανώς, είναι ακόμα) καθημερινό φαινόμενο από το οποίο ήταν δύσκολο να ξεφύγεις.

Ακόμα περισσότερο, είναι ένα βιβλίο για αυτούς που το σύστημα τους έχει γυρίσει την πλάτη (και αυτοί έκαναν το ίδιο) και που προσπ
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone!
Recommended to Anuradha by: Trainspotting, the movie
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.
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
Lucy Banks
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel belongs to the 90s in a way no other novel does.
Written in 1993 and set in the outskirts of Edinburgh, "Trainspotting" is the product of the first years of post-Thatcherism, as well as the first symptom of a decade in which hedonism was already taking its toll in the form of massive drug use, AIDS, unemployment, urban decay. A choral novel whose many voices tell us about the bewilderment of a whole generation, lost in the transition between the deceptive promises of the 80s and the m
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Matt Albers
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern, favorites
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 ...more
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
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Se fosse un quadro, sarebbe del viscido e melmoso vomito sparato con forza su una vista di Edimburgo.

Se fosse musica, sarebbe piuttosto un agghiacciante stridore metallico schiaffato in mezzo ad una melodia armoniosa. Di quei rumori sbagliati, quelli che ti fanno coprire le orecchie.

Se fosse un film... beh, c'è già un film, e va benissimo vedersi quello, senza presentazioni.

Questo è Trainspotting; onesto (come l'ero), sbagliato (come la vita), bellissimo (come l'imperfezione di Rents).
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 ...more
Asghar Abbas
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.
Ana O
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't got time to write a review so I'll just say Trainspotting is an amazing book. Great movie, too.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'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
In questo libro ho letto:
1357 volte la parola “cazzo”
595 volte la parola “coglione/coglioni”
163 volte la parola “stronzo”
97 volte la parola “palle”

Dunque, se volessi limitare il lessico a quello ampiamente privilegiato dall’autore, il massimo di recensione che potrei scrivere sarebbe: “Ma che due palle, cazzo … ne ho pieni i coglioni di leggere quel che fanno ‘sti stronzi!”

Oddio, non sarebbe granché come recensione, ma avrebbe innegabilmente il dono della sintesi. Ma, ça va sans dire, non la scr
Phèdre Banshee
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recensioni
Quando c’è aria di tempesta ogni porto è buono, e me la sento, la tempesta che m’infuria in corpo, dietro la maschera che ho in faccia.

Una provocazione a più livelli, uno spaccato del mondo della droga, uno scorcio marcio dietro la facciata patinata e infiocchettata di una nazione, un viaggio crudo e oscuro nella mente umana. Senza sconti.
Non vuole insegnare nulla, è solo una voce sotto forma di pagine che pretende di essere ascoltata.
«Beh, magari qualcuno a posto c’è rimasto» dice Jane, qu
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
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lecturas-2018
un libro o película por la cual tengo una gran devoción. No soy nada parcial con mi opinión. Solo deciros que es un libro sobre la realidad de la vida, con un lenguaje muy soez, con descripciones muy duras y desagradables. Por lo que no es apto para según que lectores de tripas sensibles. 

Más sobre mi opinión en la reseña del blog
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
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
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 ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglesi
Trainspotting è uno di quei rari casi (rari, ma affatto unici) in cui la trasposizione cinematografica piace di più o almeno riscuote maggior successo del romanzo originale. La cosa curiosa è che la distanza del prodotto cinematografico rispetto all'originale, che spesso comporta un giudizio alquanto negativo, in certi casi, come questo, ribalta la situazione: insomma, di Trainspotting mi è piaciuto mille volte di più il film, perché probabilmente è un'altra cosa rispetto al libro. Del romanzo o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fiction Fanatics: March 2019 - Trainspotting 3 14 Mar 05, 2019 04:07PM  
Help with similar authors?? 21 75 Jan 20, 2019 05:39AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add a new book 2 12 Jun 11, 2018 07:40AM  
Why the name Trainspotting? 14 1194 Nov 22, 2017 04:36AM  
Around the Year i...: Trainspotting, by Irvine Welsh 8 29 Feb 20, 2017 10:02AM  
Guardian Newspape...: Jan 2017 - State of the Nation - Trainspotting 15 17 Feb 07, 2017 12:06PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect cover for this edition of Trainspotting 3 19 Jun 16, 2016 02:30AM  
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Trainspotting: A Screenplay (Based on the Novel by Irvine Welsh)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • The Crow Road
  • Morvern Callar
  • Fear and Loathing: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Hunter S. Thompson
  • Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
  • Junky
  • The Basketball Diaries
  • Boiling a Frog (Jack Parlabane, #3)
  • Docherty
  • Anna Karenina
  • How Late it Was, How Late
  • Lanark
  • Kiss Me, Judas
  • What a Carve Up!
Probably most famous for his gritty depiction of a gang of Scottish Heroin addicts, Trainspotting (1993), Welsh focuses on the darker side of human nature and drug use. All of his novels are set in his native Scotland and filled with anti-heroes, small time crooks and hooligans. Welsh manages, however to imbue these characters with a sad humanity that makes them likable despite their obvious scumb ...more

Other books in the series

Mark Renton (5 books)
  • Skagboys
  • Porno
  • The Blade Artist
  • Dead Men's Trousers
“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?” 1084 likes
“We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. We develop all those long-winded ideas which just interpret the reality of our lives in different ways, without really extending our body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. 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.” 430 likes
More quotes…