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Trainspotting

(Mark Renton #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  160,810 ratings  ·  3,308 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, 431 pages
Published July 11th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1993)
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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 an…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)

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Jafar
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
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 ...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
Baba
Nov 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I had avoided reading this 'generation defining' book as I had previously struggled to grasp the hard Scottish vernacular used, but after thoroughly enjoying Filth, I thought I was ready to read this. A book, a collection of numerous little stories, of the events and escapades of a group of of young men with no real future or prospects, scraping out a life in and amongst the most disenfranchised and marginalised communities in Leith (part of Edinburgh); a group, mostly deeply involved and/or con ...more
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Trainspotting (Mark Renton #2), Irvine Welsh

Trainspotting focuses on the lives of a group of friends from Leith, Edinburgh, three of which are deep into a heroin addiction.

The novel is split up into seven sections: the first six contain multiple chapters of varying length and differing focus.

The novel's origins in short fiction are still visible though no segment or chapter is wholly independent of the others.

The majority of the stories are narrated by the novel's central protagonist, Mark Re
...more
Brett C
This initially was challenging similar to A Clockwork Orange but I quickly grew to enjoy it. The book is uniquely presented because it is a series of stories told from first-person and a third-person narrative. After about halfway through the book I realized the characters and their experiences progress linearly. I was able to tie things together on my own and enjoy the book overall. The plot centers around a group of mates in what is roughly the late 1980s Thatcher-era United Kingdom and inside ...more
Luís
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edinburgh was a sick city in the 1990s. While the industrial and employment crisis raged in these post-Tatchérien years, a group of lost friends survived. This world revolves around dope: heroin, cocaine, weed, alcohol, H, barbiturates, clusters of asteroids in perdition, attracted by the fatal orbit of the powder, which is nothing like stardust. So fixed that we lavish ourselves in mock hugs convulsed with pleasure, humiliating pleas to the local dealer for alloyed merchandise, calamitous weani ...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
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,
...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First time I've read this and couldn't put it down, seen the movie over a hundred times, know screenplay off by heart basically; what a great adaptation eh?

Anyway enough of the movie..

This book was absolutely brilliant, I now understand why it's such a cult classic.

It's written so well, the character development is spot on, it's dark, it's hilarious and a true masterpiece.

I need to read more books from my homeland. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Go read this one ya radge! 👊
...more
Em Lost In Books
Gosh this one tested patience but it was all worth it in the end.
Anu
Ah didnae expect the book to be as good as the movie. Bit it wis. Ah remembuh reading the first chapter at least fifteen times before ah wis able tae git intae it. Once ye git intae it, ye cannae git out.

Sure, it's abit shootin smack n fuckin, bit it's git some soul tae it. N the entire book is wrote this way; so I cannae say it's fae ivrybody. Bit if yer intae some profanity n have no problem wi explicit content, this is fae ye. I dunnae think I ken write like this any longer, so me review end
...more
Poonam
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
...more
Ruxandra (4fără15)
Aug 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
a fascinating exploration of political and social marginality. I loved every bit of this book and, had I not already read Skagboys (in Welsh's own words, "probably the most overtly political book" he's ever written and the prequel to Trainspotting), I would definitely have rated it higher. still, Skagboys is simply so much more engaging and carefully constructed. ...more
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
...more
Rowena
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!

Th
...more
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
...more
fourtriplezed
Oct 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-fiction
This was far better than I expected. I really thought that the hype may have been because of the very good film, but I have to admit that this one grabbed me and smacked me around the head. I have read 3 books related to drug culture in my time here on Goodreads. This and Praise by Australian author Andrew McGahan have a realism that suits the circumstances of their time and place. My strong dislike for the hardly readable Naked Lunch was the reason I took this on, there had to be something bett ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting must be one of the most challenging novels I have read. Starting with the totally obscure title, which does not give you a single clue to what the book is about; the Scottish dialect which is a pain in the posterior, especially for someone for whom English is not the first language; the constantly shifting POV's between the various characters, and from first person to third person; the vile language full of cusswords (especially the totally politically incorrect c-wo ...more
Chris_P
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1990s
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
Ria
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.wh
...more
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
...more
Supreeth
Choose decryption instead of reading. Choose reading at your office while no one's looking. Choose being desensitized to C-words. Choose googling what the hell is bairn and who the fuck is ken. Choose informing folks what they read is shit. Choose your philistine friend and push your propaganda. Choose watching the trailer 981 times. Choose four more books by bald Scottish man who writes like he doesn't care. Choose being the victim of Dunning-Kruger effect when it comes to Scottish Junkies in e ...more
Lena
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
Depressing and disgusting. I love to hate this book. Repulsive stories about drug addicts is just a top layer which covers a lot more social problems - poverty, AIDS, injustice, misogyny and other forms of hate and violence that are still thriving even in developed countries.
Matt Albers
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, modern
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
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.
...more
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 ...more
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
...more
Jason
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
...more
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Talk Wordy To Me: Trainspotting 2 6 May 01, 2022 11:17AM  
Reading 1001: Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh 5 31 Nov 28, 2021 03:07PM  
Fiction Fanatics: March 2019 - Trainspotting 3 19 Mar 05, 2019 04:07PM  
Help with similar authors?? 21 104 Jan 20, 2019 05:39AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add a new book 2 13 Jun 11, 2018 07:40AM  
Why the name Trainspotting? 14 1258 Nov 22, 2017 04:36AM  
Guardian Newspape...: Trainspotting - Jan 2017 15 19 Feb 07, 2017 12:06PM  

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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 (Mark Renton #1)
  • Porno (Mark Renton #3)
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  • Dead Men's Trousers (Mark Renton #5)

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His Favorite Books About Addiction: The Trainspotting author revives his gang of Edinburgh heroin junkies in a new book, Skagboys, and offers five...
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“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?” 1184 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.” 472 likes
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