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(Mark Renton #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  153,115 ratings  ·  2,758 reviews
Brace yourself, America, for Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting—the novel and the film that became the cult sensations of Britain.

Trainspotting is the hilarious, appalling, riveting, bestselling, and altogether masterful first novel that launched the spectacular career of Irvine Welsh. It is an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating group portrait of blasted lives in
Paperback, 349 pages
Published 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (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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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  153,115 ratings  ·  2,758 reviews

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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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, 2012
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
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
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
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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,
Daniel Clausen
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone!
Recommended to Anuradha by: Trainspotting, the movie
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
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
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!

Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt Albers
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Lucy Banks
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Ksenia Anske
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you ever told me I'd cry reading this book, I'd be like, what? I've seen the movie, you see, a long time ago. But I did. I cried like a baby. I cried at a part in the middle of the book, the part that starts off the movie, the famous words of "Choose life. Choose…" Well, in case you haven't read the book and haven't seen the movie, you'll get what I mean, once you do both. I'm actually about to jump into re-watching the movie again, now that I'm done reading. And, WOW. Just, WOW. This is not ...more
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
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Irvine Welsh fans
Shelves: trainspotters
Those that know me are aware that I've never seriously (and can count on two fingers how often) done any serious drugs- the worse I 've tried was weed and it did absolutely nothing for me except make me feel like I was choking to death. So.. why the attraction of Irvine Welsh's lovely books? They are anything but lovely, more like a trip down into the sewer but they are still, to my ears anyways, gorgeous in the dialogue, characterizations and most of all, the original, frantic storylines. Who ...more
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in politics just as much as the human condition.
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 wi ...more
Jen from Quebec :0)
Huh...Finishing up a lot of books at the end of the month as 2018 approaches, and had a few minutes left of this one on Audible; I had thought I was finished. The AUDIO version of the novel is like AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENTITY ENTIRELY. I enjoyed it a lot, but it was very different from reading *that lingo* in your own head, with your own inflections! Having it read to you with the proper native tongue is so helpful, because-if you have not read this book- it IS an entirely different dialect tha ...more
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
I first read Trainspotting when I was in college in Glasgow. It was my first time in a Western country and I was just about recovering from the culture shock when I discovered this book in the library.

The first hundred pages were really tough to get through because it is written in the Scottish accent. But once I understood what was going on, I felt like Renton, Sick Boy and Spud were like best friends that I never had. As we grow older we all adopt a certain persona and then we stick to it for
Nandakishore Varma
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
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
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
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
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do yourself a favour and listen to this audiobook.
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Fiction Fanatics: March 2019 - Trainspotting 3 16 Mar 05, 2019 04:07PM  
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Goodreads Librari...: Add a new book 2 12 Jun 11, 2018 07:40AM  
Reading 1001: Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh 3 15 Apr 30, 2018 11:28AM  
Why the name Trainspotting? 14 1236 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 18 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

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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?” 1134 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.” 456 likes
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