Kora's Reviews > Skagboys

Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
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's review
Apr 03, 2012

it was amazing

“Trainspotting” was something that cropped up in conversations for years – including discussions in a high school sociology class – before I finally became interested enough in it to pick up the book. Admittedly, at first I thought it had to do with the activity of train spotting. Thankfully not, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I read the book in college and fell in love. I've always been preoccupied with drugs, drug addiction and drug culture, so it was right up my alley. Shortly after I read it, I learned that Irvine Welsh had written a sort of sequel to the book entitled “Porno”, as well as having a prequel planned. I have been eagerly waiting for ever since with the same enthusiasm and excitement I held for upcoming Harry Potter releases.

In the meantime, I read Porno, which I loved, and I bought a copy of “Glue”, which visits some of the characters in Porno in more detail along with appearances from Trainspotting characters. However, I have yet to read it. Regardless, I absolutely love Irvine Welsh's characters and how each of them are intertwined in this sort of filthy, dark world Welsh has created inside of an actual existing location.

“Skagboys” is essentially the story of how Trainspotting characters became addicted to heroin, often referred to as “skag” in the novels. It features the main cast of Trainspotting in their early twenties, dealing with an AIDs epidemic as well as a drooping economy and, in the case of Mark “Rentboy” Renton, going to university and a death in the family. As the novel goes on we see him deteriorate and become dependant on heroin, often choosing his relationship with the drug over human relationships and in times struggling to take control of his addiction. There's a shift in his attitude and his outlook on life that is slow-burning and beautifully crafted.

As with Welsh's other works, I found myself at times laughing out loud at the (sometimes dark) humour and, in some parts of Skagboys, jibes towards other characters that really show that, despite their addictions, these characters are still young boys at heart. As a twenty-something year old myself and with a bit of experience with addictions, I found I could, in a sense, relate to these characters and so connecting to them was far easier, and I imagine any one who has dealt with similar issues at a young age would feel the same.

Because the novel ended with a cliffhanger (though anyone who has read the proceeding novels can surely figure out what happens) I find myself wanting to pick up Trainspotting again. I do love these characters, and Welsh's writing and skill with language is a real treat to read. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed Trainspotting – in fact, I would go as far as to encourage people to pick up Skagboys first because I feel it can only enhance the experience.

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Reading Progress

April 3, 2012 – Shelved
May 30, 2012 –
page 50
May 30, 2012 –
page 116
June 1, 2012 –
page 230
June 8, 2012 –
page 278
June 8, 2012 –
page 278
June 14, 2012 –
page 300
June 19, 2012 –
page 323
June 23, 2012 –
page 378
June 24, 2012 –
page 400
June 27, 2012 –
page 450
June 27, 2012 –
page 500
Started Reading
June 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jonathan (new) - added it

Jonathan Oh! New Irvine Welsh! I was unaware!

Kora I've been waiting for it for years. It's brilliant!

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