Jennifer's Reviews > Skagboys

Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
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's review
Aug 29, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 29 to September 24, 2012

This book is a predecessor to Trainspotting, set in mid-80s Edinburgh and other points of interest. The boys are in their early 20s, experiencing heroin, Margaret Thatcher’s regime of unemployment and poverty, and bad attitudes overall.

My take on each character:

Mark Renton: pretty misunderstood, but at the same time cops a nihilistic attitude that keeps him from experiencing true happiness as a regular guy.

Francis Begbie: seemed to have some redeeming qualities that were absent in Trainspotting and Porno. It’s like he hadn’t gone full psycho yet in Skagboys, but that will come in time.

Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson: Real dirtbag. He’s already into dealing, pimping, stealing, and screwing people over at this point. He doesn’t care who gets hurt the way in his quest for the good life.

Danny “Spud” Murphy: Poor guy, nothing goes right for him, not even a chance to sleep with a well known singer (with hilarious results).

Matthew “Matty” Connell: Real dirtbag. I can’t stand the guy at all, he’s a character with no chance of redemption.

Tommy Lawrence: has his ups and downs, but overall isn’t doing too bad compared to the others
I loved this book overall. Welsh returns to his old stomping grounds with glorious results. Some advice: If you read this, pay very close attention to the details in early chapters. You’ll have to revisit them later in surprising ways.

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