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Trainspotting (Mark Renton, #2)
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1001 book reviews > Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

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Jenni (sprainedbrain) | 71 comments Full disclosure: I switched to audio (which is brilliant!) because I was struggling with the dialect on the page. Also, I have loved the movie since college, so I knew what I was getting in to.

That said, I freaking loved this book! It’s sad, dark, and disturbing, but it’s also hilarious, sarcastic, and completely capable of pulling at your heart strings. All while approximately every other word is profanity, and much of it makes you gag.

This was my TBR takedown book for April. I gave it 4 1/2 stars. I definitely recommend the audio... I think it’s best experienced with the Scottish accent!


Diane  | 2051 comments I loved this book, too.


Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments I agree, I loved this book too. And it must have been good to have this on audio to get the dialect correct! I also struggeled a bit with the dialect and keeping track of all the persons in the beginning. I knew the storyline from the movie, but it's been many years since I last saw it so it was not fresh in my mind.

The book is brutal, sore, sad and sometimes even funny. And very scary. And very Scottish. Who can forget about Begbie boy. Kinda rough being in his head (and the others as well)..

This was also my TBR takedown book for April, solid 4 stars!


Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount) (ravenmount) | 481 comments I love accents, and knew some Scottish slang going into reading this book. I also read a few other books involving heavy drug use (A Million Little Pieces by Frey, and Casual Vacancy, by Rowling came to mind while I was reading this one.) I did not watch the movie, and don't think I really want to. I felt sorry for some of the characters, because so much of their criminal behavior was due to their need for drugs. I still didn't like any of the characters, though, at all. I suppose reading about people who are addicted to heavy drugs is good for making it easier to be empathetic when dealing with real people addicted to drugs. I doubt I'll ever recommend this book to very many people though, and I am not convinced it needs to be read by everyone before they die.
I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.


Valerie Brown | 645 comments read Nov. 2021

I suspected this would be a challenging book going in, and it was – not the least because a great deal (most?) of it is written in Scottish slang and dialect. Luckily I’ve known enough Scottish people and heard just enough Scottish spoken to get the gist (most of the time – some slang is very opaque).

The story is told episodically from different character’s point of view. They are all mates who grew up in Leith (a part of Edinburgh). It is set in Thatcher era UK, and there is little opportunity for the working class and AIDS has become prevalent in gays and IV drug users. They spend their time chasing their various highs (heroin, alcohol, speed, hash, sex, fighting…..). Much of the story is told from Rent Boy’s (Renton) POV, and he is a mostly on/off again heroin addict.

Welsh tells a raw, real story. This was real life (and still is for some) and boy is it shitty. There is some really graphic content (mostly to do with drug use), and sad endings for some. I think this is a book you need to spend time away from to digest it’s content. There is a lot of underlying social commentary (about Britain and Scotland of the era, and the UK in general). It’s also a story about choices made in a life – to stay in school or not, to stay where you grew up or not, to be friends with people even if you don’t particularly like them but they are practically family. I think Welsh did a good job with all of this, especially considering this was his first novel. 4*


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