Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Trainspotting / Edition 1

Trainspotting / Edition 1

by Irvine Welsh, Welsh
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Trainspotting is the novel that first launched Irvine Welsh's spectacular career—an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating episodic group portrait of blasted lives.

It accomplished for its own time and place what Hubert Selby, Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn did for his. Rents, Sick Boy, Mother Superior, Swanney, Spuds, and Seeker are as unforgettable a clutch of junkies, rude boys, and psychos as readers will ever encounter. Trainspotting was made into the 1996 cult film starring Ewan MacGregor and directed by Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393314809
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/1996
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 100,837
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Irvine Welsh is the best-selling author of Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, Marabou Stork Nightmares, The Acid House, Skagboys, and, most recently, A Decent Ride. He currently lives in Chicago. T2 Trainspotting was first published as Porno.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

David Foster Wallace

Irvine Welsh is the real thing -- a marvelous mixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone), and an archetypal universality.

From the Publisher

“A novel perpetually in a starburst of verbal energy – a vernacular spectacular…the stories we hear are retched from the gullet.”
Scotland on Sunday

“One of the most original writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit and force.”
— Nick Hornby, Times Literary Supplement

Customer Reviews

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Trainspotting 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only book to compare this one to is 'A Clockwork Orange.' Even Burgess' masterful novel can't compare to this strange, horrifying, visceral, funny, and entertaining knock out. The characters are lowlifes and, at the same time, sympathetic. The stories, at first glance, don't look like they flow together, but when Welsh drags you deeper into his depressing, bleak, gallows humour infested world, you feel its correllation. It seems as if Irvine is a fly on the wall, able to analyze (and sometimes divulge) into the darkness of living. At times, this book has the same feel of Celine's 'Journey to the End of the Night' with its raging, maniacal prose, in sections, anyways. Other times it felt like a gothic novel set amidst an industrial wasteland full of sociopaths, heroin addicts, and all around scum bags. Think Wuthering Heights if it were written by Hubert Selby Jr, set in modern day Edinburgh. Violence is always up in the air, ready to explode at any minute. It's impossible to set this three hundred page wallop down, despite the fact that you really want to - the uncomfortable truths this aesthetically driven masterpiece exposes is unbelievably disgusting to dissect, but the author pulls you in and doesn't let go. This assemblage is a nightmare, content wise there are so many sequences that make you cringe, and if you don't cringe, you're just a sick person, period. Sure, many people have pointed out how funny the novel is. Granted, while it is laugh out loud hilarious, it's still terrifying. This is an admirable feat. Welsh has managed to dig so incredibly deep into the foggy netherworld of the Scottish proleteriat, tearing down a verdigris moss covered wall to discover the restlessly vicious honesty on the other side and, at the same time, still gaze at it through a comedian's lens. This makes aspiring authors (such as me) hate him with an envy. Each story he manages to end with a sting. He zaps the reader with rhythem. The famed phonetic scottish dialect is admirable. Welsh knows how difficult it is to read, and through the consistent challenge of understanding this prose, the writer makes sure he pummels you with discomforting altruisms on nearly every page. In a transgressional novel written in plain english, it's easy to skip whatever line you want. If you don't want to read something, you don't have to. With this book, you have to. The honesty is what impressed me most about 'Trainspotting.' Having read thousands of novels, I've never ran across a text that was so originally inventive with getting across incompassionate personalities. The (second) funeral scene for Tommy was my favorite. There's an interior monologue for each character attending, and it's simply astounding it reminds you of how low the human race can go in terms of being unsympathetic and inhumane. While many would argue that Welsh is by no means a moralist (and I'm not inclined to intensely disagree with this supposition) I think that there is a speck of allegory dotting this map of anarchic nihilism. It only exists tonally, however. It's not spoonfed to you in the last couple of pages, a technique that famed author Palahniuk executes in most of his novels. Upon finishing Trainspotting, I felt like three years had been taken off of my life. It was a draining, satisfying experience. You can't really describe the reading of this novel to anyone who hasn't done it the entire thing is a rollar coaster ride.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Trainspotting is probably the best book I have ever read.I love the movie and have watched it about 100 times.After watching the movie I wouldn't expect the book to be like it is.Unlike the movie the book isn't just about heroin.While reading the book I found it hard to believe that the movie was based on the same story.The movie leaves TONS of parts out of the story,but is still a great movie.The thing I enjoyed most about the book was that it let the reader see things from more than one character's point of view.Trainspotting is everything a book should be-it's funny,shocking,and beautifully written.Reading it has changed the way I look at life,I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone,especially people who love the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Steakhorny and dope and behind them the life! Rents was the only one who tried and somewhat went away with a bit of success. Lest, it was junk and rusting for those unsporting and heroin savvy guys. Doping over the death of babies, death of their trust, death of feelings. But only missing the death! I wish things were fiction and screenshow. But what Sick By, Spud and gang went through is a bitter pill to swallow.
Anonymous 3 months ago
The dialect was difficult for the first few pages but eventually it became very easy to read. The story offers a different perspective on drug abuse and how it can affect the user.
burningtodd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fan-fucking-tastic. This book was incredible, very bizarre, but great. The movie of the same title is based on it and that also is good. I read this for work, but loved it anyway. I¿m glad I read it for work, otherwise I probably wouldn¿t have. Written in dialect with no quotation marks, stylistically very interesting. About a bunch of junkies running around Scotland trying to live.
DameMuriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some chapters in the book don't work in my opinion (the ones with the female points of view) but, otherwise, a great read.
ryannc62 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVE everything about Trainspotting. I love the language, though it may be confusing at first, once you get the hang of it its beautiful. I love every character (especially Sick Boy and Spud, they're hilarious). The story has gritty realism and fantasy at the same time. It's moving, compelling, disturbing and one of my favorites.The film is also great; Danny Boyle gives Trainspotting the respect it deserves.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading Trainspotting I had to ask myself what else I've been missing. The main characters are addicts, junkies, heavy drinkers and a sicko or two, with heroin as the star here. It's an alien culture to me, but I just couldn¿t put the book down, dialect and all. I also have no clue about this subculture of underclass in 1980s Scotland, but Welsh writes it as if he¿s been there and followed this group of people around. I won¿t go into the plot here (there are lots of places you can find info on this book), but at times I was horrified to find myself actually laughing in the midst of what seemed several pointless and hopeless situations ¿ in appreciation of some scenes of incredibly black humor. At the same time, I found myself getting into the characters emotionally, seeing them as people who are disenfranchised on many levels. Welsh does a superb job of capturing the anger, boredom and disconnection of his characters (who come off as being very real) showing both the positives & negatives of friendship & other emotional connections in a series of small, connected vignettes, told in chronological order.Very well written; I highly recommend it. If you get stuck while reading it, there¿s a glossary in the back; I found myself at least at first trying the dialect orally and after a while it wasn¿t even noticeable and the book flowed. Readers of Palahniuk or other writers who have the ability to capture the rage of a generation might enjoy this one, but this book is definitely not for everyone.
amerynth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't stay I really enjoyed reading Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting" but I am certainly glad that I took the time to read it. The book follows a group of Scottish slackers who are addicted to heroin, alcohol, stealing and general mayhem. They are poor, have little to do and are escaping from their circumstances in the few ways available to them -- drugs, women and crime.Marvelously written in a Scottish dialect, it took me a few pages to really get into the flow of the story. (I was perhaps helped because I saw the movie many moons ago and had a general idea of the plot.) The story is not told in a linear fashion, but short sketches and stories told by a variety of characters.Overall, I found the novel to be a fascinating look at a subculture -- the drug scene of 1980's Scotland -- and disaffected youth who have lost their hopes and their way.
hudsy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not for the squemish
kuuursten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was a little hard for me to get into the swing of this book, because it's written entirely in a dialect that's almost as impossible to understand when spoken. That being said, once I got the hang of it, I could not put the book down any more than I could look away from the movie. Some parts are terrible, some funny, and, as someone else has stated, often times it is both.
vyode on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
[ purchased ]personally? found the resolution disappointing. there's some lyrical prose a nicely disguised plot interspersed among comedy & addiction. [ used a hollowed-out " bad blood " as a speech presentation ]
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once you get to the point where you can "hear" the dialog in your head, it gets a lot easier to understand this book. I loved it almost in spite of myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters offer a perspective of life outside of what society deems as normal or positive. It makes you laugh and look at things you never would have otherwise never thought about like labels, definitions,and addictions.
Elizabeth_Anderson More than 1 year ago
Before I could pick up this book, the professor at my college replace the reading of it with watching the movie. From what I know about the material (as opposed to Ewan McGregor, who stars in the movie), it is about drugs, drugs, and drugs. You’ll find yourself struggling with the characters and maybe even finding them a bit bullheaded if that’s possible. The story has kind of a movie feel to it by the end with the twist, and who gets rewarded garners the attention of the viewer/reader. I probably would not have considered myself as having experienced this work without the book, but if the professor okays it, so do I! I would recommend this product along with Sirens of Morning Light by Benjamin Anderson, a quest for a man in Iowa to regain his identity, which becomes entangled with people who claim to have known him when he discovers he is a scientific experiment. Make sure not to miss either book.
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Junkie philosopher. Amazing perspective of himself, life, and herion.
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Robert_Inouye More than 1 year ago
This was quite the thrill ride. There was nonstop action right after the escape from the pet store. Also felt very cinematic. Any plans to turn this into a movie?
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