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Trainspotting Paperback – 11 Jul 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (11 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749396067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749396060
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Irvine Welsh was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Raised in the tenement homes of Leith, the prefabs in West Pilton and the maisonettes in Muirhouse, he attended Ainslie Park Secondary School. At sixteen, he left education and took on various jobs, and eventually moved to London in the seventies. There he dabbled with the property market while spending his free time exploring the London punk scene. He then moved back to Edinburgh to study an MBA.

Back home, and inspired by the nineties rave scene, he was fortunate enough to run into some fascinating characters whom he immortalised in his diary - and, later, in the pages of Trainspotting. At first dismissed for its unmarketable content, Trainspotting shot Welsh to fame, precipitated further by the release of the film, by Danny Boyle, three years later.

Since then he has written eight other works of fiction. He currently lives in Chicago.

Product Description

Review

Irvine Welsh is the real thing a marvelous admixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone) and almost archetypal universality. --David Foster Wallace" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`A complex, episodic read'
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John E. Davidson on 7 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
The first thing to point out is that the book is very different from the (excellent) film.
This is an amazing book; essentially a collection of vignettes about Edinburgh street life among the heroin users strung together by a common cast and a narrative about Renton escaping.
Making heavy use of the local patois, the book can be difficult to read but it is well worth preserving because the language is an essential element in bringing the amazing cast of characters to life.
The film does have an impact here - as the casting affects your image of the characters - this is not really a problem as the casting was generally excellent - Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller fitted my mental images of Renton and Sick Boy very well. Robert Carlyle did not conform to my mental image of Begbie but that doesn't really matter as in many ways he was even more terrifying.
Also note that this is not a book for the faint-hearted - it is often graphic and disturbing in its portrayal of drug addiction (particularly the places you might stick needles) and violence (you will certainly think twice before insulting a waitress).
Essential reading
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug 1996
Format: Paperback
As a reader currently accustomed to standard paperback
bestseller crap "Trainspotting" was a welcome change. I
admit, I didn''t discover this book in its obscurity but
was influenced to read it after the great media-hype
surrounding the film, but I still feel gratitude I read the
book before watching the movie. This book, unlike other
mind-numbing American novels later turned into films,
intrigues the reader and teases his thoughts and his
perception of border lines and what is acceptable and
unacceptable. The novel never urges the reader to try any
drug but rather shows the real side of drug use, the ups
and downs of mainly Heroine and alchohol, in a funny and
provokingly interesting way. With the use of intricate
scottish slang Welsh manages to expose the dark realities of
hopeless junkie lives and bring out the humor of those empty
lives, while still incorpporating hilarious sex scenes, harsh
violence and drug use. A definate must-read, this book will
hopefully open the minds of its readers, if there is any hope
in the youth of this great world of ours!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Greg on 7 Aug 2004
Format: Paperback
If you've read any other of Irvine Welsh's books and are looking for another hit of his hard-edge and often funny writing style then go to the source, the original, train spotting. Seeing the film will not spoil your experience nor will any comparisons stop you flying through the book, it's simply the most addictive book i've read to date. The characters are, as allways, jumping straight out from the page and are well pictured giving a good dynamic between them. I've never enjoyed a book more and thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who fancies a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 2 Aug 2004
Format: Paperback
There are two reasons to pick up John Hodge's screenplay for "Trainspotting," based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. The first is because you have trouble understand English spoken with strong Scottish brogues and you cannot figure out how to use closed captioning. Admittedly, this is the minor reason. The second and major reason is to appreciate how well Hodge transformed Welsh's novel into a solid screenplay. After all, the novel was a collection of loosely related short stories about several different characters that neither aspires to nor reaches a complete narrative form. Also, the key to the characters comes as much from their internal monologues as it does from anything they say or do. Of course the solution was to focus on one character and make him the "narrator" of the film. This becomes Mark Renton, the unrepentant drug abuser who does not seem to be as hell-bent on self-destruction as the rest of his mates.
This volume includes an introduction by Hodge, who explains how he came to be coerced into writing the screenplay. The screenplay is indeed the screenplay, and not a transcript of the film, so there are plenty of changes in dialogue and editing if you actually do sit down and follow along while watching Danny Boyle's film. Notations tell you want scenes or bits of dialogue were cut from the film and there are plenty of black & white photographs of the various scenes (but just Ewen McGregor coming OUT of the toilet...). The Afterword consists of a brief interview with author Irvine Welsh, conducted during the penultimate week of the shooting of the film (Welsh was doing a cameo performance as the drug dealer Mikey Forrester). Welsh speaks candidly about the transformation of his novel into a film and how the drug scene in Scotland has changed since the book's original publication.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug 1996
Format: Paperback
The controversial novel Trainspotting may be a challenge for those of us Americans who may not grasp the culture or language of the Scottish people. But when you take a closer look, Trainspotting is a book that anyone who has ever had friends going on a downward spiral can relate to. There are no heros in this book. Everyone has their share of downfalls and bad experiences. In no way does the novel glamorize heroin use of any kind. In fact, it should serve as a wake up call for anyone looking into the junkies' life. It is sometimes touching, often humorous, and most of all, real and disturbing. Even so, the reader becomes attached to the characters. The bold and outspoken Mark Renton, the cocky yet gorgeous Sick Boy, and even the screw-up Spud are all characters that will be etched into the reader's memory. I personally enjoyed this book thoroughly. Not just because of its use of integrating different outlooks and directions, but because it gave me a taste of what it is like to live on the "other side" of society. It is a must-read for anyone even remotely interested in what goes on in the mind of thieves, bar-hoppers, and drug addicts. Irvine Welsh's writing is a style that is hard to compare to any other author. Two thumbs up!
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