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Trainspotting Paperback – 11 Jul 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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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 (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 601,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent" (Sunday Times)

"The best book ever written by man or woman... Deserves to sell more copies than the bible" (Rebel Inc)

"Welsh writes with a skill, wit and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing for decades" (Sunday Times)

"An unremitting powerhouse of a novel that marked the arrival of a major new talent… Loud with laughter in the dark, this novel is the real McCoy" (Herald)

"A novel perpetually in a starburst of verbal energy - a vernacular spectacular... The stories we hear are retched from the gullet" (Scotland on Sunday) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the trilogy, and other books being a huge fan of the film adaptations of Trainspotting and Filth.

I'd imagine the majority of people reading this will have seen the film first (like me). And the film faithfully follows the book in this case.

It's worth noting that if you are new to Welsh's books, that this is written in broad Scots, so if you are not from Scotland, or haven't read 'The Broons' or 'Oor Wullie', you're likely to struggle initially, but don't let this get in the way of an enjoyable book.
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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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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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