Trainspotting

Trainspotting

4.7 55
by Irvine 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

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Overview

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).

Editorial Reviews

Nick Hornby
Irvine Welsh writes with skill, wit, and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing in decades. -- Sunday Times
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

Jane Mendelsohn - New Republic
“The language in Trainspotting is... exhilarating once you get the hang of it, and finally poetic in its complications.... Literary in the best sense, using language at every level to tell a story.”
New York Times Book Review
“Blisteringly funny.... Don't abandon everything for the movie. It's worth making the effort with Trainspotting ?not merely because relatively few writers have rummaged through this particular enclave of British youth culture, but because even fewer have dug there so deeply.”
Times Out
“It is funny, unflinchingly abrasive, authentic, and inventive, unerringly on—and off—the pulse. It is a true cult, the kind of novel you press on perfect strangers. It validates a world fiction hasn't recognized before.”
Nick Hornby - Sunday Times
“Irvine Welsh writes with skill, wit, and compassion that amounts to genius. He is the best thing that has happened to British writing in decades.”
Times Literary Supplement
“Irvine Welsh may become one of the most significant writers in Britain. He writes with style, imagination, wit, and force, and in a voice which those alienated by much current fiction clearly want to hear.”
David Foster Wallace
“Irvine Welsh is the real thing—a marvelous admixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone) and almost archetypal universality.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393343687
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
12/12/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
161,925
File size:
618 KB

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

Meet the Author

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstacy, Filth (soon to be a major motion picture), Glue, Porno, and Crime, among other works. Welsh is also producing movies and writing screenplays. A native of Edinburgh, he lives in Chicago and Miami.

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Trainspotting 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 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 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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