Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh


Choose life. Choose Irvine Welsh.

Buoyed up the worthy recent sequel T2, I returned to Trainspotting with a lovely pair of rose tinted glasses.

Which was a bit of a mistake in some ways- I’d forgotten the assault on senses that comes with experiencing heroin in Scots dialect. It’s a very difficult read if you’re not concentrating: the stream-of-consciousness, loosely connected tales of Sick Boy, Renton, Begbie and Spud muddle together in a smelting of Scots slang and sordid squats.

The struggle is real. And ultimately worth it. Trainspotting is a vivacious, raw and pulsing with life as it must have been when published in 1993 (I can’t vouch for this personally having been about 3 at the time).

Something else I can’t personally vouch for? Heroin. But Irvine describes it in a way so poetic that absolute squares like me are able to glimpse the agony and the ecstasy of this most powerful drug.

Read: When you want a literary high

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