We've all seen the film, we all know it is fantastic, if not to everybody's taste. This novel by Irvine Welsh inspired the 1996 film starring Ewan McGregor. I will say that if you have seen the film, then you know the general plot line of the novel. There are obviously things that differ, but I won't put in any 'spoilers' in case you haven't read the book but want to
This is the first novel I have read by Irvine Welsh, shocking I know. I do own Glue but never got around to reading it (let me know your thoughts on that one). For those of you who don't know, Trainspotting is set in Edinburgh and centres around the life of Mark Renton and his friends, mainly Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud. Renton and many of his friends are heroin addicts.
Trainspotting is narrated by many different characters, each with their own distinct voice and accent. That is one thing that took me a while to get used to. Welsh has written the novel in a Scottish accent, and being from Yorkshire and having never visited Scotland (it's on my to-do list), I found myself speaking out loud to understand the dialect. Once you get the hang of it it's easy.
I read this book remarkably quickly, for me anyway, which is the testament of a good book: if I can't wait to pick it up again. I enjoyed the way that the different events were seen through the eyes of a number of characters, unlike the film, which focuses only on Mark Renton's experiences.
One thing I wasn't keen on however, was the number of narrators, it seemed that a few random characters popped up and narrated a chapter, and were then scarcely mentioned again. I found it difficult to keep a track on each different character, especially as they all have nicknames too.
Overall, Trainspotting is a brillantly entertaining read. I would definitely read it again. It definitely questions drug abuse and addiction, and makes you question certain characters' actions. If you have seen the film, I urge you to read the novel, there is such much more to unfold and discover, which makes you understand the characters in the film a bit more.
I loved this so much I am now reading Porno, the sequel to Trainspotting. So look out for a review on that some time soon!
Leave me a comment with your favourite book below :) I'd love to have a read.
Thanks for reading x