Trainspotting

Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.

Extract

The bed is familiar, or rather, the wall opposite it is. Paddy stanton looks down at us wo his seventies sideboards. Iggy Pop sits smashing a pile of records wi a claw hammer. Ma auld bedroom, in the parental home. Ma heid struggles tae piece thegither how ah've goat here. Ah can remember Johnny Swan's place, then feeling like ah wis gaunnae die. Then it comes back; Swanney and Alison takin us doon the stairs, gittin us intae a taxi n bombin up tae the Infirmary.

Reviews

“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

Irvine's Comment

"Trainspotting was not only my first novel, it was my first real attempt at writing, so I'm very proud of it. It was a book I could only write at a certain point in my life. I started it properly when I was thirty, looking back on my life at around 22, 23. It seemed a long way in the distance by then, because I was living in a very different way. I think when you've been fucked-up you want to understand why, what your frame of mind was, and more importantly, what the points of transition were. I think that the Renton character in the book was probably closest to my mindset at the time.

I get asked a lot at interviews whether I hate Trainspotting as its success must have cast a huge shadow over everything else I've done. But it's always people who never have and probably never will write a book who ask that question. What you want as a writer is for people to read your books, and to have that kind of success with your first one was a dream come true. So I always saw it as a calling card rather than an albatross. I've never had to get a proper job since, or will have to again (unless I get really out of control at the race track) which is an excellent state of affairs. A whole new bunch of young kids seem to discover it every couple of years. At the readings I do the audience get younger as I get older, which is pretty weird."
Trainspotting