Trainspotting

The bestselling novel by Irvine Welsh that provided the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s hit film

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.

Reviews

“Abhorrently dark and raw to the core, Trainspotting is an insight into one of life’s many ugly personalities — addiction and the accompanying domino effect of grim inevitabilities… Irvine Welsh’s novel will always be a cult classic.”

- Tori Chalmers - Culture Trip

“Welsh’s skill as a storyteller is undeniable, bringing both wit and compassion to a grim subject matter. If you liked Danny Boyle’s film adaptation, you’ll love the original.”

- Maddy Searle - i

“The voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent”

- 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