I was surprised by this book.
I knew it by reputation, also that it was one of Ewan McGregor’s early roles.
There was also a point where I thought it was a film to do with the hobby of trainspotting.
I have also read one of Irvine Welsh’s other books, Filth. Both books have the ability to make you feel sick as well as make you think. There were times during my reading of Trainspotting where I put the book down and took a deep breath before continuing.
Before I’d read Trainspotting, if you’d asked me what books I’d read to do with drug addiction, it would have to be Melvin Burgess’s Junk, which is more suitable for teenagers but it doesn’t put across the range of emotions that Trainspotting does. It also makes drug addiction and ensuing complications seem like a walk in the park.
If you read Trainspotting, you will laugh. You will cry. You will, heck, want to scrub out your eyeballs. You will even feel a little bit sick. Don’t be put off by the Scottish dialect which it is written in; even if it will require you to read a page twice just to understand what they are trying to say. Yes, you will want to scrub out your eyeballs. This is about the dregs of society, and such things are described so vividly it would be profane if not written so eloquently.
However, it does also raise several points about life, death, politics etc. I didn’t expect it at all to be honest. I just expected a half-hearted rant fuelled by drugs and alcohol, encompassing 300 pages. I was very, very wrong.
I don’t think I’d read this book again, at least first arming myself with a Scottish-English dictionary. The film seems to be worth a look, too.
MY RATING: **** 1/2 / *****