Trainspotting is the story of a group of young adults growing up in Edinburgh in the 1980's. Together they struggle to survive experimenting with heroin and each other. One of them has the vision and the sense to see he must break free from his friends and wasteful life. This is an amazing collection of little stories leading to the inevitable escape of Renton who finally breaks free from his friends and Edinburgh by ripping them off.
"Welsh writes with a wit that's calculatedly outrageous, and his main character, Mark Renton, can be winningly sarcastic, especially when he's in need of a fix; but this does not make the book an advertisement for drugs....To say that Trainspotting glorifies heroin is like saying that the Inferno glorifies hell....The careful manipulation of perspective is what makes Welsh's writing more than just a catalog of dead baby humor and drug lore. Through his use of vernacular and shifting voices, he stays close enough to his characters to get into their heads, but far enough away to show their self-delusion....The language in Trainspotting is alienating at first, exhilarating once you get the hang of it, and finally poetic in its complications. One of the most complicated things about the book is that it isn't written in one voice but in many. Each character has his own syntax, vocabulary and rhythm....This isn't just dictation on Welsh's part; it's literary in the best sense, using language at every level to tell a story." Jane Mendelsohn, The New Republic
"It's worth making the effort with Trainspotting not merely because relatively few writers have rummaged through this particular enclave of British youth culture, but because even fewer have dug there so deeply." Mark Jolly, The New York Times Book Review
"Irvine Welsh is the real thing — a marvelous mixture of nihilism and heartbreak, pinpoint realism (especially in dialect and tone), and an archetypal universality." David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest
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