Irvine Welsh's controversial first novel, set on the heroin-addicted fringe of working-class youth in Edinburgh, is yet another exploration of the dark side of Scottishness. The main character, Mark Renton, is at the center of a clique of nihilistic slacker junkies with no hopes and no possibilities, and only "mind-numbing and spirit-crushing" alternatives in the straight world they despise. This particular slice of humanity has nothing left but the blackest of humor and a sharpness of wit. American readers can use the glossary in the back to translate the slang and dialect--essential, since the dialogue makes the book. This is a bleak vision sung as musical comedy.
Blisteringly funny ... don't abandon everything for the movie. 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. -- The New York Times Book Review, Mark Jolly
The best book ever written by man or woman ...deserves to sell more copies than the Bible. -- Rebel, Inc.