Trainspotting By Irvine Welsh Essay

1166 words - 5 pages

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh "Trainspotting" is about a group of addicts living in Edinburgh,
Scotland. The novel describes their different ways of living,
surviving and being. We are introduced to a lifestyle far away from
our own, but yet well known through series of films and books on the
subject. It's a lifestyle filled with cheating, stealing, fighting,
lying and escaping. We follow the characters through a collection of
short stories, which are tied together by the characters and related
events. They are all addicted to something, whether it's heroin,
alcohol, adrenaline or even sex. Their addictions represent, in a way,
their escape from society and reality. They are so convinced of the
meaninglessness of any effort, the hopelessness of the future, and the
humiliation of being Scottish, "the most wretched, servile, miserable,
pathetic trash that was ever shagged into civilisation," that taking
drugs begins to seem as a logical option, even to the reader. The
drugs transform an otherwise methodical life into a more intense and
fleeting adventure. At times it is darkly comic. This book is
predominantly depressing when you come to realise that the lives of
these people are nothing but a dead end, literally. Trainspotting
attempts to deal with the current drug culture. It does not judge and
it doesn't glorify. It simply describes.

"Trainspotting" was first published in 1993, but it was the making of
the film in 1996 that really set speed to its popularity. This was the
Scottish author, Irvine Welsh's debut novel. He has also written a
second novel, "Marabou Stork Nightmares", and some short stories. He
seems to know a lot about what he's talking about, because everything
is described in detail and his characters are very believable even
when you don't want to believe in them. Welsh explores modern
society's attitudes and doesn't hold back in expressing any views
about the cultural problems that face the youth of Britain today.
According to Welsh "Trainspotting" was set in Edinburgh between 1982
and 1988, but the issues of drug addiction and drug abuse and the on
going HIV issues are as pertinent as ever.

The point of view changes every other page and so does the dialogue,
the dialect, the atmosphere, the topic, the intended audience and the
tone. The difficulty of reading also varies from character to
character. It is written partly in third person, and from several
different first person perspectives. This allows us to look inside the
various hearts and minds of the characters. With every chapter we come
to know the minds and ways of these people in different ways, and that
might basically be the theme....

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