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Publisher's Summary

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 f****n junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total f***n embarrassment tae the selfish, f****d-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.

©1993 Irvine Welsh (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

What listeners say about Trainspotting

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disturbing genius

I was simultaneously revolted, irritated and in awe of this book. It is confronting, the protagonists oscillate between selfish, idiotic, cruel and pitiful. I had to read this for class, if I didn't there's no way I would I finished it, but now I have I'm glad that I did. The audio book format makes the scots dialect easier going than in the book form of the novel and the performance is excellent.

4 people found this helpful

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Wondrous

Welsh's breakthrough novel perfectly read by Tam Dean Burn. Vicious, funny, disturbing, great stuff the full five chainsaws.

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  • andrew
  • 01-08-2015

amazing!

great book, much better to listen than read, as a glaswiegan anyway! highly reccomend this book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • petitbilbo
  • 11-07-2015

I'd like to give it more than 5 stars...

What did you like most about Trainspotting?

Knowing only the (excellent) movie, I wouldn't have guessed that the book is even better.The choice of Tam Dean Burn as narrator, with his stroooong Scottish accent/inflections/pronunciations gives the book a further level of delight.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There's not one particular character to mention. The book is a collection of stories as seen from all the character's viewpoints.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

(no spoilers) The wrath of an HIV infected man. Terrifying!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really, some stories need to 'sink in' a bit before you can appreciated them at their full measure.

Any additional comments?

Again, without a Scottish narrator, i.e. read in simple English, the whole book's overall flavour would be so much weaker in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to other books narrated by Tam Dean Burn.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jonny D
  • 17-07-2015

Brilliant...almost as good as Skagboys.

Any additional comments?

This is truly brilliant stuff, what a treat. Not for the squeamish, the politically correct, the faint-hearted or the easily offended and if you're are any of these, don't get this book. Thoroughly enjoyable and having listened to Skagboys first (the prequel - even though it was written afterwards), it was great to see the links between the two books. My only gripe is that the third book in the series, Porno, isn't available on here in an unabridged version, only abridged...having watched the Danny Boyle film too, the Psycho 'Begby' character portrayed by Robert Carlyle is absolutely perfect.

The book is funny, poignant and moves along at a great pace. The writing style is a series of first person perspectives told by the various characters in the book. I absolutely loved it and it left me wanting more when it ended.

The reader, Tam Dean Burn, is without doubt, the finest audio book reader I've heard to date. His interpretation of this book is truly outstanding and I have leaned more Edinburgh colloquialisms than I ever thought possible. I can not praise his reading highly enough.

Highly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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  • P1969
  • 10-08-2017

Grim listening!

If you get to this novel via Danny Boyle film adaptation, with its fabulous soundtrack, memorable drugg-addled characters and grim humour, be prepared for something quite a bit darker in the literary source.

If you haven't come across it: this novel is about drug addicts in Edinburgh in the 1980s.
The structure of the book is very episodic because there is really no coherent story to their lives: they move from 'scoring' to 'scoring'; from prison to dodgy deal and back to prison, from kicking the habit to relapsing, from casual sexual encounter to the next, from pub brawl to skanky flat and back to the pub. So the loose structure of the book mirrors the aimless drifting that is the result of drug dependency. This episodic structure is composed of characters talking or thinking. It's not always immediately clear who is talking, but it really lends a grim authenticity to all the voices. One of the main benefits is also that there is no overriding, omniscient narrator who would pass moral judgment. That's neither necessary nor desirable: the characters bare their soul in such a matter-of-fact way that you feel you are overhearing conversations or monologues. The book has a larger and looser cast of characters, who are still memorable and have their nicknames, but they are more spread across the narrative rather than in control of it. No one is in control of anything. Above all, this is not a buddy-story. Friendship has no place in a life that is ruled by drugs. It's one of the main differences to the film, and it is perhaps the grimmest truth of the book, that the drug-infused fantasies and sensations which the characters crave always leave the possibilities of reality behind, whether it is the true rewards of friendship, family or love. This is a gradual revelation rather than some sort of moral stamp impressed upon the reader.

Be prepared for quite a lot of violence and physical detail about the reality of drug abuse; AIDS features, miscarriages, pimping, and quite a lot about bowel movements, and very grim deaths. The decay of 1980s Scotland is palpable without this being a social-problem novel: there's simply nothing to go 'clean' for. It makes the film look like a commercial mass-product that makes decline somehow cool; the book has a harsher edge.

If you are squeamish at all about four-letter-words liberally scattered across every sentence in lieu of more imaginative adjectives or nouns, you'll have to give this a miss. What makes this audiobook outstanding is that it really helps with the Scottish vernacular, pronunciation, drug slang, etc etc. I found it virtually impossible to read the book since it is often written in a phonetic transcription of this language - but having Tam Dean Burn make it come alive in his melodic voice really made a difference. You still have to focus quite hard to follow but you can follow and it's really engrossing. I came out of this quite pensive, and in need of something upbeat, but I am very glad that I listened. It is a fantastic achievement in terms of performance and a real tour de force of a book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gerard
  • 05-02-2017

A joy for all time.

A delightful realisation of the text beautifully and sensitively achieved by the narrator. A book to return to, evoking On the Road, Huckleberry Finn and much more besides.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mick odonnell
  • 18-10-2017

Breathtaking

A roller coast ride in the cess pit of drug culture Edinburgh.. This book will make you uncomfortable, yet laugh out loud.. Real characters, real problems and at times very dark..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Colin Ramsay
  • 29-07-2017

Brilliant

As good as I remembered reading all those years ago and well narrate by Tam Dean Burn!

1 person found this helpful

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  • TAS163
  • 26-02-2017

Bloody Brilliant!

Fantastic book which I binge-read (listened) over a weekend whilst doing housework, cooking, when I should have been sleeping...lol! Tam Dean Burn's narration is what brings this book to life. He gives each character their own unique voice and makes it all so real. I got far more out of this book being read to me than I would have done reading it myself. I have the next 2 on my wish list. Highly highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sandra
  • 23-02-2017

Brilliant narration

The narration really brought this book to life. Would definitely recommend, even if you've read the book already.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Morgan Gortz
  • 09-02-2017

Good book, an extension of skagboys

This book was good, but I would not recommend it without reading skagboys. The book draws heavily from references from that book.

1 person found this helpful

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