Trainspotting Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 1 minute|
|Narrator||Tam Dean Burn|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||13 September 2012|
|Publisher||Random House Audiobooks|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 14,806 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
35 in Dark Humour Literature & Fiction
42 in Urban Fiction
158 in Dark Humour
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When I first read this book as a teenager, many years ago now, it was an awakening, a realisation that books don't have to be like the ones at school, and that the written word can be genuinely shocking. I thought it was genius and it turned me onto a lifetime dedicated to reading, studying and teaching literature. So on a personal level, this text remains tattooed into my brain and is often a stock answer when asked what my favourite novel is - though I have undoubtedly read better prose, better plots and more skilled attempts at tackling similar themes since.
If you are unfamiliar with Welsh (and if you've not read Trainspotting and are familiar with him, you've read the wrong book. This one is head and shoulders above anything else he has penned) then you may be unfamiliar with his version of Scots - most the of the novel is narrated in a phonetic representation of language used by Edinburgh's underclasses. As a 14 year old working-class Dundonian, I regarded this as genius. Readers from outwith Scotland, or those unfamiliar with the accents portrayed in here, may find it difficult or grating; think Scottish People Twitter on Reddit.
Whilst the positive feelings associated with the use of hard drugs are described in this book, these pages are undoubtedly a warning about the dangers of heroin, alcohol and cocaine - nobody can surely read this and think 'that's the life for me'. The biggest issue with this book is not the sentimentality surrounding the use of recreational chemicals, it's the faux political preaching of it's author. Yes the Tories are total unguided toe punts, and have never shown anything but complete and utter disregard for Scotland, but the political views, educated language, and projected reasoning for some of the principle characters decent into addiction is too liberal and ham fisted. What percentage of junkies in Scotland are truly politically motivated academics?
I think the author and I share many similar views, I just don't think he is subtle enough in portraying them - which is why a teenage me slavered over it's simplistic philosophising I suppose. That is a small bugbear - this book is tragic, beautiful, disgusting and poignant in equal measures. It is difficult to read because of how real it is - yes the stories are far fetched, but the setting and lifestyle is so real that it becomes too much for many.
A snapshot of Scotland's underbelly that the world would have ignored had it not been put to paper. Far better than the film adaptation, if you know or have the patience to work through Welsh's language style.
With our groups of characters so we are taken into the dregs of society, with heavy drug use, violence, strong language and sex. Also this takes in HIV and various crimes that goes on with regards to things like stealing and benefit fraud, and we even have revenge and murder along with other problems that many have arising in their normal lives. Despite however this obviously showing off the bleak lives of those at the bottom of the ladder it does have to be admitted that there is actually a lot of humour here, albeit of the darker kind. After all we read here of a waitress who gets her own back on a group of obnoxious men, by what she does to adulterate their food and drink, there is a quite dark and surreal scene when one character needs to use the toilet, which is not in the best of conditions, and also waking up to find that the young lady you pulled the night before is much younger than you thought.
Despite the different accents and ways of speech it does have to be admitted that at times some characters do wax lyrical and there are certain psychological as well as philosophical insights. We are reading ultimately about a group of people who are neglected by society, and either by their own actions or just caught up in those of others become social outcasts and have to rely on drugs and drink to get through the days and thus life. At times quite poignant and with most of the stories working really well together there are a few where things are perhaps a bit repetitious and some that jar and could have been left out without any problems.
Originally this was longlisted for the Booker but due to it apparently upsetting the sensibilities of a couple of the judges on the panel that year, never made it to the shortlist, however since then this has gone on to reach cult status, possibly helped by the film that was made.