I think I was 17/18 when I first read Trainspotting. Every aspect of the book appealed to some part of me.

For those who are familiar with Trainspotting, or even more so with all of Welsh's work, know that it is a dark story about drug use in Leith, Scotland, set in the late 1980s. It covers stories from a group of friends and the obstacles they face during a turbulent period in which they find themselves. From going cold turkey, to losing a friend to HIV/AIDS, this is a story that drills down into the darker side of life.

This was one of few books I've read that I couldn't put down until I finished. There are few authors that can captivate their audience quite as well as Welsh can, and because of this rare talent, other books, such as Porno, Skagboys, and the most recent, The Blade Artist, are huge successes.

I have a huge interest in the darker side of life; drugs, death, misery and abandonment, and perhaps this is why Trainspotting spoke to me. Welsh does not try to sweeten the story, but instead chooses to write frankly and openly about the destruction that drugs, mixed with lack of opportunities and unemployment can have on an individual. Given the state of society at the time of when the book was set, one can understand the desire to feel something. To find an escape to the misery and glumness that surrounded them. For many, this is still the situation.

Reading Trainspotting is like being a fly on the wall; your heart goes out to these people, you wish you could help. I found myself wanting to be part of this mish-mash group of friends, so focused on scoring drugs that that was their only reason to get up out of bed. Perhaps not to actually partake in the drug-taking activities, but to experience how they lived. 

With the upcoming T2 film, due out in cinemas in the UK in early 2017, I can only re-read Trainspotting and wait....





Published by Hannah Wright