Oh thoughts… I HAVE MANY.
First of all, this book was brilliant. In the kind of breathtaking, awe-struck way books can be when you least expect it. Like, this is one of those reads that really rewards you for staying with it until the end… where it may have lulled you into a false sense of security, then nek minit you’re sat there, jaw on the ground, looking around going “what just happened?”.
I didn’t promise an easy read this month (in fact, quite the opposite), but apart from some of the scene content, I didn’t find it too difficult at all. I know the Scots dialect written like that can be a bit of an eye-waterer, but I’ve read enough about the language to have kept up with no trouble. In fact, it made me laugh more than anything, it’s SO evocative. You can hear it exactly in your head as it’s written, and it’s rad.
Of course I watched the movie too, one can absolutely never have too much Jonny Lee Miller (except perhaps Angelina Jolie), and the opening credits will whack you right back to 1996. It’s almost enough to make you jump off the couch and find some tencel jeans and prob make out with a guy in a full Umbro kit.
Rents was obviously my favourite (a young Ewan McGregor doesn’t go astray either let me tell you), and I love how after the first 2/3 of the book where it’s just an absolute fucked-up shitfight, you realise he’s an intelligent fella and has a lot to say about how he got where he was, and insight into what a tragedy being a junkie really is.
Favourite Trainspotting Bits
I don’t know if you saw my IG photo of where I’d marked all the places I wanted to talk about, but it’s comprehensive!
First quote cab off the rank:
The problem is that this shite’s intent oan hoarding trivial grievances, like the fat-chopped malignant squirrel that he is
MALIGNANT SQUIRREL? I died laughing.
- anytime anyone’s called “biscuit-ersed”
- When Rents first meets Dianne and they’re talking about the Simple Minds and how Dianne says she feels they’re genuine in support of Mandela and the movement towards a multiracial South Africa (despite being written off as U2 wannabes), and Rents goes off on a train of thought that is probably the first time he is seen to have a background where he was once quite brilliant, and you begin to see him in a different light:
“The Simple Minds huv been pure shite since they jumped on the committed, passion-rock bandwagon of u2. Ah’ve never trusted them since they left their pomp-rock roots and started aw this patently insincere political-wi-a-very-small-p stuff. Ah loved the early stuff, but ever since New Gold Dream thuv been garbage.”
He just shrugs his shoulders and concedes the point, although his mind is racing with the notion that Kerr has always been one step behind his guru, Peter Gabriel and that since Live Aid, it’s become fashionable for rock stars to want to be seen as nice guys. However, he keeps this to himself.
- Rents’ Ma in the pub after the hearing, wasted, and singing the song her boys loved when they were little: “momma’s little baby loves shortnin bread” and he’s all like “surely ta fuck naw” when he realises what she’s about to do
- The whole conversation with the psychiatrist, where you begin to really feel for him and the potential he squandered. He has a remarkable insight into the series of utter fuckups that led him to blow the bejesus out of his life and everyone in it. His self-diagnosis is a 10/10.
- His entire comedown/withdrawal period when he tries to get off heroin. It was just punch in the face after punch in the face amazing. That’s when the book was unputdownable for me from then on.
- I loved basically every weird and disgusting thing that happened, but this quote after the er… “incident” with Gi after the movies was as much truth as I’ve ever heard in the world:
Ah thought ah wis bad wi drugs, but the mess some cunts make ay thir lives wi love!
- And of course I loved the end. Now for T2!!