A hard-hitting look at the life of drug addicts.
Set in Edinburgh in the nineteen eighties, trainspotting follows the story of heroin addict Mark Renton and his drug induced misfit friends and associates. The story is told in a disjointed way that jumps from character to character as they struggle with the daily toils of drug addiction.
Deep down, as he struggles through life, Renton knows he needs to change his ways. He loves his friends. He hates his friends, in their bleak existence he sees himself. This is easier said than done and the drugs, crime and court appearances continue.
The character Begbie, is also prominent, an out and out psychopath, who runs his friendships like everything else in his life, with fear and violence. Domestic violence is also one of the many attributes in his life of thuggery.
Renton?s parents, basic, decent, working class people, try to aid their son with his drug addiction, even going so far as to lock him in his bedroom, to no avail.
A drug free Renton moves to London, finds a job and for a time things look up until his friends turn up, before long they?re all back in Edinburgh and back on drugs. The book culminates with four of the friends becoming involved in a drug deal which will; they believe change their lives, or at least aid it.
This is not to be. All along, in the back of Renton?s mind, a plan has been developing, and after the deal is done, as his friends asleep, Renton takes the money, leaving nothing and disappears.
The book is an excellent insight into drug induced Scotland of the nineteen eighties. It feels alive and covers controversial topics such as, domestic violence, cot death, aids and of course drugs. Hard-hitting, disturbing, sometimes funny and educational.