Monday, October 19, 2009

TY Book Recommendations 10

Michael Kemp has been reading Trainspotting, by Irvine Welsh, as one of the books for his Extended Essay:- This is a brutal social satire, which follows the lives of the junkies, dealers and wideboys of Leith, a small Scottish city.

The book is told through monologues (the narrator changing each chapter), and follows an ensemble of low-life characters. However, its main voice is Renton, a relapsing heroic addict who has wasted his obvious intelligence, thanks to his purgatorial life of addiction, and living off the dole. Renton is perhaps the most decent character in this unremittingly bleak novel, though that's not saying much.

The novel is, however, more than a bleak book full of bad people, and hits poignant notes that shine through the jet-black humour. This makes it a dark delight, and gives you a real idea of how the people amuse themselves in the dull amoral environment of the very real Leith housing estates. This is an excellent novel, which both teaches and entertains.

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