Fuckin cauld tae stay here Renton, Sick Boy smirks. Aye, sure it is, comes Rent Boy's fastidious reply. Yae hear that Begbie has whacked another cunt oot oaf his miserable lunacy, Spud comments fae behind, haulding the glass of export. Aye, sure did and wudve done again, Spud didn't notice that Begbie has smuggled his inebriated self intae position again. Sick boy asks aboot Second prize. Renton bemuses hissel thinking that second prize mustbe shaggin some new lassie again. Nobody finds the quivering muscles oaf Renton and the shite talk continues.
There comes a novel at times, which causes a ripple in your muscles, causes the contour of your face to change, contrives your guts to a slow spasm of agony and hatred, brings your putrid self reflected into the mirror before you hit a stone hard back at you. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, falls into that category of rare novels which are as hallucinating as the topic and the characters embodied in it - a pure classic.
Sometimes told from third person and sometimes from first person, Trainspotting is the story of few Scotland junkies, caught hopelessly in a vicious circle of drug addiction, unprotected penetrative sex, thieving and hooliganism. All the characters here talk with an 'alcoholic stupor' and lashes sardonic comments about love, life, world and companionship, The central characters, Renton, Sick boy, Spud, Begbie, Second Prize, Tommy, Alison, Swanney - each and every one is under the spell of heroin. Each of them drives to the self destructing path of anarchy and nihilism with such a ferocity that will knock you hard and leave gasping for more destruction. Like Rent boy muses, 'I choose not to choose life, what the fuck you can do about it'. These characters are unflinchingly determined to annihilate themselves and everything around them. Inept at gaining/losing, getting/giving, accepting/patronizing personal and societal rewards/failures, these guys storm into the horrid corner of life, where only pain and misery await them. The remarkable high point is the black sarcasm in their talk, belligerent musing of the black side of earth.
A good chunk of the story is told by Renton, a drug indulgent, heroin addict nocturnal creature who always has insatiable opinion difference with Sick boy. He is the protagonist who when suffers from drug withdrawal, recoils in his unmade bed in horror, smells the slowly antagonizing end and then straightens up enough to go to London, get a job and comes around to Leith, their hometown again to pull off one final act of drug dealing which is supposed to make all of them, all the mates, free from all shackles. And how does the deal go? I will leave with giving a clue, Renton bemuses himself with unrelenting surge of hatred, guilt, lost friendship and a surreptitious new life.
Gie it yin fuckin read, yae wankers, yae might git a bit oaf wee heart also. Aye, Renton. Bit who gies a fuckin arse neway, eh sick boy.
I will leave you with one of the grandest quotes of Renton.
“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?"