Author: Irvine Welsh
This is the prequel of Trainspotting, so before I keep going, I should say that no, I haven’t read Trainspotting – I only watched the movie. Yet, because I really liked it, I started reading almost every novel by Irvine Welsh. First was Porno, which is the sequel of Trainspotting, and then came the others, which you can see the reviews here on this blog.
I won’t bother you by repeating myself telling the reasons I like Irvine Welsh’s books, but if I had to pick only a couple of things, it would be the way he brings the characters to life, as if they were real people instead of fictional ones, and the sarcastic sense of humor.
So, with Skagboys we are again in Leith and following all the group: Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud. Most of the chapters are told by Renton, but Sick Boy and Spud have some chapters to themselves, as well as Alison, whom, if I’m not wrong, will become Spud’s girlfriend in the future. The whole story is about them becoming junkies (except for Begbie) – why, when and how it affects their relationships, personalities and lives in general. There’s a lot about drug dealing and also a great criticism to the Thatcher government – what happened to people in Scotland when she came to power, and it seems one of the reasons for the spread of drug use was her government policies.
It’s very sad to see their stupidity towards the drug and how they keep believing it’s easy to quit and that they can do it whenever they want to, which is not true.
Begbie is already a bully, but it’s funny to read about him; Sick Boy is very manipulative and for his “romantic” adventures should be called “Lover Boy”; Spud is very innocent and sweet, and I just love his concern about the animals. And Renton, well, I just don’t get it how he could become a junkie. Not that he is the smartest and best person in the world, but with a good family and the opportunities he has (going to university, for instance), it is ridiculous that he throws his life away like that.
It’s entertaining, but I just got very confused with all these other characters. Kezbo, Second Prize, Tommy, Matty – in the beginning they all seemed one person with different names to me, and still now I’m not sure I can really tell who is who or who does what.
Anyway, nice book, but not Irvine Welsh’s best one. Maybe now I should read Trainspotting and later on re-read Porno so to connect the dots.
Posted on 07/06/2012, in 3 stars, Irvine Welsh, Literature & Fiction and tagged begbie, book, drug abuse, edinburgh, heroin, irvine welsh, junkies, leith, mark renton, prequel, review, sick boy, skag, skagboys, spud, thatcher government, trainspotting. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.