Trainspotting Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Trainspotting

Renton and his friend are in their late 20's, are seriously addicted to heroin, and basically do nothing with their lives. They (most of them, anyway) live off the state. Sometimes try to leave drugs, only to fail at it. The narrator varies from one character to another (generaly in first person), but it mantains a focus on Renton. The other characters are mainly Sick Boy, who is a womanizer, clever, talkative, with a law sense of morality. Spud, a nice, good person, caring, loving, shy, not very popular. Franco, who rejects drugs, is smart, extremely violent and insensitive, basically a psycopath. Tommy, interested in sports, partying, a little drugs.
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Renton reflects about his life and the lives of the ones around him, his friends and family. Thinks about what makes him take drugs and about the effects of them on himself and the persond close to him. Their demoralizing effect. Tries to decide whether he should "choose life" or choose to do what he is doing. He decides for life, and goes to London, and finds a job. But his past (that is, his friends, come looking for him. Will he manage to get away?

The book is very funny, and at the same time, very gloomy.

The review of this Book prepared by Cristina Galdames

Trainspotting opens with two men racing down the street; in the background, we hear a male voice making a persuasive speech that exhorts listeners to "choose life" and all the best it has to offer. We are also introduced to some of the main characters, including Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie, Spud and Tommy. Later, in an apartment, Renton and his friends do drugs and make out with each other. Renton's voice explains that he and his friends are not completely stupid. He describes how he thinks the sensation of doing drugs, particularly shooting heroin, easily tops even the best possible orgasm. If he isn'tstoned, Renton explains, then he also has to worry about unpleasant downers, like bills and relationships. As the group members take turns shooting up, they talk about movies and wait around for their next turn. The group of drug-using friends includes a young single mother named Allison, whose baby also lives in the apartment.

At the bar where they celebrate, a man accidentally runs into Begbie as he is going to get more drinks. After yelling at the man, Begbie beats him up and almost kills him. Renton hands Begbie a share of the drug deal money and they smoke a cigarette together. Later that night, everyone crashes at Renton's place, but Renton is unable to sleep. He gets a drink of water and watches himself in the mirror, then makes a decision to take all the money from the drug sale. As he is leaving with the money, he sees that Spud is awake and has noticed what he is doing. Spud says nothing and does not alert the others, but shakes his head no at Renton; Renton steals the money anyway. Renton realizes that he has treated his friends poorly, but he only feels bad about hurting Spud, who is a decent person. The next morning, Begbie discovers the missing money and angrily breaks everything in the room.

The review of this Book prepared by Ali Jalali

Renton is a young man in living in the city of Edinburgh with his socially alienated friends. As they fall further into drug addiction, their lives become more desperate. Renton's companion, Spud, is imprisoned for theft, and Renton takes an overdose of 'smack', resulting in him being locked up in his parent's bedroom in a futile attempt to get him off of drugs. Through Renton's strength of intelligence and character he manages to escape to London, but his past comes back to haunt him as he becomes involved in a drug deal with his friends. An oppurtunity arises in which Renton must make a decision: will he betray his friends and escape his social degradation by stealing the money made from the deal and leaving town; or will he choose to return to the past, ensuring loyalty towards his friends but staying addicted?
The review of this Book prepared by eddie

Trainspotting is the story of a group of young adults growing up in Edinburgh in the 1980's. Together they struggle to survive experimenting with heroin and each other. One of them has the vision and the sense to see he must break free from his friends and wasteful life. This is an amazing collection of little stories leading to the inevitable escape of Renton who finally breaks free from his friends and Edinburgh by ripping them off.
The review of this Book prepared by Derek Whitehall

Chapter Analysis of Trainspotting

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   life in drug culture Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Drinking/Drugs problems?    -   drugs

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   Boob talk!    -   Vagia talk! Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Trainspotting

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