Skagboys

Skagboys

Book - 2012
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Chronicles the misadventures of Mark Renton and his friends as they cope with economic uncertainties, family problems, drug use, and the opposite sex in 1980s Edinburgh.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780393088731
0393088731
Branch Call Number: FICTION Welsh 2012
Characteristics: 532 p. ; 25 cm

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h
humbleworm
Aug 06, 2017

This 2012 prequel to Trainspotting and Porno spans a longer time frame and provides the back stories missing from those but you don't necessarily need to read the 3 books in chronological order (I read this last). Welsh takes this opportunity to cover off loose ends before they happen so it's a longer book with several less essential interludes and likely could have been condensed or split in two. The inclusion of brief historical notes helps greatly to set the context about this particularly bad socio-economic period. It's very understated in Welsh's series, but you'll find the same "prince among thieves" theme in Henry IV, My Own Private Idaho and Good Will Hunting.

p
PearlyBaker
Aug 04, 2014

One of those life-altering books that has revolutionized my entire vocabulary. It was a surreal journey for me as I began to have vivid dreams all night long that I was hanging out with Mark Renton, Spuds and Sick Boy chasing the skag. I'll read everything this bloody, brilliant, bastard has ever written and cry when I'm done.

c
codyoga
Apr 18, 2013

More often than not, 'Skagboys' is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. Here we meet up with most of the character's from Welsh's (in)famous 'Trainspotting'. Essentially, this is the whole cast, before most of them - Renton, Spud, Sick Boy - were addicted to heroin. Clues into their upbringing, school and early friendships help round them out. Begbie, as ever, is a natural born terror who has changed little. The scenes and chapters more devoted to him are certifiably terrifying, his violence and insolence unbelievable. The language of the characters - written phonetically - is hard to get used to at first and usually quite depraved but elicits many laughs at even the most unlikely and despicable of times.
The story can seem erratic as it jumps from a few choice characters as it moves along from chapter to chapter. It is sometimes difficult (in the beginning of the book at least) to tell exactly who it is we're listening to, but as the story evolves and you become more acquainted with the characters it tends to become readily apparent who it is that's speaking at the moment.
The novel definitely has a momentum and a conclusion, but at times can seem to meander ('seems to' but does't really) Recommended for hardcore Irvine Welsh fans, but even the casual reader, stumbling into this universe for the first time will find something to enjoy here (and will probably be set on the road of devouring more of Welsh's novels)

a
Amy_Clay
Jun 25, 2012

This book is hilarious! I'm going to read the rest of the series over again :) Enjoy!

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h
humbleworm
Aug 07, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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