T2: Trainspotting – Book Review

If you didn’t read or watch the first Trainspotting, then you probably think this is a boring book about trains. You couldn’t be more wrong, as luckily there is very little mention of trains. So, to give you an idea of the theme, Trainspotting was hailed as some as Scotland’s very own version of Pulp Fiction; a story of drug abuse and the criminal lifestyles that typified the poverty-stricken areas around Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh.


The film is due to be released across the world in the next few months and the cast members are significantly more famous 20 years later. Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy’s Owen Hunt) played one of the main characters back in 1996 and is now one of the biggest US TV Stars. Spoiler Alert: Kevin’s character died in the first one, so don’t expect an appearance in T2.


Another actor that you will no doubt recognize is Jonny Lee Miller (ex of Angelina Jolie) recently starring as the lead role in Elementary. Perhaps the original cast member that has gone on to most acting success is Ewan McGregor, who has played many lead roles in blockbuster films including: Star Wars, The Impossible, Moulin Rouge, Angels and Demons, I Love You Phillip Moore and many more.


Both Jonny and Ewan are back for T2.


The Plot


The book gives first person accounts from numerous characters, including older ones and new ones to give it some real variety. Not only are the lifestyles and views of each character very different but there is also a change of dialect in some characters to convey their true Scottish upbringing. You may struggle a bit with interpreting some of the language but you can generally get the gist and most of the characters words are conveyed in full English.


In the first Trainspotting, one of the group (Renton) has stitched up the rest of them after they pull off a robbery and flees without sharing the money out. As you can imagine, this has led to some serious animosity for the people he screwed over, not least the character played by Robert Carlisle, Begbie. The lunatic Francis Begbie has been doing time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for killing somebody (charges reduced to manslaughter) and it’s soon very clear that he is far from rehabilitated.


The other main character (Sick Boy) has allowed his anger to fester over the years and when he hears that Renton is living it up in Amsterdam, he makes it his priority to catch up with him and seek his revenge. With Begbie released from prison and Spud (a heroin addict) struggling with his life, this makes for a very interesting climax. Talking of which, the whole film is based around the making of a porn film. The majority of characters certainly would benefit from a STD check up and getting some antibiotics for STD online.

Perhaps the best bit of T2 is the way that t brings all of the characters together in an unusual way and gives a great insight into the typical problems that these types of characters encounter. If you liked Pulp Fiction and can cope with the Scottish dialect, this is definitely a recommended read

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