Skagboys

Skagboys

Book - 2012
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" BEFORE TRAINSPOTTING CAME SKAGBOYS b> b> The Number One Bestseller Mark Renton has it all- he s good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a bright future. But there s no room for him in the 1980s and when his family starts to fracture, Mark s life swings out of control. The way out is heroin. It s no better for his friends Spud Murphy is laid off from his job, Tommy Lawrence finds himself sucked into a life of petty crime, violence and the world of the psychotic Franco Begbie. Only Sick Boy seems to ride the current, scamming and hustling his way through it all. Exhilarating and moving, Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young addicts in a decade which changed Britain forever."
Publisher: London : Jonathan Cape, c2012
ISBN: 9780099535584
9780224087902
0224087908
Branch Call Number: F WEL NVD
Characteristics: 548 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Skag boys

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a
avocadotree
May 04, 2018

This is a somewhat long and intimate novel. This is the tenth Welsh novel I've read and is satisfying that one would want to get to know his characters as closely as possible. There could be more with Spud and Begbie. Still the focus is mostly on Rents and Sickboy. The book The Blade Artist is a new(er) book from Welsh more about Begbie from the Trainspotting universe. I don't know if Spud could have his own book that would be funny though.

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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humbleworm
Aug 07, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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