“A brilliantly funny, scary, sweeping novel with all the energy of Welsh’s debut.”



When it was announced a couple of years ago that Irvine Welsh was releasing a prequel to Trainspotting with Skagboys, it took me back to a different reading age. Trainspotting remains one of my favourite novels and during my younger years I spent a lot of time in Welsh’s world, with Trainspotting, Glue, Maribou Stork Nightmares, Porno and the rest. The problem was, was I going to be able to just fall back into this universe? I bought the novel to see.

I don’t know why I worried, at all. Skagboys is an absolute masterpiece covering everything from good old grown up politics, to the AIDS and heroin epidemic in 1980s Edinburgh, to the loss of innocence of the characters we came to know so well in Trainspotting.

It’s the perfect prequel and each character’s voice stood out loud and clear, making it easy to imagine how they could go from this to the depths of Trainspotting.

I have really, really high hopes that Skagboys might hit the big screen, it’s funny, poignant, clever, and as black as the original novel. If you loved Trainspotting, you need to know where it all went on, grab a copy of this, I promise you’ll love it! It’s everything that Trainspotting is, and more too. Welsh has really developed as a writer and this allows the characters in Skagboys, Renton, Begbie and the rest to shine through as believable boys just a very short time from the downward spiral into addiction.


Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 25th February 2016

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Kath Cross