Irvine Welsh Books

Irvine Welsh is a Scottish author that is best known for his novel Trainspotting which was eventually turned into a popular motion picture. Irvine tends to rub literary critics the wrong way, which might be the reason why he doesn’t have that many notable awards to speak of.

Order of Trainspotting / Mark Renton Series

# Read Title Published
1 Trainspotting 1993
2 Porno 2005
3 Skagboys 2012
4 The Blade Artist 2016
5 T2 Trainspotting 2017

Order of Terry Lawson Series

# Read Title Published
1 Glue 2001
2 A Decent Ride 2015

Order of Irvine Welsh Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published
1 The Acid House 1994
2 Ecstasy 1996
3 If You Liked School, You'll Love Work 2007
4 Reheated Cabbage 2009

Order of Irvine Welsh Standalone Novels

Order of Irvine Welsh Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 Days Like This 2009
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Irvine was born in 1958 in Edinburgh, which is in Scotland. The author’s family spent some time in a tenement home in Leith before moving to West Pilton and eventually settling down on Muirhouse’s Maisonette Flats.

The student of Ainslie Park Secondary School abandoned his education when he was sixteen. Irvine’s plan was to make his way through the job market until he found a satisfactory form of employment to undertake.

However, it eventually dawned on the Irvine that, while he didn’t really like school, working was just as uninteresting. Life eventually dragged the author back to Edinburgh and he was lucky enough to get work with the city council even as he pursued an MBA at Heriot Watt University.

Irvine Welsh’s writing efforts began while he was still living in Edinburgh. After looking for and flipping through his old diaries, the author began to put some of his observations and experiences together to form the first draft for Trainspotting.

The book didn’t hit the shelves until 1993 where it received mixed reviews. While some people absolutely adored the novel, others were disgusted and even outraged by its story of a group of heroin addicts trying to survive in the 1980s.

The reaction, good or bad, only drove Irvine Welsh to write, eventually producing titles like The Acid House and Fifth which did little to grow his reputation amongst professional literary critics but expanded his popularity among ordinary readers.

Besides his work as a novelist, Irvine Welsh is also a journalist, having contributed his writing efforts to establishments like the Daily Telegraph. The author has also expanded his efforts to film, not to mention theater and music.

Irvine Welsh has been married twice.

The author writes a lot about recreational drug use, the working class and the identity of Scotland in the twenty-first century. Irvine, who is best known for his incorporation of the Scottish Dialect in his novels, has earned as many haters as he has fans for his exploration of hooliganism, sex, sodomy and emigration.

Irvine Welsh Books into Movies/TV

Irvine Welsh has had the pleasure of seeing some of his books receive Motion Picture adaptations, with the most prominent including:

Irvine’s first novel is also his most popular and it was adapted into a film in 1996 by Danny Boyle. Featuring Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller, the movie version of Trainspotting follows a group of heroin addicts struggling to survive in light of the harsh economic constraints of Edinburgh.

Fifth was published in 1998 and it eventually received a movie adaptation from director Jon S. Baird in 2013. Starring Jamie Bell and James McAvoy, the movie follows the exploits of a sociopathic Detective Sergeant in Scotland dealing with substance abuse issues.

The Acid House was a film released in 1998. Directed by Paul MacGuigan, the movie adapts different short stories from Irvine Welsh’s book of the same name.

Other Irvine Welsh novel adaptations include Ecstasy and Porno

Best Irvine Welsh Books

Irvine Welsh might divide audiences but no one can deny his genius as an author, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:

Trainspotting: Rents, Sick Boy, Mother Superior, Swanney, Seeker and Spuds are a collection of junkies living wild, unpredictable and highly undesirable lives. Above all else, they simply want to live. But life is no picnic for this group of ragged boys.

This book is very pessimistic, which isn’t surprising seeing as it centers on a group of nihilistic characters with no hopes or dreams.

Skagboys: Mark Renton thought he had everything. But that was before his life began to swing out of control, his family fracturing as he realized he had no place in Thatcher’s 1980s. His friends Spud Murphy and Tommy Lawrence are no better as life seems to draw them into a vortex of crime and violence.

Along with Sick Boy, Franco Begbie and Matty Connell, this book chronicles their lives as they transition from boys to young men. Heroin eventually floods their neighborhood and they are no more immune to its scourge than their peers.

Irvine Welsh paints the 1980s in brutal colors filled with drugs, AIDS and poverty, not to mention political strife.