Trainspotting / Mark Renton Books

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Mark Renton is a series of novels written by bestselling Scottish author of Fiction and Literature Irvine Welsh. The first book in Mark Renton series is Trainspotting first published in 1993. The book takes the form of a collection of short stories written in either British English or Scottish English.

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Order of Trainspotting / Mark Renton Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Trainspotting ( By: Irvine Welsh) 1993 Description / Buy
2 Porno / T2 Trainspotting ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2005 Description / Buy
3 Skagboys ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2012 Description / Buy
4 The Blade Artist (By: Irvine Welsh) 2016 Description / Buy
5 Dead Men's Trousers ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2018 Description / Buy

Chronological Order of Trainspotting / Mark Renton Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Skagboys ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2012 Description / Buy
2 Trainspotting ( By: Irvine Welsh) 1993 Description / Buy
3 Porno / T2 Trainspotting ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2005 Description / Buy
4 The Blade Artist (By: Irvine Welsh) 2016 Description / Buy
5 Dead Men's Trousers ( By: Irvine Welsh) 2018 Description / Buy
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It revolves around several residents of Leith, Edinburgh who either are addicted to the use of heroin or are friends of a group of heroin addicts or even engage in destructive activities that are in other words shown as addictions that serve the same purpose as heroin addiction.

The book was written by Irvine Welsh who based the book on some observations and experiences from his life and his old diaries. The book got mixed reviews with some loving it, but others finding it shocking and disgusting. That latter opinion only seemed to improve the cult status surrounding the book and later the film. US Presidential candidate even spoke out against the book’s “moral depravity” and the drug use in the film in his 1996 campaign despite never having seen the movie.

Irvine Welsh was a part of the punk scene and left Edinburgh for the London scene in the late 70s where he would go on to play in a series of bands. He was a singer and guitar player for Pubic Lice and Stairway 13. He was arrested multiple times for petty crimes and an eventual arrest and suspended sentence for trashing a community centre led to him changing his ways.

The Mark Renton led “Trainspotting” has been called “the voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent”, as Welsh captures the voice of punk and it’s aftermath better than anyone, having lived it.


The first book in Mark Renton series was adapted into a 1996 British Black Comedy movie by the same name, directed by Danny Boyle and featuring Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Kevin McKidd, Jonny Lee Miller, Kelly Macdonald, and Robert Carlyle. The film premiered in London in February 1996. The film has since been ranked 10th by British Film Institute (BFI) in its list of Top 100 British films of all time, and also brought the book an international popularity. It is considered the breakout film of Danny Boyle who has become one of the best directors of the past 25 years, winning the Academy Award for best director of Slumdog Millionaire. In 2017, he returned to Mark Renton for T2: Trainspotting 2.

Soon after publication, Trainspotting was adapted for the stage. It is this stage performance that inspired the book to be adapted into a film, and this adaptation featured Ewen Bremner and later days Tam Dean Burn playing the role of Renton. The stage production had a second life in Los Angeles where it won a 2002 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Direction and the 2002 LA Weekly Theater Award for Direction, both awards going to director Roger Mathey.


These are two best books in Mark Renton series by Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993) and Skagboys (2012).

Skagboys: Mark Renton has it all; he is a good looking man with a beautiful girlfriend and a place at the university. But the problem is that there is no room for him in the 1980’s. Thatcher government is taking down working-class society across Britain. When his family starts to break away, Marks life spirals out of control, and he surrenders to defeatism, and the only possible way out is heroin.

It is not better for his friends as well, as Spud Murphy loses his job while Tommy gets sucked into a life of petty crime. Life has also taken the hard turn for Franco Begsbie, and the thieving Matty Connell.

Skagboys narrates their journey from the promising lads to men addicted to heroin which has flooded their shattering community. This is the 1980’s a time of poverty, drugs, AIDS, political hatred, and violence.

Trainspotting: The first by Irvine Welsh and the second in Mark Renton series. It is divided into several sections. The first six sections contain different lengths and varying focus. Each chapter is told differently, a fashion that can only be compared to a representative of psychological realism.

Trainspotting is a narrative about a group of Scottish heroin addicts namely, Rent, Sick Boy and others. The main character is Mark Renton known as Rents even though the story is narrated from the different point of views from first and third-person perspectives. For the greater part of the novel, it is told in Scottish dialect, but the best part of the book is that it glues the reader from the first page to the last.

The story starts off as Rent is fishing out the drugs that he had previously rectally ingested from a dirty overflowing public toilet. Then there is the Begsbie, a man who is extremely abusive to everyone around him, including his girlfriend, Sick Boy a man popular with women. Even though dark, Trainspotting is also hilarious and mostly filled with Mark’s sarcastic humor.

Other characters in this first book include Davie Mitchell, the only one who seems to be most “normal.” Unlike the rest of the characters, he is a university graduate, got a decent job and leads a life that most characters try to avoid. However he is not immune to the dangers surrounding him, and his world comes down crumbling when he contracts HIV and his experiences living with HIV form the basis of the book chapter, “Bad Blood.”

Tommy Lawrence is one of Renton’s childhood friends. He does not use heroin, but instead, he seems content to drinking, playing football, and listening to Iggy Pop. Unfortunately, Tommy is insecure and according to the main character, Renton he depends on other people for validation. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, he numbs his stress by experimenting with heroin provided by Renton. His addiction and death fall heavily on Renton’s conscience.


If you like Mark Renton series, you will find these two book series appealing. “Crank” series by Ellen Hopkins and “Tricks” series by Ellen Hopkins.

What Is The Next Book in The Trainspotting / Mark Renton Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Trainspotting / Mark Renton Series. The newest book is Dead Men's Trousers and was released on March, 29th 2018.

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