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Skagboys by Irvine Welsh: A Prequel to Trainspotting that You Need to Read

Irvine Welsh Skagboys Epub 11: A Review

If you are a fan of Irvine Welsh's cult classic novel Trainspotting, you might be interested in reading its prequel, Skagboys. In this article, I will review Skagboys Epub 11, the latest digital edition of the book, and tell you why you should give it a try.

Irvine Welsh Skagboys Epub 11



Skagboys is a novel by Scottish author Irvine Welsh, published in 2012. It is a prequel to his 1993 novel Trainspotting, which was adapted into a film in 1996 and a sequel in 2017. Skagboys tells the story of how the main characters of Trainspotting became heroin addicts in the 1980s Edinburgh.

What is Skagboys?

Skagboys is a slang term for heroin users, derived from the word "skag", which is another name for the drug. The novel follows the lives of Mark Renton, Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson, Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Francis "Franco" Begbie, and Tommy Laurence as they struggle with unemployment, poverty, violence, and boredom in Thatcher's Britain. They turn to heroin as a way of escaping their bleak reality, but soon find themselves trapped in a cycle of addiction, crime, and despair.

Who is Irvine Welsh?

Irvine Welsh is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his gritty and darkly humorous portrayal of working-class life in Edinburgh. He was born in 1958 and grew up in Leith, a port area of the city. He left school at 16 and worked various jobs before becoming involved in the punk rock scene. He moved to London in the 1980s and started writing while working as an electrician. He returned to Edinburgh in the 1990s and published his first novel, Trainspotting, which became an instant success and a cultural phenomenon. He has since written several other novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays.

Why read Skagboys?

Skagboys is not for the faint-hearted. It is a raw and brutal depiction of drug addiction and its consequences. It is also a powerful and poignant exploration of friendship, loyalty, love, and loss. It is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and think. It is a novel that will challenge your views on society, morality, and humanity. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish it.

Plot summary

Skagboys is divided into three parts: The Rave, The Plague, and The Fall. Each part covers a different period of time and shows how the characters' lives change as they get deeper into heroin addiction.

Part One: The Rave

The first part of the novel is set in 1984-1985 and introduces the main characters and their backgrounds. Mark Renton is a smart but disillusioned student who drops out of university and moves back to his parents' house in Leith. He starts hanging out with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie, and Tommy, who are all unemployed or low-paid workers. They spend their time drinking, fighting, chasing girls, and taking drugs, mainly speed and ecstasy. They also go to illegal raves and parties, where they experience the emerging subculture of acid house music and dance.

Part Two: The Plague

The second part of the novel is set in 1986 and shows how the characters get involved with heroin. Renton is the first one to try it, after being offered by a dealer named Johnny Swan. He soon becomes addicted and drags his friends along with him. Sick Boy, who is a charming but sociopathic con artist, sees heroin as a way of making money and manipulating people. Spud, who is a gentle but naive soul, follows Renton out of loyalty and curiosity. Tommy, who is a sporty and optimistic lad, resists at first but eventually succumbs after his girlfriend dumps him. Begbie, who is a violent and psychotic thug, stays away from heroin but becomes more unstable and dangerous as he drinks and snorts cocaine.

Part Three: The Fall

The third part of the novel is set in 1987-1988 and depicts the downfall of the characters as they sink deeper into addiction. Renton tries to quit several times but always relapses. He also contracts HIV from sharing needles and suffers from various health problems. Sick Boy becomes more ruthless and greedy, betraying his friends and enemies alike. Spud ends up in prison for stealing a book from a library. Tommy develops AIDS and dies. Begbie goes on a rampage and nearly kills Renton.

Themes and analysis

Skagboys is a novel that explores various themes and issues related to drug addiction, such as:

Drugs and addiction

The novel shows how drugs can affect different people in different ways, depending on their personalities, circumstances, and motivations. It also shows how addiction can destroy one's physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. It exposes the harsh realities of the drug scene, such as the dangers of overdose, infection, violence, and death. It also questions the role of the government and the media in creating and maintaining the drug problem.

Friendship and betrayal

The novel portrays the complex and contradictory nature of friendship among drug addicts. On one hand, the characters share a bond of camaraderie, solidarity, and humor that helps them cope with their hardships. On the other hand, they also lie, cheat, steal, and hurt each other for their own selfish interests. The novel shows how addiction can test the limits of loyalty, trust, and love.

Class and politics

The novel reflects the social and economic conditions of Britain in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher's conservative government. It depicts the plight of the working-class youth who faced unemployment, poverty, alienation, and hopelessness. It criticizes the policies of privatization, deregulation, deindustrialization, and austerity that widened the gap between the rich and the poor. It also expresses the anger and resentment of the Scottish people who felt marginalized and oppressed by the English-dominated state.


Skagboys is a brilliant and compelling novel that offers a vivid and authentic insight into the lives of heroin addicts in 1980s Edinburgh. It is a novel that combines humor and tragedy, realism and fantasy, cynicism and compassion. It is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and think.

Final verdict

I highly recommend Skagboys Epub 11 to anyone who enjoys reading gritty and darkly humorous novels that tackle serious and relevant issues. It is a novel that will not disappoint you.

Where to get Skagboys Epub 11?

If you are interested in reading Skagboys Epub 11, you can get it from this link: It is compatible with most devices and platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions that people have about Skagboys Epub 11:

  • Do I need to read Trainspotting before reading Skagboys?

  • What is the difference between Skagboys Epub 11 and other editions?

Skagboys Epub 11 is the latest digital edition of the novel, released in 2020. It has some minor corrections and updates from the previous editions. It also has a new cover design and a foreword by the author.

  • Is Skagboys suitable for young readers?

Skagboys is not suitable for young readers. It contains graphic and explicit descriptions of drug use, sex, violence, and profanity. It also deals with mature and sensitive topics such as HIV/AIDS, suicide, rape, and abortion. It is intended for adult readers only.

  • How long does it take to read Skagboys?

Skagboys is a long novel, with about 550 pages and 200,000 words. It takes about 15 hours to read it at an average speed of 250 words per minute. However, the reading time may vary depending on your reading level, interest, and concentration.

  • What are some other novels by Irvine Welsh that I can read?

If you enjoyed Skagboys, you might want to read some other novels by Irvine Welsh, such as:

  • Trainspotting (1993): The sequel to Skagboys that follows the characters' lives in the 1990s.

  • Porno (2002): The third installment of the Trainspotting series that revisits the characters in the 2000s.

  • The Acid House (1994): A collection of short stories that explore various aspects of Scottish culture and society.

  • Filth (1998): A novel that tells the story of a corrupt and depraved policeman who investigates a murder case.

  • Glue (2001): A novel that traces the lives of four friends from Edinburgh over four decades.



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