The Book

I’m writing a book. I have been drawing on a great depth of local, personal knowledge from thirty-five years living in Leith and running the Trainspotting tours for more than ten of them. My book is a ground-breaking critical analysis of Welsh’s Trainspotting and it tells the story behind the story.

The book is pretty well finished now, but there is a last chance to make a contribution. If you have knowledge of the drug scene in Leith or Edinburgh in the 1980s, or if you have a good insight into or opinion of any of Trainspotting’s manifestations, why not get in touch now, via the Contact Me button above. If requested, confidentiality and anonymity is guaranteed.

Provisionally titled CHOOSE LIFE, CHOOSE LEITH: Trainspotting on Location, my book brings out structures and tensions that have never been opened up. Welsh used music, location and philosophy in clever ways to spring Renton from the junkie graveyard of Leith Central Station and West Granton Crescent to crossing the sea to a new life in Amsterdam. And you can’t engage with Trainspotting without getting a wee bit creative yourself: I have re-worked one episode as a punk rant, and I suggest other episodes could have the same treatment.

The book contextualises the importance of the location in Leith and the culture of 1980s Britain. Looking in detail at the history of Leith, the drug culture, the spread of HIV/AIDs, and how Trainspotting affected drug policy, Leith, and the Scottish identity, the book highlights the importance of Trainspotting as a prominent and iconic part of 1990s culture.