As people who come on my tours know, Trainspotting the book is set right on location in Leith. So why isn’t there a film tour? ANSWER: not a single film scene was shot in Leith. There’s about 30 seconds shot in Edinburgh, and that’s it. Face it – film is a different medium, and therefore inevitably to some extent a different story. The film is faithful to some of the book’s themes and it picks up the energy. It’s chaotic, but there is some order in there. Danny Boyle’s triumph is to put the difficult subject of heroin addiction onto the screen and make it a blockbuster. He did the same in putting extreme poverty onto the screen in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. What’s the secret? Any ideas?
Book or film? The beauty is they are different beasts and we don’t have to choose between them. But we do have to try and understand them both on their own terms.