Skagboys : Mark Renton

  • by Irvine Welsh
  • Narrated by Tam Dean Burn
  • Series: Mark Renton
  • 24 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mark Renton has it all: He's good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a place at university. But there's no room for him in the 1980s.Thatcher's government is destroying working-class communities across Britain, and the post-war certainties of full employment, educational opportunity and a welfare state are gone. When his family starts to fracture, Mark's life swings out of control and he succumbs to the defeatism which has taken hold in Edinburgh's grimmer areas.
The way out is heroin. It's no better for his friends. Spud Murphy is laid off from his job, Tommy Lawrence feels himself being sucked into a life of petty crime and violence - the worlds of the thieving Matty Connell and psychotic Franco Begbie. Only Sick Boy, the supreme manipulator of the opposite sex, seems to ride the current, scamming and hustling his way through it all. Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young men addicted to the heroin which has flooded their disintegrating community.
This is the 1980s: a time of drugs, poverty, AIDS, violence, political strife, and hatred - but a lot of laughs, and maybe just a little love; a decade that changed Britain for ever. The prequel to the world-renowned Trainspotting, this is an exhilarating and moving book, full of the scabrous humour, salty vernacular and appalling behaviour that has made Irvine Welsh a household name.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent but not for the faint hearted

The sequel to Trainspotting lives up to Irvine Welsh's original. Lots of laughs and familiar characters in a believable story about how they became schemie junkies. Being Scottish and born at the same time as the main characters took me back to how Thatcher screwed a generation and British scociety and wasted lives, helped greatly by the people themselves.

If youre not Scottish you may find some of the story hard to understand - heaps of dialect. If you don't like very strong language (repeated often) and some gross/taboo stories - avoid. Having read/listened to all of Welsh's books to date this is up there with the original and Glue.

The best credit I have ever spent here and I have listened to some beauties - I had a barry time listening.
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- Sean

Welsh Fans Will Love It

Would you consider the audio edition of Skagboys to be better than the print version?

I actually would not, I enjoyed the listen, but as a Canadian not used to Scottish accents or slang, I think I missed a lot as compared to the other Welsh books I've read. I'll be giving this one a second listen to try and pick up what I missed.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Skagboys?

The moments where they are all just destroyed and miserable with withdrawl were unreal. So pathetic and desperate, the narration brought that all to life.
Everything with Maria was so awful but memorable.


Which scene was your favorite?

The rehab diaries


Who was the most memorable character of Skagboys and why?

Maria really sticks out in my memory, Her story is really heartbreaking.


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- Danielle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-03-2012
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks