Irvine Welsh comes to 2012 Edinburgh Book Festival with Trainspotting prequel Skagboys

This article is from 2012

Irvine Welsh

The Scottish author jogs back into the past with Begbie and co

While us Scots haven’t got the best reputation for putting fitness and health at the top of our to-do lists, Irvine Welsh is doing his bit for the image of his nation in further-off climes. Now mainly based in the US, he has had to knock marathon-running on the head ‘because of the pressure on the knees’, but he’s keeping in shape with one of his previous loves.

‘I went to the boxing clubs when I was about 12 but you painfully realise that you’ve not got it when you get hit on the nose. But now boxing is a good menopausal thing for me to do other than the usual stuff and I really got into it, because if you’re desk-bound like I am then you have to do something to stop yourself bloating into a fat bastard.’

With the publication of Skagboys, his prequel to Trainspotting, having hit the shelves this year, this chapter perhaps marks a drawing under the line of an era and a set of characters. ‘With the age I’m at, I’m much more reflective and interested in how they got into their situation, whereas back then I thought it was a boring preamble. I wanted to get straight into this tight group of fucked-up desperados and that sub culture rather than how they got there.’

10-18 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8).

Irvine Welsh: Sunshine And Dark Days On Leith

Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting trilogy is completed by a prequel, Skagboys, which shows us how Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie all hopped aboard the slow train to disaster. In Thatcher’s 1980s, there appears to be no room for our Leith boys. Poverty, AIDS, violence, political strife and hatred are never far from the…

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