Porno (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Porno
Porno novel.jpg
Author Irvine Welsh
Country Scotland
Language English, Scots
Genre Novel
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
August 2002
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 320 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-224-06296-4 (first edition, hardback)
OCLC 49740841
Preceded by Trainspotting
Followed by Skagboys

Porno is a novel published in 2002 by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh, and is the sequel to Trainspotting. The book describes the characters of Trainspotting ten years after the events of the earlier book, as their paths cross again, this time with the pornography business as the backdrop rather than heroin use (although numerous drugs, particularly cocaine are mentioned throughout). A number of characters from Glue make an appearance as well.

This sequel picks up ideas of the film adaptation of Trainspotting. One example is the fact that "Spud" has received his share of the drug money, which is shown in the film, but only alluded to in the book.

Plot summary[edit]

The novel is divided into three sections, each of which comprises chapters with different narrators. Unlike Trainspotting which had more narrational diversity, Porno is reduced to just five narrators: Sick Boy, Renton, Spud, Begbie and Nikki. Another difference from the format of Trainspotting is that each character has a defined chapter heading. Sick Boy's chapters all begin with "Scam..." and then a number in front of a "#". Renton's all begin with "Whores of Amsterdam Pt..." depending on what chapter it is. Spud's chapters are just narrative, Begbie's are in capitals, and Nikki's are quotes from the chapter, for example "...A SIMON DAVID WILLIAMSON PRODUCTION...". Each narrator is associated with a distinctive prose style. Renton, Sick Boy, and Nikki's chapters are written almost entirely in "standard" English while Begbie and Spud's chapters are in Scots. For example, in Chapter 25, Spud narrates, "So ah'm downcast git intae the library, thinkin tae masel" ("So I'm downcast when I get into the library thinking to myself"). He also repeats certain words when talking such as "catboy" or "cat", "likes" or "likesay", and "ken?". Begbie often swears a lot during his chapters. Sick Boy's returning grandiose nature is featured in imagined interviews with John Gibson[disambiguation needed] of the Evening News and Alex McLeish.

Section 1: Stag[edit]

Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson leaves the London crack scene and returns to Leith when he comes into ownership of his aunt's pub. Convinced that the area is destined to become a social and cultural hub, Simon decides to focus his energy into making the pub a classier establishment. Nikki Fuller-Smith is a university student who works part-time in a massage parlour. Rab, a university acquaintance, introduces her to his friend Terry Lawson and his underground, home-made pornography operation. The scene interests Nikki. Danny 'Spud' Murphy has been regularly attending group sessions in an attempt to kick his drug habit. His relationship with his partner Alison is strained and Spud feels like he has become a burden on her. He considers his life insurance policy and contemplates suicide. Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, Mark Renton is co-owner of a successful nightclub. One night, a DJ from his hometown (Carl Ewart from Welsh's previous novel Glue) plays at one of his clubs and recognises him. When Sick Boy learns of Terry's operation, he offers the use of the upstairs bar to shoot some scenes. During their first meeting, the group begins planning to film a full length adult film. The first section concludes with "OOTSIDE", a chapter noting the release into society of Francis Begbie.

Section 2: Porno[edit]

While in prison, Begbie received packages of gay porn, sent from Sick Boy. Upon his release, he is determined to find the culprit. While accompanying an old friend on a debt collection errand he meets Kate and begins a relationship with her. When Alison begins working at Sick Boy's pub and Sick Boy deliberately attempts to sabotage her relationship with Spud, the friendship between Spud and Sick Boy is strained. During one thinly veiled argument, Spud reveals that he received his share of the money from Renton. He also unveils his recent ambition, to write a history of Leith. Begbie visits Sick Boy's pub. As the two converse, Sick Boy considers the duplicitous trait of opportunity and threat accompanying Begbie's release. Soon after, Terry, Rab and several other friends arrive and begin discussing their upcoming trip to Amsterdam, a bachelor celebration for Rab. Sick Boy is initially reluctant to attend but changes his mind after Carl, a DJ, mentions that Renton worked at a club there.

Section 3: Exhibition[edit]

Sick Boy's "Porno" shoot becomes a slow demolition of his so-called mates. Spud ends the friendship when Sick Boy tells him he was using him for the purpose of a scam, Nikki becomes disillusioned with him after realising that he really has no caring side and really is the nasty deceitful person that she tried desperately to ignore. Begbie grows tired of Sick Boy being 'smarmy', although Begbie becomes angry with everyone in due course. Spud tries to provoke Begbie into killing him so his wife Alison will profit from his life insurance. As Begbie is violently hitting Spud, Alison and the couple's young son burst in, stopping them. Spud is hurt, but his last narration implies that he can see things getting better. The biggest departure Sick Boy has from his life is Renton. After promising to meet Sick Boy in Cannes, Renton instead goes to Zurich to empty their joint account to start a new life in San Francisco. This deception is the biggest blow to Sick Boy as he obviously treasured their unconventional relationship and cannot believe he was duped by Renton again. Begbie later discovers Renton while visiting Leith and is hit by a car while running across the road to attack him. While Renton would have expected to feel pleased by this he is sad and comforts Begbie while he is taken to hospital. It is indicated that as Begbie slips into a coma he may be forgiving Renton. After learning that Begbie has fallen into a coma, Renton flees the country with Nikki and Diane, as well as Sick Boy's £60,000 made from a financial fraud. The book ends with Begbie suddenly coming awake as Sick Boy confesses everything in hope that Begbie will resume his merciless hunt for Renton.

Main characters[edit]

  • Simon David "Sick Boy" Williamson - Marred by a string of failed business ventures, decides to make a porn film. A heavy cocaine user. Still bitter about being ripped off by Renton in the previous novel. In the years since Trainspotting he had a son with a woman who is now his ex-wife. He has also lost some of the charm and physical attractiveness he previously possessed.
  • Mark "Rents" Renton - Kicked heroin and owns a successful nightclub in Amsterdam. Agrees to finance Sick Boy's porn film in exchange for a share of the profits, despite a mutual lack of trust and amiability. Has got into shape and learned martial arts in anticipation and fear of an eventual meeting with Begbie.
  • Nikki Fuller-Smith - English 25-year old university student and film studies major who moonlights performing minor sexual favours at a sauna/massage parlour. Has body image problems (she occasionally vomits after meals) and is attracted to Sick Boy. She decides to help Sick Boy with his film by starring in it.
  • Danny "Spud" Murphy - After receiving his share of the drug money he has been regularly attending group sessions in an attempt to kick his drug habit. Is in a strained relationship with Alison (a character who was in an on / off relationship with Sick Boy in Trainspotting) and feels like he has become a burden on her. He considers his life insurance policy and contemplates suicide.
  • Francis "Franco" Begbie – A violent sociopath who seeks his former friends after being recently released from prison.

Film adaptation[edit]

Danny Boyle has stated his wish to make a sequel to Trainspotting based on Porno which takes place nine years later. He is reportedly waiting until the original actors themselves age visibly enough to portray the same characters, ravaged by time; Boyle joked that the natural vanity of actors would make it a long wait.[1] On 10 September 2009, Robert Carlyle revealed that Boyle was "edging closer" to making Porno. Carlyle, who played Begbie in the film, said he would "jump through hoops of fire backwards" for the filmmaker and would "do Porno tomorrow for nothing."

The film will pick up on the same characters 10 years later. However, Ewan McGregor, who played anti-hero Renton, has said in interviews that a sequel would be a "terrible shame". Boyle and McGregor have not worked together since 1997's A Life Less Ordinary, when McGregor was passed over in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role in Boyle's big screen adaptation of Alex Garland's novel, The Beach.[2][3] In 2013, McGregor noted that he is "ready to work" on the film with Boyle after reconciling.[4]

In 2013 Boyle said that any sequel to Trainspotting would be loosely based on Porno which he has described as “not a great book in the way that Trainspotting, the original novel, is genuinely a masterpiece”. Boyle says that if the sequel happens 2016 would be the release.[5]

In July 2013 at the San Diego Comic-Con Robert Carlyle officially confirmed that the sequel will happen.[citation needed]

Release details[edit]

References[edit]