Talk:Trainspotting (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Novels (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Novels, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit one of the articles mentioned below, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and contribute to the general Project discussion to talk over new ideas and suggestions.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


No, I'm sorry Midnighters, but the chapters centred on Mark Renton are not all written in phonetic Scots. Most of the speech is Scots, some but not all of the internal discourse, and some but not all of the omniscient narration. I'm very disappointed that you made this change.

I also think it's bad practice to describe a chapter or section as belonging 'to' a character, especially since other characters appear in those sections.

No need for disappointment, it's not like these modifications are irreversible. From what I see/remember all of Renton's narration is written phonetically, if I'm wrong, just cite a single chapter narrated by Renton that is written in SE and we'll change it, simple as that. I just want the article to be correct, and that's how I think it is after having checked out the book briefly to make sure. I also clarified in my last edit that only chapters narrated by Renton are written phonetically. All omniscient narration is in SE right? Again, I just want it to be correct, if I'm wrong I'll be glad the mistake was corrected, it's just good practice to provide examples.
As for the wording of belong to or narrated by or whatever I don't particularly care how it's phrased. Edit it as you see fit. Glad to see someone else as passionate about this stuff as me. --TheMidnighters 08:45, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Just added another bit that should clarify more. So to assess the article: it does not say that all chapters centred on Renton are written in phonetic Scots (never did), it does not say that all internal discourse is phonetic (never did), it does not say that all the omniscient narration is phonetic (never did), and finally "belonging to" does not appear in the article (never did). --TheMidnighters 10:03, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Locations section[edit]

I think it would be interesting to have a section that identified the different locations where things happen in the book, such as Leith, Princes Gardens, maybe even the different bars or restaurants, etc. with links to Wikipedia pages relative to each place. Maybe somebody familiar with Leith, Edimburg and their surroundings (perhaps even London) could help on this. --Screech 16:01, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Isn't this a spoiler?[edit]

From the intro, before the spoiler warning:

"The title is a reference to an episode where Begbie and Renton meet "an auld drunkard" in the disused Leith Central railway station, which they are visiting to use as a toilet. He asks them (in a weak attempt at a joke) if they are "trainspottin". As they walk away, Renton realises the drunk was Begbie's father. (p309, Minerva edition)"

What does it spoil? That happens and that's all there is to it, doesn't have any bearing on the plot — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


I do believe that this is pretty... ambiguous? I think that's the word.

"Bad Blood - Narrated by Davie. Davie, now HIV-positive, takes a particularly horrible revenge upon a man whom he suspects to have raped his girlfriend, by convincing the man that he has raped and violently murdered his son."

He convinces the man that himself, Davie, has raped and murdered his son, or that does it mean that he concinces the man that he had raped and violently murdered Davie's son.

Please someone make this more clear. It just seems sort of sloppy.

(-Kid. 12:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC))

Done and done. I added small bits to some other ones too. (talk) 01:36, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Trainspotting definition[edit]

A couple of points: I don't know why it's marked as a mainly Scotish or English phenomenon. The only trainspotters I've ever met have been Welsh, although being born in Cardiff probably has something to do with that. And my understanding of trainspotting was that the idea was simply to 'spot' a train and make a note of it's number and then cross it off the list. Doozy88 22:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I think that is the definition of trainspotting. Apparently in London people do it with busses too ("oh there is 123456 the 7th Routemaster to enter service, I hear it had a transmission change recently..." !!!)
They go around "collecting" the numbers of various locomotives. It is sort of the ultimate futile hobby. Hence a very appropriate title for a book on life and/on junk. Both of which are futile, but at least junk eases the ride of life.
If this explanation is correct, it should be in the text of the article. (Also, do any of the characters in the story encounter or engage in trainspotting?) HowardMorland (talk) 02:50, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

"have been Welsh." Silly thing to say. People in the UK who were trainspotters were from all over. As a kid in the '50s living near Manchester my 'region' was the LMS (London, Midland and Scottish). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Non-native English speakers[edit]

I find the following sentence troublesome, specifically the section I have italicised:

"Non-native English speakers might find the language in this book rather challenging as it is partly written in a phonetic rendering of urban Scots."

This seems to be nothing more than original research and/or speculation. Granted, it may well be true, but then non-native English speakers might have trouble with the language style in thousands upon thousands of other books - and so might native English speakers for that matter. I think that the sentence is assumptive, patronising, and unencyclopedic. I personally think it should be removed entirely, but for the time being I have put "citation needed", is it needs this at the very least to justify its retention. Yeanold Viskersenn 16:38, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I cleaned it up. --John 16:43, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Excellent - thanks John. :) Yeanold Viskersenn 18:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Plot summary[edit]

Okay, let's do it this way.

I really feel that it is unnecessary and silly to have a precis of each of the parts of the book in this section. People are welcome to go and summarise books elsewhere, but this kind of sub-par literary "analysis" really does not have a place here. 15:19, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

For many that have not read the book a plot summary is a very useful addition to the page. Currently, plot summaries for fictional works are the standard on Wikipedia and I see no reason to make this article the exception. Granted due to Trainspotting's disjointed nature its summary is not as linear as one might hope, but that is beyond our control. Just because you find something unnecessary or silly is no justification to blank a section without prior discussion or attempt to generate consensus. And I have no idea what you mean by "analysis"; there is no analysis in the section, just short summaries. --TM 23:58, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
The initial paragraph of the Plot Summary section is sufficient, I feel. The next seven sections, each containing a bland single-sentence description of each short story (and many of them featuring blatant spoilers), is not really justifiable. My point really was that there *is* no analysis taking place in those sections -- something that might have justified their inclusion.
Let's leave this up for now and see what comes of this discussion. But really, unless someone can come up with a seriously compelling reason to keep those seven sections, I feel that in the interests of quality and conciseness they should come down. People are more than welcome to buy a copy of the book if they want to find out what goes on in it. Grayston 08:50, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll go through your objections point by point again. Being bland is obviously not a reason to remove a section, but to improve it as you see fit. I'm sorry but a plot summary section will contain spoilers, that's kind of the point. Plot summaries aren't supposed to analyse, they're supposed to summarise. If you have issue with the quality of the sentences, modify them. As for conciseness, Wikipedia is not made of paper, and so conserving space is not an issue; if someone does not want to read what happens they don't have to.
Most of your arguments seem to be against the general notion of even having plot summaries for novels, such as your final point that "people are more than welcome to buy a copy of the book if they want to find out what goes on in it." One could make this argument to try and remove every plot summary on Wikipedia, but I doubt people would be convinced. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to inform in a condensed fashion, and that is what a summary does. By your logic we should just delete the article and replace it with a sentence saying "Go read the book." The point of a plot summary is that people who haven't read the book, and even those who have, can quickly review the contents of the work without having to read a 300+ page novel. Almost every article on fictional works contains a plot summary and I have yet to see any justification to make this article the sole exception to the standard.
So far you have yet to provide any compelling reason to remove the plot summary and until you do you are in no position to do so. As I've said, Trainspotting is a fragmented and disjointed text, and unfortunately its plot summary will be similarly fragmented, but that is no reason to remove it, for a similar example, see List of episodes in Gravity's Rainbow. --TM 04:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


From the characters section:

"Daniel "Spud" Murphy — Naive and childlike [...snip...] his inherent sense of decency cannot survive unaddled among his mates"

"Unaddled" is not a word. Can someone more familiar with the book correct this (I'm not even sure what the original author was trying to say here).

I modified it slightly. Thanks for pointing that out. --TM 03:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


I'm reading the book right now and you seem to have forgotten Kelly in the list of the minor characters. She is even the narrator in the chapter Feeling Free. Please somebody add her, as I'm not sure I'll do it correctly. Thanks!

I just did, and saw your message a few minutes later. I like her character very much. Finished the book last night, and find the women need more mention here. Eventually had to write the character names and aliases down in my book to sort them out. WonderWheeler (talk) 06:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I can't find where Begbie does speed in the novel. It's even a main theme that "Begbie disnae do drugs, violence is his drug". He smokes and drinks but I can't find any drug use for him? (talk) 20:24, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Pish on the Cauld Stane[edit]

I took the liberty of editing the section on Trainspotting - Intrepretations of the Title to mention an additional layer of meaning that was apparently intended by the author. That is, that they were training a train of urine onto a spot on an old building stone (apparently) when the old guy comes up from behind. There's room for discussion on animals marking territory, people showing contempt for old things, perhaps, nasty stuff going on at night, living on the edge, etc. Maybe someone can clean it up, as the original was written better. WonderWheeler (talk) 06:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Trim the lede[edit]

Pretty sure excessively detailed dossiers of each of the main characters do not belong in an article's lede. (talk) 00:29, 13 August 2014 (UTC)