This novel tells the story of a group of junkies living on the edge in Edinburgh. It starts out spreading the story between several key characters - Rents, Sick Boy, and Spud, amongst others. It quickly becomes clear that the story is really that of Mark Renton, or Rents as he is known to his friends. We follow him over a period of several months where he splits his time between Edinburgh and London, sometimes clean, sometimes not, and it seems, always scheming.
I really enjoyed this novel, but can definitely understand that it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. For starters it's written entirely in a lowland Scots dialect, which for many will be really difficult to understand, let alone read. The story is also a pretty dismal one of people trying their best to survive when surrounded by crime, drugs, and AIDS. This is not light reading or for the faint of heart. I was rather surprised by the ending, but in retrospect I shouldn't have been as it was just more of the same old stuff you've come to expect of characters who despite a strong loyalty to each other, can't help but put their needs above that of anyone or anything else.