Choose Life. Choose Leith.

Choose Life. Choose Leith.


Trainspotting on Location

Tim Bell

ISBN: 9781912147656

Binding: paperback

In stock

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About this book:

By examining the book, the play and the film, Choose Life, Choose Leith both critically analyses the Trainspotting phenomenon in its various forms, and contextualises the importance of the location of Leith and the culture of 1980s Britain. Looking in detail at the history of Leith, the drug culture, the spread of HIV/AIDs, and how Trainspotting affected drug policy, Leith and the Scottish identity, the book highlights the importance of TrainspottingChoose Life, Choose Leith acts as a reference book, a record of the times and a background as to the history that led to the real-life situation and the publication of the book.


This hugely informative a hard-hitting social history brimming with local knowledge.  Alastair Mabbott, Sunday Herald Life Magazine

No other book is needed now. Choose Life, Choose Leith: Trainspotting on Location is the book that lets others know what locals knew when they first read [Trainspotting]… Irvine Welsh has found the Boswell for his Johnson. Gordon Munro, The Leither

A really absorbing read; so many strands woven together. I came away with a greater understanding of Trainspotting (the book, and the film) - it grew in stature and importance as I was reading Tim Bell's book. Not only that, I came away with new perspectives on the history of Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, the United Kingdom, new perspectives, too, on people dealing with loss, pain and temptation. pegasus, Amazon

The book is great, full of precise details and new information. One of the best things is the way the author connects Trainspotting with different historical periods and how he relates Welsh to other writers as Robert Louis Stevenson or Chaucer.
The book allows us to analyse Trainspotting from a literary and sociological point of view; a pleasure that most of us wouldn't imagine when we were kids in 90s and Trainspotting was a new generation rise. Marisa Molina Alonso, Amazon

With a teenage daughter at school at UofEdi, a long way from home in the US, I read this book for personal enrichment, deep dive on what Trainspotting was all about, and to better understand Edinburgh. What a treat! Top of my reading list for 2018. Tim Bell gives history and details of Welsh, the book, the play, the movie, but more importantly he gives an imaginative enthralling history of Leith and places Leith in the post-WWII social upheavals that were exacerbated by Thatcher economics and top-down governance. Trainspotting is about a lot more than drug abuse. Bell helped me to understand, at street level, building by building, the perfect storm of unprotected sex, heroin dealing, destructive housing and development policies/practices, and HIV/AIDS that was Leith in the 1980s. This historical perspective alone, makes Bell’s book worthy of required reading for medical students and social services professionals, regardless of one’s regard for Trainspotting. Choose this book. F. Whitby, Amazon