Welsh: Trainspotting wouldn’t get published now

Irvine Welsh has has several books turned into films, such as Trainspotting and Filth. Picture: Toby Williams
Irvine Welsh has has several books turned into films, such as Trainspotting and Filth. Picture: Toby Williams
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IRVINE Welsh claims UK publishers are too “risk averse” and celebrity-obsessed to publish Trainspotting today.

The Scots author also revealed that if he were to rewrite Trainspotting today he would make it even harsher than the 1993 original.

Welsh, 55, also pledged to bring back the Trainspotting characters, although they would “sadly” not be together in any future works.

In an online Q&A, Welsh was asked by a fan if he would self-publish today as the publishing world is “so risk averse, unless you are a celebrity chef or a footballer”.

Welsh answered: “I probably would have, for the reasons you say. Nobody would publish Trainspotting today.”

Another fan asked Welsh if there were any more books starring “Begbie and co. in the pipeline?”

He replied: “Yes. I’ll write more about those characters, but probably not all together, as they would be (sadly) having separate adventures.”

During the session, Welsh apologised to fan who said that they had felt “filthy” and “degraded” after reading his book, Filth which was last year released on film.

Filth, which was released on film last year, follows an Edinburgh detective as his life spirals out of control leading him to alcohol, drugs and ultimately his death.

Tamzin Rollason said: “For a while after reading Filth I couldn’t read your work anymore. I felt degraded and filthy after reading it. As much as I love your work, for me, you went too far with that book. I’m curious about what knowledge, understanding or experiences gave you the insights to write these characters? Do you have any regrets for giving “life” to such screwed-up types?”

Welsh replied to Ms Rollason, and said: “i’m sorry you felt like that Tamzin. I know that people internalise these things differently and the character was repellent on a spiral which was stripping him of his humanity. I’m interested in people when they are having a bad time, and the mechanisms by which we compound our problems with bad decision making. I think people can forgive darkness if they know the characters are groping for the light switch, so I don’t regret bringing them to life.”