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W. W. Norton & Company Porno [Paperback]

Irvine Welsh
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description

The Trainspotting lads are back...and in worse shape than ever.In the last gasp of youth, Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson is back in Edinburgh. He taps into one last great scam: directing and producing a porn film. To make it work, he needs bedfellows: the lovely Nikki Fuller-Smith, a student with ambition, ego, and troubles to rival his own; old pal Mark Renton; and a motley crew that includes the neighborhood's favorite ex-beverage salesman, "Juice" Terry. In the world of Porno, however, even the cons are conned. Sick Boy and Renton jockey for top dog. The out-of-jail and in-for-revenge Begbie is on the loose. But it's the hapless, drug-addled Spud who may be spreading the most trouble. Porno is a novel about the Trainspotting crew ten years further down the line: still scheming, still scamming, still fighting for the first-class seats as the train careens at high velocity with derailment looming around the next corner.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perverse Burden of Being Irvine Welsh Oct. 13 2002
By Jack
Format:Paperback
It's astonishing how a writer as limited as Welsh can write a book that gets under your skin and infects your use of language for days to come. His previous offering, Glue, made my friends and I talk like "schemies" from the new slums of Edinburgh for months to come. Unfortunately, Welsh always lets the side down a bit with the odd bit of stilted dialogue, or pointless analysis of his own sexual (and political) obsessions. Porno is another example of his dual tendency: compulsion and drivel. Like most of his other books, Porno has moments of boredom and rubbish, most notably seen in the subplot of Leith schemies making a porno film. (Is this a nod to Jane Austen's Mansfield Park?)Welsh's disturbing fixation with hardcore porn - seen also in previous works like Filth and, to a lesser extent, Ecstasy - nearly ruins the book; however, this semi-sequel to Trainspotting manages to compel the reader to devour the book in one or two sittings. I won't discuss the plot any further, as I do not want to ruin the razor edge suspense that will drive you inexorably onwards through the novel. However, it obviously follows up on the aftermath of the scam which formed the climax of Trainspotting. If you're a newcomer to Welsh's work, start with his earlier books. If ambivalent, Glue and The Acid House are probably the only Welsh books you should bother with. But if you can't get enough of the sociological ground-level analysis of Thatcher's Scottish orphans that Welsh provides, than you're probably reading this book already. Enjoy, but be prepared for your eyes to glaze over at Welsh's neuroses.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its cover. Jan. 24 2014
By Ryan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At one point in this book, a guy's erection gets bent in half when a pornography actress falls on it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oi!... Piss Riot! June 11 2005
Format:Paperback
Welcome back to the world of "radges," "fitba" and ... well many more words I daren't say herein.
If you ever wondered what happened to the boys from Leith, wonder no more. They are back, and in technicolor. Welsh offers us a look at how the gang is doing in the mid-nineties (you are left to your own devices to figure out exactly when it takes place). The best you can say is "Well, at least they kicked heroin."
The primary focus is on Sick Boy and his endless "scams" (each chapter told from his point of view is a numbered scam, i.e. "Scam No. 11,452" - every chapter rotates among different characters' p.o.v., each with its own style, dialogue and outlook). This time, he's in it to make pornograpic movies, and the way he lures in his accomplices makes you want to bathe. But, as you will soon find out, he's not the only one using other human beings for financial gain.
The first third primarily focuses on catching up with all the crew, as well as some new characters, like Nikki, Sick Boy's main squeeze. She the beautiful if neurotic Scottish lass who dreams of grandeur while living with (and dating) the dregs. Sick Boy is up to no good, but in his usual, charming way, and even though he's a full-fledged fraud, you find yourself rooting for him; at least until the end. Then there's Begbie, the psychotic, paranoid killer, just out of jail, and in the mood to track down those that wronged him (and to find who has been sending him gay porn in prison). The first encounter each character has with Begbie is particularly fun.
Moving on to the hefty middle, we see everyone's plans take shape, including Spud's quest for redemption and Rent's quest to make amends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Folowup to Trainspotting June 1 2004
Format:Paperback
Well, it's ten years after Mark Renton stole the loot the Trainspotting boys made off the drug sale and Begbie went to prison and his other "friends" Sick Boy and Spud are up to their normal routines. Sick Boy decides to leave London and go back to Leith and quickly falls in with a friend who's into porno. Sick Boy sees a career (and a ton of money for himself) and begins the scam to make himself rich. He digs up Renton and talks him into returning to help him and soon they begin scamming each other. Finally, Begbie gets out of prison (it hasn't mellowed him) and he's looking for Renton and his revenge.
The book is a high energy romp through a segment of the pornography business and Welsh keeps ratcheting up the tension as time goes on and the book approaches it's climax. Despite that, he continues to approach the topic (and his characters) with a good deal of humor. This is a real page turner and deserves to be picked up.
I've heard rumors of a movie being planned which would be great. Don't let the title mislead you, the book is not primarily about sex but rather the industry, the deals, and the crazy lives of the players. Many old Trainspotting favorites turn up (some briefly but often memorably) and the new characters are interesting to follow as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply flawed masterpiece July 9 2004
Format:Paperback
Reading Porno is a bit like digging in the mud for nuggets of
gold. The story is rambling, the structure is haphazard and many
characters are forgettable, but the keen spirit of observation
of the author and his ability to make his point with
oscar-wildean wit provide more than enough morsels of pure
reading pleasure, especially when the agent is the pompous and
egomaniacal Simon (Sickboy) Williamson. Nikki Fuller-Smith's
insights come a distant second and Mark Renton's an even more
distant third. The chapters reflecting Frank Begbie and Spud
Murphy's thoughts I found, however, unreadable. In fact I
re-read the book skipping said chapters and it was a much
improved read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's make a film
Irvine Welsh is one of my favorite writers. His last few books GLue and Filth were difficult to get into, even though they were risky books to write. They were funny and strange. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by alexander laurence
4.0 out of 5 stars sick indeed
It's a great book. I, personally, prefered Trainspotting because the dialogue was better and Renton makes a better main character. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Javier Servigon
5.0 out of 5 stars lots of laughs
i give porno 5 stars. you can not beat this bunch. its great to find out what happened to the crew after mark left...... Read more
Published on March 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychic Offense
Most of the critical takes on Welsh revolve around the blow, smack & x which his characters ingest on an epic scale. I find all of this has been overrated. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by A Dissipated Monk
3.0 out of 5 stars Fonetik spelln'
It's my third Irvine Welsh so I must be finding some entertainment from him and I feel entitled to sound off about this business of phonetic spelling of dialect. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2003 by D. P. Birkett
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Fun!
Porno, Irvine Welsh's highly entertaining sequel to the cult classic, Trainspotting, reunites the gang as they pursue another get-rich-quick scheme. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars pedantic literate grunge
If you like pedantic literate grunge... then this is the genre for you. If you want to feel like you are close to touching a dirty subculture but not actually tarnish your hands... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2003 by st louis reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Always amazing.
With Welsh, it keeps getting better and better. From Trainspotting to Porno, the quality is still perfect, the writing humorous and the plot as intense and engaging. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end
Without going into my own summary of the novel all I can say it that this is simply a really fun book. It has incrediable characters in addition to all of the old favorites. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2003
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