above: Gavin MacDougall, Director, Luath Press (left) and me at the launch party of CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH at the Dockers’ Club, 3 August 2018

CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH. Trainspotting on Location.

The waiting is over. CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH: Trainspotting on Location is on the shelves. Twenty-five years on from the launch of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, it’s in urgent need of a re-appraisal.

Click on the Luath link (right), and I’ll be happy to sign your copy, on request. If you would like an additional special inscription please allow an extra few days for despatch. Give your instructions on the Luath web site.


The Leither, who should know what they are talking about, have a very nice review in their November issue, reproduced with permission.

The Sunday Herald published a kind review.

Available Now from Luath Press

Here’s part of my little talk at the launch:

I have to thank the people at Luath Press… mostly I have to thank Gavin MacDougall, Director. I played club hockey with him twenty years ago. He came from a swanky club in Surrey, and it must have been a bit of a disappointment to him to come down to my level. I remember giving him a lift home after a game and he told me he and his wife had taken over a publishing business. I was impressed. About five or six years ago, I took him a draft of what I had knocked up… It was mince, I recognise that now, Gavin, and you couldn’t take it further. As we parted company, on good terms, you said ‘I hope you finish your project. I think you should.’ That was a kind and generous thing to say when the prospect of the business coming your way had disappeared. It was in much better shape when I came back with it more recently, and you have taken it on. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this weekend press, never mind the literary mags and supps, it should be a news item with a screaming headline: LUATH PRESS DOES IT AGAIN. Only a few months ago Luath published POVERTY SAFARI by Darren McGarvey. If you haven’t come across McGarvey and his book, don’t worry, you will. It won the Orwell Prize the other week, with the chair of the panel and lots of commentators saying that Orwell himself would approve of this expose of the effects of persistent poverty on the lives of people and communities. Now Luath is publishing this, CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH, an entirely different take on the basically the same subject. A recurring theme of my book is that widespread, out-of-control drug abuse – any drug – is a symptom of social malfunction. Yes, we are ambitious for this book, and the only thing I am pissed off about is that this boy McGarvey has jiggered any idea I might have had of getting the Best First Book of the Year Award.

1 Comment

  1. Many who enjoyed Trainspotting will be astonished at what is revealed here concerning all that lies behind Irvine Welsh’s best known work. More than a worthy slice of social history from Leith and North Edinburgh since the 1980’s. It has lived experience and new insights on every page. Quite an achievement. Well done Tim.


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