Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh, 'poet laureate of the chemical generation', exposes the seamy underbelly of rave’s utopian dream. Lloyd, our permanently pilled-up protagonist, pushes his weekends to breaking point and beyond in this frazzled trip through Scottish clubland. He experiences the vertiginous uppers and downers of the Second Summer of Love, dabbles in a spot of disc jockeying and closes in, gradually, on some kind of redemption…

Selected from Irvine Welsh's novel Ecstasy.


A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Home by Salman Rushdie
Dreams by Sigmund Freud
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Work by Joseph Heller

Dead Men's Trousers

Irvine Welsh

Mark Renton is finally a success. An international jet-setter, he now makes significant money managing DJs, but the constant travel, airport lounges, soulless hotel rooms and broken relationships have left him dissatisfied with his life. He’s then rocked by a chance encounter with Frank Begbie, from whom he’d been hiding for years after a terrible betrayal and the resulting debt. But the psychotic Begbie appears to have reinvented himself as a celebrated artist and – much to Mark’s astonishment – doesn’t seem interested in revenge.

Sick Boy and Spud, who have agendas of their own, are intrigued to learn that their old friends are back in town, but when they enter the bleak world of organ-harvesting, things start to go so badly wrong. Lurching from crisis to crisis, the four men circle each other, driven by their personal histories and addictions, confused, angry – so desperate that even Hibs winning the Scottish Cup doesn’t really help. One of these four will not survive to the end of this book. Which one of them is wearing Dead Men’s Trousers?

Fast and furious, scabrously funny and weirdly moving, this is a spectacular return of the crew from Trainspotting.

Mr Nice

Howard Marks (and others)


He was Britain's most wanted man. He spent seven years in America's toughest penitentiary. You'll like him.

During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had forty three aliases, eighty nine phone lines and owned twenty five companies throughout the world.

At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuana, and had contact with organisations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was arrested and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at the Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence.

Told with humour, charm and candour, Mr Nice is his own extraordinary story.

'The story of a remarkable life, lived by the very brilliant and exceptionally wonderful Mr Nice'
Irvine Welsh

'Frequently hilarious, occasionally sad, and often surreal'

'A man who makes Peter Pan look like a geriatric'

'A folk legend'
Daily Mail

The Blade Artist

Irvine Welsh

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly.

The Blade Artist is an elegant, electrifying novel – ultra violent but curiously redemptive – and it marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting.

T2 Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh

Now a major film directed by Danny Boyle reuniting the cast of Trainspotting

Years on from Trainspotting Sick Boy is back in Edinburgh after a long spell in London. Having failed spectacularly as a hustler, pimp, husband, father and businessman, Sick Boy taps into an opportunity which to him represents one last throw of the dice. However, to realise his ambitions within the Adult industries, Sick Boy must team up with old pal and fellow exile Mark Renton. Still scheming, still scamming, Sick Boy and Renton soon find out that they have unresolved issues to address concerning the unhinged Begbie, the troubled, drug-addled Spud, but, most of all, with each other.

T2 Trainspotting was previously published as Porno.

A Decent Ride

Irvine Welsh

Shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction

A rampaging force of nature is wreaking havoc on the streets of Edinburgh, but has top shagger, drug-dealer, gonzo-porn-star and taxi-driver, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, finally met his match in Hurricane ‘Bawbag’?

Can Terry discover the fate of the missing beauty, Jinty Magdalen, and keep her idiot-savant lover, the man-child Wee Jonty, out of prison?

Will he find out the real motives of unscrupulous American businessman and reality-TV star, Ronald Checker?

And, crucially, will Terry be able to negotiate life after a terrible event robs him of his sexual virility, and can a new fascination for the game of golf help him to live without… A DECENT RIDE?

A Decent Ride sees Irvine Welsh back on home turf, leaving us in the capable hands of one of his most compelling and popular characters, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, and introducing another bound for cult status, Wee Jonty MacKay: a man with the genitals and brain of a donkey.

In his funniest, filthiest book yet, Irvine Welsh celebrates an un-reconstructed misogynist hustler – a central character who is shameless but also, oddly, decent –and finds new ways of making wild comedy out of fantastically dark material, taking on some of the last taboos. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is one ride that could certainly get a little bumpy…

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

Irvine Welsh

From the number one bestselling author of Trainspotting

Meet Lucy Brennan – an aggressive personal trainer who has just become a media hero after taking down a would-be gunman in Miami.

The one witness to the daring rescue is Lena Sorensen – an overweight depressive who is becoming increasingly obsessed with Lucy…

Irvine Welsh’s latest creation captures the two great obsessions of our time – how we look and where we live – and tells a story so subversive and dark it blacks out the Florida sun.


Irvine Welsh

Suitable only for persons of strong constitution.

Drug use
Law Enforcement

And a tapeworm


Irvine Welsh


The Number One Bestseller

Mark Renton has it all: he’s good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a bright future. But there’s no room for him in the 1980s and when his family starts to fracture, Mark’s life swings out of control. The way out is heroin. It’s no better for his friends – Spud Murphy is laid off from his job, Tommy Lawrence finds himself sucked into a life of petty crime, violence and the world of the psychotic Franco Begbie. Only Sick Boy seems to ride the current, scamming and hustling his way through it all. Exhilarating and moving, Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young addicts in a decade which changed Britain forever.

Victor Spoils (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

On a post-clubbing Sunday morning, a series of misfortunes aggravate Sarah's hangover. She must deal with last night's insistent and overly attentive partner, a run-in with an old lover and, most jarringly, the re-emergence of a painfully disabling toothache.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

Rattlesnakes (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Madeline, Eugene and Scott are three young, beautiful Americans, engaged in a love triangle and enjoying their free and drug-fuelled youth. When they have a car crash in the desert they are forced to wait for assistance. But events spin out of control when they are found instead by a young Mexican who, charged up on the memory of the violent death of his mother and the numerous indignities he has suffered at the hands of his American employers, is ready to make the world pay.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

Catholic Guilt (You Know You Love It) (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

A homophobic Scottish labourer in London dies, and is condemned to confront his prejudices in the afterlife. A story about how tragedy can be casually courted when we ignore mental and physical cues, and turn our backs on the past.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

A Fault on the Line / Elspeth’s Boyfriend / Kissing and Making Up (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

In 'A Fault on the Line', a Hearts-Hibernian football match is on television, and a Sunday afternoon trip to a beer garden with the family is an unwelcome distraction for former trackman Malky. The day ends badly when he decides to hurry them home in time for kick-off.

In 'Elspeth's Boyfriend', it's Christmas day in Leith, and Frank is suffering from the previous evening's excesses. He doesn't take kindly to his sister's fancy new boyfriend. Frank's grumblings about the choice of television programmes develop into a more serious confrontation when a spot of unwanted physical contact causes tempers to flare.

In 'Kissing and Making Up', a drunk seeking an outlet for his frustrations heads to a strip club in the early afternoon. There, however, he only manages to make things worse.

Part of the Storycuts series, these three stories were previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

Miss Arizona (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Raymond Wilson Butler, a director and writer down on his luck, is struggling to write a biography of his hero, the late filmmaker Halliday. He conducts a series of interviews with his widow Yolanda, an overweight woman living alone in the desert in Arizona with a penchant for taxidermy. Raymond knows she is an eccentric but nothing can prepare him for Yolanda's revelation of the true story of the life and death of her late husband.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

Kingdom of Fife (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Will Jason King ever charm the young rider Jenni Cahill and gain long-anticipated access to her jodhpurs?

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

The State of the Party (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Calum's evening gets off to nostalgic start when a childhood friend, now a junkie, wanders into the bar. His drinking partner, Crooky, has procured some hits of acid, and the trio head off in search of a party. However, their trip goes badly wrong and the morning brings with it a bleak comedown.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

The DOGS of Lincoln Park (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Three young women - competitive, bitchy and moneyed - have lunch together at their favourite Korean restaurant every Friday. When the friendly chef from the restaurant moves into the same building as one of the girls, she strikes up a friendship with him. But the disappearance of her dog sparks suspicion of the Korean chef's motives, and his culinary ambitions.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

The Rosewell Incident (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Cigarette-addicted aliens have Midlothian under surveillance. A jaded police constable, a pregnant teenager with a UFO obsession and a gang of youths bent on a violent scam are shaken up when a caravan of travellers arrives in Rosewell, and the local mechanic's long-lost brother turns up in some peculiar company.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

If You Liked School, You'll Love Work... (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

Mickey Baker, an ex-pat English bar owner living in Spain, returns to England to see his daughter and mother but must face the wrath of his ex-wife, a woman who pulls no punches.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

I Am Miami (Storycuts)

Irvine Welsh

In the tropics of Miami, retired Scottish schoolteacher Albert Black mourns his wife of forty-one years. His grief and inability to connect with his son's Americanised family combine to undermine the Christian ethos that has governed his life. Dejected, he summons a final rallying of his principles and seeks out a confrontation with a former pupil.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Reheated Cabbage.

Irvine Welsh

Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh is best known for his era-defining book Trainspotting.


Irvine Welsh is the author of twelve novels and four books of shorter fiction. He currently lives in Chicago.