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Before | After

I'm relieved to have finally started reading Catch-22, because that's what I've been telling people I've been reading for the past few weeks as I finished up Irvine Welsh's Porno.


What was with the Carrie-esque ending, though? It just screams “SEQUEL???!!!” and I want to scream “YOU HAD ONE CHANCE.” If this becomes a film, they need to make that less of a horror movie cliche.

Personally, I was frustrated that the writing style was relaxed to make the book more accessible to a wider audience. I spent so many hours reading Trainspotting and learning the lingo that I found the sequel patronizing.

I didn't like that Begbie did coke, either. What happened to “Begbie didn’t do drugs either; he just did people”? He was a much scarier (re: interesting) character when he was crazy all by himself.

I do wish the Renton vs. Begbie tension had been resolved more satisfactorily. I believe that could have been some fantastic writing, but the car accident seemed like the easy way out. I was waiting the entire book for that moment, and I felt robbed of a proper culmination.

I thought the skeleton events of the final chapters were somewhat redemptive, however, considering all of the Sick Boy/Nikki I had to trudge through. I hate Nikki, but I approve of her screwing over Sick Boy.

With that said, I’m a little disappointed that Porno took Sick Boy from being a loveable jackass to just a jackass.

Sick Boy is obviously the central character in the book, but I can’t see him carrying the (hypothetical) film. They would almost certainly have to work it around Renton’s character.

Dianne deserves so much better than Renton, and she was tragically underused in the book, but I suppose I’m just thankful she was still in the picture. How pathetic is that? I would have preferred her taking a bigger role than Nikki.

I was uncomfortable with the virgin-whore dichotomy present throughout the book. I know those are the views of the characters and not necessarily those of the author, but Nikki was obviously doing porn because she lacked self-confidence, not because she felt liberated. It touched a nerve when Nikki called Lauren a lesbian because she disapproved of the conditions of the sex industry. Disapproving of sexual exploitation doesn't equal slut shamming.

Don’t get me wrong-—I’d still love for this to be made into a film. And if it is shit, we can just pretend the sequel never happened. We do it all the time.

I have one request: Can we include Second Prize this time? I just love his nickname.

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November 2011


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