Book #34: Trainspotting

I’m reading Trainspotting right now and it’s, uh, special.

I mean, I guess it’s a “junkie novel” (or at least that’s what I call novels where everyone’s addicted to drugs [see: Naked Lunch]) so it was bound to be weird. And maybe I should’ve been more prepared for this, but I loaded it onto my Kindle, started reading it, and was like, “Oh shit. It’s written in Scottish dialect.”

Here’s the deal: I do not like reading things that are written in dialect. It’s too much trouble to decipher what they’re saying. It’s so hard for me to even figure out what the characters are saying that I can’t really get much deeper than “Okay. So… ‘The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling. Ah wis jist sitting thair, focusing oan the telly, tryin no tae notice the cunt. He wis bringing me doon.’ must mean, ‘Sick Boy was sweating and trembling. I was just sitting there, focusing on the TV and trying not to notice him. He was bringing me down.’ Next paragraph.”

It just irritates me. I wish I was one of those people who could decipher dialects when they’re written out. I also kind of wish that I knew more Scottish slang, because that might help. But either way, dialect doesn’t add anything to the story for me. All it really does is make me think in a Scottish accent sometimes, which is weird. In fact, I’m not really sure what it does for any story, ever. What’s it supposed to add.

Seriously, if anyone has any idea why authors do this and what purpose it serves, tell me. I really, really want to know.


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