The Movie Doctors & Trainspotting: Book Reviews

I read these two books over about a week and it felt great. Reading books is a great feeling. It is an accomplishment when you finish them.  A race that has been won.  A mountain that has been climbed.  Now I haven’t read War and Peace in a few days but a book about films and a beloved cult novel.  This doesn’t make me less proud of my self.  I have burned through around 800 pages and it has left me extremely content.


I was gifted The Movie Doctors by my flatmate because he knows how much I admire it’s author’s Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo.  Famously the BBC radio film review team, they are literally the best double act in movies.  If you have never watched/listened to their reviews on Radio 5,  I would highly recommend it.  This book is pretty much non-fiction in its style, with the ‘doctors’ part of it being the foundations of the content.  Essentially, they use illness diagnoses to discuss film.  It is cluttered with movie references and recommendations from Kermode, with a dialogue with Mayo every now and then to keep it grounded.  A must read for film geeks, as the the spectrum of the industry discussed is broad.  Simply read, and put together,  I would push anyone towards this book as I’m sure there’s something in the pages for them.


I bought Trainspotting in Edinburgh and was surprised by how much I was engulfed by it. The film is very precious to me (reviewed the sequel on here) and I have this rule (that I often break) where I don’t read the original novel of a film that I love.  This is due to me believing that a film can stand on its own, but I succumbed to Scottish pressure and read the legendary piece of fiction.  The short answer is that I loved it.  It now sits nicely in my brain next to the film where it can stay to be a companion to it.  The Scottish style in which it is written so brilliantly by Irvine Welsh is thoroughly entertaining.  It makes the book so readable and the world so easily to fall in to.  Every chapter is full of mental remarks and incidents that are strange but profound.  Alongside the film it is gritty and real but most of all fun to read.  There is a chapter in this book that hit me so hard, and was so unexpectedly gruelling and heart wrenching that I had to take a quick break before carrying on.  Overall, you have to read this book, it is as seminal to me as The Beach was (also reviewed on here) and is timeless as a work of art.

I have bottled down 800 words of pure thrill into two paragraphs so this feels less of an accomplishment.  Next I am going to read War and Peace and hopefully get a certificate when I turn over to the last page.