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In an underbelly of Edinburgh that the city fathers never dreamt of, Mark Renton and his so-called friends – a group of losers, liars, psychos and drug addicts – throw themselves into the nothingness of heroin and search the murky depths at bottom of the bottle; financing their habits through lives of petty crime.

After one too many brushes with the law and a near-fatal overdose, Renton kicks the junk and moves to London in an attempt to escape the self-destructive lifestyle of those around him. But when his old friends Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud arrive at his door on the trail of a big score, Renton must decide whether or not he really wants to choose life.