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Mark Renton / "Rents" / "Rent Boy"
Mark Renton is the novel's main character and he acts as a sort of villain-protagonist. When he first appears, he is addicted to heroin with no desire to get clean yet. His character is intelligent and has a lot of friends however he appears to hate them all, a lot of his narration in the novel is very cynical towards society.
"Sick Boy" / Simon David Williamson
Sick Boy is the sociopath of the group he doesn't care about his friends and refers to them as "associates". He has an obsession with James Bond and Sean Connery. What is different about Sick Boy compared to the other characters is the fact he is not actually an "addict" he takes heroin, yet he can casually get clean at any point.
"Spud" / Danny Murphy
Spud is the most gentle of all the characters; he is pleasant but is still a criminal and steals often. He falls into heroin when he loses his job at a furniture store. Within the chapters in the novel that are narrated by him he uses a very thick Scottish vocabulary which is hard to understand..
"Begbie" / Francis / Franco / James / Jim
Begbie is the only main character in the novel who doesn't actually take heroin. He has taken cocaine and speed in the past but never heroin and claims to be very much against people who take heroin; despite his best friends being addicts, he refers to them as the "lowest form of life". Begbie was formerly in prison and it is suggested that prison has changed his character vastly making him sadistic and a person who loves violence.
Tommy isn't one of the main characters in the book; however, he is one of Renton's closest friends from childhood. Like Begbie, Tommy doesn't touch heroin but prefers to take speed. However when Lizzie (his girlfriend) decides to dump him and because of this he turns to heroin; which results in him becoming HIV positive.
Rab "Second Prize" McLaughlin
Rab is one of the five in the novel that takes part in the massive heroin deal in London. Originally he was a professional football; however, he turned to alcohol and became an addict. This resulted in him losing opportunities to play for the likes of Manchester United.
Another long time friend of Renton, who ends up with aids after having sex with a woman that Alan Venters previously raped. This makes him attempt to enact revenge on Alan before he dies.
A minor character in the novel who is close to all of the group and works in the dole office.
Renton's love interest after he meets her in a nightclub. Unaware she is underage and only 14, Renton has a one-night stand with her before realizing her age.
Spud's girlfriend who plays a small part in the novel, and is also friends with the rest of the group.
Johnny Swan / "Mother Superior"
Another friend that Renton has had for years; in the 80's he became a drug dealer and also began using heroin.
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