Choose novels: Irvine Welsh claims books are dying out


TRAINSPOTTING author Irvine Welsh has claimed the novel is dying out and has questioned whether “humans need stories anymore?”

The 58-year-old best-selling author feels that books can’t compete with the variety and quality offered by television.

The opinionated Scot sold over a million copies of his breakthrough novel and the Trainspotting films based on his work have enjoyed massive success on the big screen.

Scottish author Irvine Walsh

Publishers have recently voiced concerned that the surge in popularity of TV box sets has replaced the need for novels.

Fiction sales are down 7% on last year and 23% since 2012.

Speaking about the changing role of novels, Welsh said: “TV has taken over. Anyone who writes a novel today has one eye on some kind of translation to big screen or small screen.

“The classic idea of the novel as a standalone work of art and the author as auteur is very much a declining thing.

“I don’t think it has the deep cultural resonance that it did.

“In some ways it is a dying art form. As we move into the world of artificial intelligence, can we have a robot composing a better symphony that Bach or Mozart?

“Do human beings need stories anymore?”

Welsh has had 11 novels adapted for film and theatre with the most famous being Trainspotting.

The iconic film, starring Ewan McGregor and directed by Danny Boyle was released in 1996 and has been named as one of the best British films of all time.