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How Late It Was, How Late: A Novel por James…
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How Late It Was, How Late: A Novel (original 1994; edição 2005)

por James Kelman

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1,1791512,265 (3.55)145
In Scotland, the portrait of a petty crook who had one run-in with police too many. It is a series of reflections as he sits in jail, contemplating his fate. He had been in trouble before, but this time it's different, the latest brawl with police cost him his eyesight. Now in addition to all his other troubles he is blind.… (mais)
Membro:lasomnambule
Título:How Late It Was, How Late: A Novel
Autores:James Kelman
Informação:W. W. Norton (2005), Paperback, 384 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:booker, nov '07

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How Late It Was, How Late por James Kelman (1994)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I'm a reading all the Booker Prize winners this year in the 50th anniversary of the prize. Follow me at www.methodtohermadness.com

I am really not sure what I just read. This book was a very controversial pick for the Booker Prize. Some objected to its vulgarity, but that’s not what bothered me.

How Late It Was is the stream-of-consciousness story of a few days in the life of Sammy Samuels, petty criminal. He awakes from a bender after a fight with his girlfriend and decides first thing to pick a fight with some undercover cops. They beat him up and throw him in jail, where he wakes up blind.

So I read on, expecting to find out something, anything. Why has Sammy gone blind? Where has his girlfriend gone? What happened during the day he blacked out? Why are the police after him?

No answers are forthcoming. Sammy’s monologue is generally engaging and insightful at times, but nearly four hundred pages of Scottish dialect spoken by an anxiety-prone drunk is a wee bit much, nay? It may be more accessible than James Joyce, but not any more satisfying.
( )
1 vote stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
This novel was a unique reading experience. First, there was the language. Warning: if the use of the f-word, in all of its glorious forms, many, many, many times or even the use of any word that many times bothers you or bores you, you should probably not read this book. Then there is the Glaswegian vernacular, which was a challenge initially but easily overcome. I found Urban Dictionary solved most of this problem for me. Once you have committed the most common words and their meaning to memory, the language actually flows very smoothly.

But what amazed me was how Kelman has written from the perspective of a character who has gone suddenly blind, and you spend much of the novel inside Sammy's head as he comes to understand and deal with his blindness. For me as a reader, this was both enlightening and depressing, thus only the three stars, because I had at times to push myself forward as I read the novel. I really enjoyed, though, two of the characters, Ally the rep and Peter, Sammy's son; they made the second half of the novel read more quickly.

I am not one to steer away from downtrodden characters or characters facing incredibly challenging obstacles or odds. Nelson Algren's The Man with the Golden Arm and several of Joan Didion's novels come to mind, but this one was more difficult for me. With all of its complexities and craft aside, I ultimately found this novel to be about trust or the inability to trust. How trust opens doors and the inability to trust closes doors. Have you ever wanted to whisper in someone's ear, "Just walk through the door. It is right there in front of you." But they can't see it. For them, that door is closed. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
On to an old Booker prizewinner now, way back from 1994. This is possibly one of my favourite titles for a book for a long time. You just know it's going to be a great read.

How Late It Was, How Late is written in thick working-class Glaswegian vernacular, narrated by the protagonist Sammy in a stream of consciousness style. One page in and I thought I was going to hate it. The combination of keeping up with Sammy's inner dialogue and staying tuned in to the slang required close reading to begin with, but after a while you get used to it, with the local patter developing him into the most fantastically vivid character.

The book opens with Sammy waking up in someone else's too-small trainers after a two day bender. He doesn't know where he is, he doesn't know where his good shoes have gone to, and he's completely lost a day. Things get steadily worse, setting off a bizarre chain of events that we walk through with him for the rest of the novel.

To the outside world Sammy is a no-good drinker and troublemaker who's been in and out of prison a couple of times and isn't to be trusted. As readers, though, despite his nonsense we quickly fall for him as a brilliant anti-hero, a loveable rogue with a good heart who wants to change his lot but who just can't help himself. This time he's really landed in it, but Sammy being Sammy he just batters on, trying to find his way to the end of the rainbow.

Full of black comedy, this is a funny, brilliant and authentic novel. Given the vernacular, the prose is heavy on the swearing from start to finish so it may not be to everyone's taste. Without it, though, Sammy simply would not ring true as a character, and I had to laugh on many an occasion at his swearing creativity.

5 stars - naw, but I'm no jokin ye man, ye couldnay read this to the end and no end up lovin it. Nay point being fucking daft, now - ye get me? ( )
3 vote AlisonY | Sep 7, 2019 |
Ich würde dieses Buch gerne zu Ende lesen, aber ich fürchte die Nebenwirkungen.

Sammy, ein schottischer Kleinganove, erwacht aus dem Rausch, lässt sich zusammenschlagen und verliert im Gefängnis das Augenlicht. Dummerweise glaubt ihm das erst einmal keiner...

Geschrieben in schönstem Glasgower Dialekt - den ich geschrieben erstaunlich gut verstehe, aber doch oft über die richtige Aussprache rätsele. Eine Hörbuch-Version wäre wirklich hilfreich, aber ohne Untertitel wohl nicht verkaufbar.

Sammys Sprache ist ein wenig derb, mit vielen F-Wörtern, und ich merke, wie sie trotz der der doppelten Sprach-Barriere vom Schottischen übers Englische ins Deutsche durchschfärbt. Wenn ich je Einsiedler werden sollte, nehme ich das Buch mit.
  hnau | Sep 29, 2017 |
good book but not what i really expected.
  danojacks | Jan 5, 2017 |
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Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard, Agnes Owens and Jeff Torrington are still around, thank christ
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Ye wake in a corner and stay there hoping yer body will disappear, the thoughts smothering ye; these thoughts; but ye want to remember and face up to things, just something keeps ye from doing it, why can ye not do it; the words filling yer head: then the other words; there's something wrong; there's something far wrong; ye're no a good man, ye're just no a good man.
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In Scotland, the portrait of a petty crook who had one run-in with police too many. It is a series of reflections as he sits in jail, contemplating his fate. He had been in trouble before, but this time it's different, the latest brawl with police cost him his eyesight. Now in addition to all his other troubles he is blind.

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