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A Kind of Loving [Hardcover]

Mr Stan Barstow
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Sep 1998 0435125079 978-0435125073 1
Vic Brown is attracted to the beautiful but demanding Ingrid. As their relationship grows and changes he comes to terms - the hard way - with adult life and what it really means to love. Set in the 1960s, the novel raises issues against a clearly-evoked social and historical context.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; 1 edition (23 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435125079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435125073
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"'A major novelist' Punch; 'Warmth, liveliness, honesty and compassion' The Sunday Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in 1928, the son of a Yorkshire coal miner, Stan Barstow worked as a draftsman until 1962 A Kind of Loving broke to sensational reviews, allowing him to become a full-time writer. Stan Barstow's many novels and short stories have been translated into nine different languages and adapted for countless productions. He is married with a son and daughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels of the 20th century 17 Jan 2004
I first read this book (& its two follow-ups " the watchers on the shore" & " the right true end”) when we did " a kind of loving" in drama at high school, in which for some reason I was given the lead part of Vic Brown (I think it was the fact that I could actually read in my native Yorkshire accent, rather than my acting abilities, which no-one else seemed able to do!!).As our adaptation progressed I became more & more impressed by the depth of Stan Barstow’s writing and this lead me to my local library, where I found the follow-ups and several other novels by the same author. I quickly ordered the second & third novels of the "Vic Brown trilogy then all Mr Barstow’s other novels which also impressed me, but after over 20 years I am still drawn back repeatedly to the kind of loving trilogy. Simply, in my humble opinion it is one of, if not the, greatest novel of the 20th century.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves a preservation order... 8 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not much given to re-reading - life is truly too short and there are too many books unread - but I recently picked this novel up for the first time in almost forty years and glanced through it. Then I started reading it, loftily amused at first by its dated language and attitudes, and tickled by Proustian recollections of first reading it, aged 13 or so, when it seemed to define what adult life was going to be all about...

So that was two weeks ago, and I've just put down the third in the trilogy, 'The Right True End', with an odd kind of ache - almost as if I've picked up the threads with an old friend after many decades, and now, after a brief re-acquaintance, won't see that friend again for many years, if ever...

For anyone who's never come across it, the 'Vic Brown trilogy' describes the travails of a young draughtsman in a Yorkshire town in the early sixties and his search for truth, love and, as with so many novels of the time, escape. His barely formed plans are quickly torpedoed when lust takes over and he finds himself in an old, old trap, married to Ingrid from the typing pool, for whom he feels little more than residual desire and increasing irritation.

Hard to say exactly what's so compelling about 'A Kind of Loving', but compelling it is. It's not just that it's so well and so honestly written, standing up well against, say John Braine, Alan Sillitoe or David Storey.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and gripping 27 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Gritty tale of 1950s teenage life in a small northern town. Decent Vic Brown is brought down by his lust for Ingrid Rothwell. Engaging and funny, this, the first of a trilogy of books, brings to life a bygone world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relationships and growing up 30 Jun 2000
An interesting book about building relationships and a teenage relationship. It has a lot that I could associate with in terms of emotions & experiences.
It was a very easy book to read and I read it within a week.
It has romance, heartache and growing up & away from parents. There are also quite a few occassions when I could afford myself a laugh at some of the actions as they were bizarre yet I could relate to weird things that I have done in my life.
Overall a good book to read. I think it would be great for a teenager to read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Revelation and a True Classic 30 Nov 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I finally became curious enough to track down this book in an out of print copy at the library, and read it, I was shocked that such a great novel could have gone out of print. It's hardly because I relate specifically to Vic Brown's life and times in industrial mid-20th century Yorkshire, but because his story - though specific in its particulars - is universal in its humanity. Even when Vic is making enormous mistakes and hurting other people or himself, you understand his motives and his essential decency; you want him to find a way through to a better life; and you are right there with him in his struggles. There is a great deal of humor in the writing, as well as quite beautiful passages, and wonderful dialogue. I actually read long passages over the phone to a friend, who was equally taken with tbe book. I loved that Vic was drawn to literature and especially to classical music, that he learned to articulate the power he found there, and it made me remember a time when the arts were an aspiration, not something to be cut from this year's budget. I am thrilled that this book is back in print, and I hope it will rapidly be followed with new editions of the other books in the trilogy, as they all deserve to be read by more than one generation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in his head 21 Aug 2008
The 1st book is excellent as you (the reader) are in Vic Brown's head. He is telling you how he feels honestly, and does bring back all the insecurities and worries all people have when starting to be interested in the opposite sex. The dialogue is candid and real, and you feel you are there. The second and third books are good but not as honest and in his head as much, but do finalise the whole trilogy. The film was ok but the finest dramatisation is the 1982 Granada 10 part series that covers all three books (and stars a young Joanna Whalley and Susan Penhaligon, and Clive Wood) although it has never been released on video (there is a petition to ask Granada to release it). I would recommend anyone to read the 1st book, and reminisce about your first love and the awkwardness and feelings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant story
I basically purchased this because it was on offer and I needed a new book for commuting.
The story was one I had some knowledge of having seen it on TV, However as is often... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty thought provoking drama with a touch of humour
I've got the hard copy of this book and never get tired of re-reading it, and I wanted the Kindle version for ease of taking out and about with me. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book, clever observations of life and loves of a young man in the fifties and sixties
Published 2 days ago by Patricia Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Every Teenager Seemed to Have Read
Stan Barstow was one of number of working-class social-realist novelists who emerged in England during the 1950s and 1960s and who have collectively become known as the “kitchen... Read more
Published 13 days ago by J C E Hitchcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Vic There?
It's an odd world, as my old mother used to say, or rather sing derangedly from the top deck of the 665 into Keighley, W. Yorks., before she was sectioned, the old ratbag! Read more
Published 21 days ago by Richard Shillam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautifully written, a snapshot of real life of the time
Published 22 days ago by Midlandscas
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic lad-lit from 1960
Published in 1960, this book secured Barstow’s place as one of the group of authors writing about the lives of young, working-class men in the industrialised north. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Roman Clodia
5.0 out of 5 stars A kind of loving
Love, love, love this book ! It perfectly epitomizes the culture and ambience of Northern England in the early 60's, the lives of ordinary people , their thoughts, struggles ,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeanjeanie
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic that captures an era
I read this in a fit of northern nostalgia on the heels of Stuart Maconie's Pies and Prejudice. In this modern classic, Stan Barstow creates believable characters who illustrate... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Frances Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I childhood read that certainly deserved a re read. If this book isn't on schools reading list it should be. Living history at its best.
Published 6 months ago by Pixie
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