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The Blinder [Paperback]

Barry Hines
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (26 July 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140029516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140029512
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Barry Hines was a PE teacher, working in London for two years before returning north and taking up writing full-time. His first novel, The Blinder, was written at Loughborough and finished while he worked as a teacher. Published in 1966, it was followed two years later by the novel which marked the arrival of a distinctive new voice and a writer who would tell the stories of those who could not speak for themselves, A Kestrel For A Knave.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Blinder 19 Oct 2004
Better known for his outstanding "A Kestrel for a Knave" this was Barry Hines first book and written back in 1966 it has stood the test of time remarkably well.
Like AKFAK it is the gritty tale of a northern schoolboy, Lennie Hawk, who not only is a gifted scholar but an outstanding footballer, who everyone thinks has the potential to play for England. The book is full of the social values of the period with pressure being put on Hawk to not only make the most of his sporting talent but achieve his academic potential also. It is also a wonderful reminder of times when the local sporting heroes did play for the local team, and still got the bus to the ground and drank in the local pubs.
The style of book does take some getting used to though. It is peppered with machine gun like dialogue between the characters, sometimes pages of conversation going back and forth with no indication of the speaker, which does take some concentration, but once you are hooked then it does let you go.
There are also some fantastic descriptive one-line sentences that describe the scene and the mood better than two or three pages of waffle could.
For example "He disappeared up the tunnel leaving the ground deserted in the swishing wind, under the darkening sky" or "The bulb shone through the shade like a frosty orange, and the wind knocked on the window and tried to get in." - Brilliant!
With Hines own academic background you do wonder whether he wrote the book purely as a piece of entertainment, or whether, like AKFAK has become, he imagined that there would be classes of schoolchildren having to write character assessments on the various people in the book and having to dissect each chapter for plot development.
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