Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Sillitoe - Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
Wonderful. Anyone who decries the current trend of youngsters to binge drink need only to read this novel to know what a false "current" issue it is, and that it's been going on for years and probably always will. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning is a fantastic working-class manifesto which anyone stuck in a drab repetitive job, yearning for the reckless release of the...
Published on 26 Mar 2010 by RachelWalker

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the 50's
An interesting book I first read fifty years ago. How times have changed. Still an interesting read though.Worth trying for new readers.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. J. K. Kelly


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Sillitoe - Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, 26 Mar 2010
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
Wonderful. Anyone who decries the current trend of youngsters to binge drink need only to read this novel to know what a false "current" issue it is, and that it's been going on for years and probably always will. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning is a fantastic working-class manifesto which anyone stuck in a drab repetitive job, yearning for the reckless release of the weekend, regardless of class, will be able to relate to. A Love on the Dole for the fifties, a vernacular and cultural masterpiece. It's fun, it's eventful, it's charmingly written, and its protagonist is shockingly likeable. His pell-mell rush at life is admirable and charming, despite his caddishness (it even seduces his girlfriend to be, a sort I would have thought would be rather put off!). This is very enjoyable stuff. One of the best British novels of the century certainly: there aren't that many novels that define what exactly it is like to live in a certain class at a certain age in a certain decade in this country, but this is one of them. Viva British fiction!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sillitoe's Landmark Debut Novel, 28 April 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
Alan Sillitoe's 1958 debut novel was a landmark in British fiction, providing a brilliantly realistic and visceral depiction of working class life in the North of England (Nottingham, to be precise). Of course, depictions of such UK life experiences had been common previously, in works by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jack London, Robert Tressell and Walter Greenwood (to name but a few), but Sillitoe's version was an outstanding tale covering life in post-WWII Britain - and, for me, is still unsurpassed, in terms of anything that I have read in this category. The novel was, of course, made into the equally groundbreaking 1960 film starring Albert Finney and directed by Karel Reisz.

SNASM charts the life and experiences of anti-hero and factory worker Arthur Seaton, as he struggles to come to terms with (or knuckle under) the authority figures in his life (father, foremen, police, army) and to resist the potential stultifying effects of being drawn into a long-term relationship (and even, heaven forbid, marriage) with any one of the loves of his life. Sillitoe's creation in Arthur ranks for me alongside other great post-WWII literary anti-heroes, such as J D Salinger's Holden Caulfield and Arthur Burgess' head droog Alex. Sillitoe's prose is a mix of raw, dialectical rants (frequently delivered by Arthur) and more studied, reflective passages, particularly where Arthur cogitates the meaning of his existence and his likely future. In telling his tale, Sillitoe is unflinching in his depiction of the prevailing political backdrop of the period, where women were expected to know their place and anyone from outside the closed community clique was viewed with suspicion, particularly if this involved a different skin colour. However, despite such views being on open display here, Sillitoe casts Arthur with a somewhat wider, and perhaps more considered, world view, and someone whose focus is more premeditatedly anti-establishment.

There are many marvellously evocative pieces of prose in Sillitoe's novel, and none more so than the concluding section in which Arthur's gradually reducing reluctance to become ensnared (perhaps 'permanently') by new girlfriend Doreen, is likened to his attempts to catch fish on a fishing trip. A fitting end to a compelling novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Local analysis, 14 Dec 2010
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
As a resident of Nottingham, having lived here for almost 50
years it was a pleasure to read this book. The local vocabulary
is spot on and although the author has somewhat got a little confused
with his local geography, it was still a very accurate account of
what took place in and around the Raleigh Cycle factory in the early to
mid fities.
I would strongly recommend readers to include this in their collection
since it is almost autobiographical with Sillitoe placing himself in
the principal character's persona. A good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
lads have been the same down the ages,this book reminds me of my earlier years in a time long gone
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You should read it, 10 Oct 2012
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this novel and found it very easy to read. It shows a good insight into the working class in the post-war period. I found the protagonist likable and "real." I'd recommend this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 22 Nov 2010
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
Silitoe wrote two masterpieces, The Loneliness of the long Distance runner and Saturday Night and Sunday morning. Unfortunately none of his other later works matched this success. This book tells the story of a working class lad who lives sexually aggressive and dresses expensively as a form of rebellion against the live that has been mapped out for him. In the end he gives in and takes the quiet live with a boring girl. The rebellion is over and the system has swallowed him. Today, I find the working class part of the book actually rather offensive as the main character does not really have any dignity. His life is controlled by outside forces and he is a victim who does not even understand those forces. However, these days I find the book interesting from a different perspective. I do not see it so much as a book about class or specifically working class life. I see it more as a book that describes the universal experience of being a man in modern society. The man is seen as a provider whose path in life is pre-determined. The protagonist has affairs with the wives of his colleagues so the ultimatre iron ylies in the fact that the man as a provider actually bores his wife who then seeks pleasure elsewhere. But life is merciless and the young hero ends up the same way. For me, the book is really important for men who want to question their role in society.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Never Had it So Good" is Still Not Good Enough, 2 Oct 2010
By 
J C E Hitchcock (Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
Alan Sillitoe was one of a number of young writers who emerged in the late fifties and sixties and who have become known as the "kitchen sink" school. (Other members of the group included the novelists Stan Barstow, John Braine, David Storey and Barry Hines and playwrights such as John Osborne and Shelagh Delaney). Their work was distinguished by a social-realist concentration on working-class life, often with a provincial setting.

"Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" from 1958 was Sillitoe's first novel, and probably the one for which he is best known today. (His other widely known work is the short story collection "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner", particularly the title story). It is set in the author's native Nottingham and tells the story of Arthur Seaton, a young worker in a bicycle factory. Although Sillitoe himself had worked in a factory and had given his hero his own initials, he always denied that the novel was autobiographical.

Reading this book, I was struck by the contrasts between it and another 1958 study of a young man from a working-class background, Colin MacInnes's "Absolute Beginners". MacInnes's nameless hero, a self-employed London photographer who lives in his own flat, is part of the new teenage subculture of the late fifties, a young man whose main interests are the latest trends in music and fashion. He is teetotal, more at home in coffee bars and nightclubs than in pubs. His self-description as an "absolute beginner" refers both to his youth and inexperience and to his desire for a world as different to that of his parents' generation as possible.

Arthur at 22 is only four years older than MacInnes's hero, but leads a much more traditional working-class life. He still lives at home with his parents and his main leisure interests (apart from chasing girls) are drinking in the pub and spending Sunday afternoon fishing, occasionally reading the "News of the World" or watching a football match. Rock-and-roll and modern fashions seem to have passed him by. In fact, it is much the same sort of life as his father might have led in the 1920s, and not all that different to the one his grandfather might have led a generation before that.

In many ways Arthur is not a particularly admirable character. He is a heavy drinker; the opening chapter is a description of a drinking bout in a working man's club one Saturday evening, which ends with him falling down the stairs drunk. He is also a womaniser with a weakness for older married women; he is conducting affairs with Brenda, the wife of a colleague at work, and Brenda's sister Winnie, who is also married. These illicit relationships, however, do not prevent him from courting Doreen, an innocent teenager who remains blissfully ignorant of Arthur's other affairs.

In his defiant attitude to all forms of authority and his self-centredness he has something in common with Smith, the criminal anti-hero of Sillitoe's "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner". In both cases their rebellion against authority is an individualistic one; both are Labour supporters by default, in that they come from backgrounds where it would be virtually unthinkable to support any other party, but neither has any belief in Socialism or in the idea that the working class can improve their lot through political action or trade union activity.

Yet in Arthur's own words (a quote later made famous by the Arctic Monkeys) "whatever people say I am, that's what I am not". It would be too easy to dismiss him simply as a drunken, rebellious troublemaker. The fact that a recreation as tranquil as fishing is one of his favourite pastimes suggests that there is a more peaceful side to his nature. Unlike Smith, he is smart enough to realise that if he fights the law the law will usually win, and although he occasionally engages in minor rowdyism he prefers to earn his living by honest labour rather than by criminal activity. The book ends with Arthur preparing to marry Doreen, having given up his two affairs after being beaten up by Winnie's soldier husband; the implication is perhaps that he has learned his lesson and is starting to take a more responsible attitude to life.

Unlike his father, who was frequently unemployed during the depression of the thirties, Arthur is fortunate enough to have come into manhood at a time of economic prosperity, a time when Britons were being assured by their Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, that they had "never had it so good", and is able to earn a reasonable wage by working hard. And yet, in Sillitoe's view, "never had it so good" was still not good enough. One of the themes of the novel is the way in which the class divisions of pre-war Britain still persisted despite the post-war economic boom. Arthur is clearly intelligent and articulate, yet has only received a basic formal education and is unable to find anything other than mundane and repetitive factory work. His anger and resentment against the "System" may stem from frustration at being unable to put his intelligence to more creative use.

Sillitoe stated in his introduction to the book that some of its chapters started life as self-contained short stories and even poems which were then fitted into the novel, and it may be that this method of working was responsible for occasional structural gaps. (For example, in the early chapters Arthur has two brothers, Sam and Fred, but Sam seems to drop out of the picture in the later ones and his name is given to another character). Nevertheless, with its strongly drawn central character and its striking, unsentimental picture of working-class Midlands life, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" is a most impressive first novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars annebar, 12 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I saw the black and white film in the sixties. Books can portray characters in more depth than films. I prefer reading books anyway. A good "kitchen sink" drama.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The cynical anti hero Arthur's adventures with booze, sex and fighting, 7 Jun 2014
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
A novel set in nineteen fifties Nottingham, England. A celebration of breaking the mould, being different than previous generations, the start of a youth culture trying to shake of the grey of the Second World War. A cynical, careless approach to life where work fed boozing and going out time. The new suit worn to the pub, a mark of a new emerging working class. Saturday night was the main event. A hard drinking culture where following the monotony of a week in factory/manual work; lads and some lasses would go down the pub to drink, eye each other up and for the boys try and get laid and the girls not to be seen as easy. Having a good time, flashing cash and living a bit was the driving ambition. Getting into trouble was always the risk, For Arthur, the protagonist, it is screwing a squaddies wife and taking a beating for the pleasure. Unwanted pregnancy and forced marriage. The brief flame of freedom burned low, the lot of many working people of this era. Then there is the haunting image of the old man hurling a brick through the window of a funeral parlour and being detained by a woman in WAAF uniform. Almost surreal. Mr Sillitoe produced two works which capture working class lives in change and which would by the ninety eighties be mostly obsolete. He remains a significant novelist of this time and place and it is good to remember the period which then ignited the sixties and is now transformed into the generation of social media. Good to reflect, the surrounds have changed markedly but youth culture remains basically driven by the same aims and ambitions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur seaton is class, 7 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Paperback)
Top book, what more can I say, couldn't put it down, oh yeah I also like the fact that the Arctic Monkeys named there first album after a line in the book, Whatever people say I am that's what I'm not 😎
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe (Paperback - 1 Oct 2008)
5.51
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews