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How Late It Was How Late Paperback – 6 Mar 1995

3.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (6 Mar. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0433393971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0433393979
  • ASIN: 0749398833
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

"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 no do it; the words filling yer head: then the other words; there's something wrong; there's something far far wrong; ye're no a good man, ye're just no a good man." From the moment Sammy wakes slumped in a park corner, stiff and sore after a two-day drinking binge and wearing another man's shoes, James Kelman's Booker Prize-winning novel How Late it Was, How Late loosens a torrent of furious stream-of-consciousness prose that never lets up. Beaten savagely by Glasgow police, the shoplifting ex-con Sammy is hauled off to jail, where he wakes to a world gone black. For the rest of the novel he stumbles around the rainy streets of Glasgow, brandishing a sawed-off mop handle and trying in vain to make sense of the nightmare his life has become. Sammy's girlfriend disappears; the police question him for a crime they won't name; the doctor refuses to admit that he's blind; and his attempts to get disability compensation founder in Kafkaesque red tape. Gritty, profane, darkly comic and steeped in both American country music and working-class Scottish vernacular, Sammy's is a voice the reader won't soon forget. --Mary Park

Review

"Beautiful, spirited thoughts hard up against the old brute truths...enormous artistic and social depth...James Kelman's best book yet" (Guardian)

"Forging a wholly distinctive style from the bruised cadences of demotic Glaswegian, Kelman renders the hidden depths of ordinary lives in sardonic, abrasive prose which is more revealing of feelings that could ever be expected...as uplifting a novel as one could ever hope to read" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A passionate, scintillating, brilliant song of a book" (Independent)

"Gritty, realistic and bleak, but the overall tone is strangely positive. The fast pace of the narrative, Kelman's dry humour and the indomitable spirit combine to provide a liberating read" (Big Issue)

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29 customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

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