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The Likes of Us by [Barstow, Stan]
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The Likes of Us Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Stan Barstow's stories... have what is so rare in a successful writer a kind of primary vision, a feeling for characters, the mileux he originally knew and might have grown away from. He speaks for urban provincial life with piercing vividness; for a particular outlook and mortality that few other writers touch...' -- Financial Times

'Extraordinarily good' -- The Daily Telegraph

'A master storyteller' -- The Times

'Right up in the same class as D.H.Lawrence' -- The Guardian

'A major writer' -- Punch

'Barstow has endured in a way that his Establishment contemporaries, such as C. P. Snow, have not' --The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Along with Alan Sillitoe and John Braine, Stan Barstow is considered one of the pioneers of the 1960s school of northern literary realism. A Kind of Loving became a film directed by John Schlesinger and starring Alan Bates. He has produced eleven novels and three books of short stories, as well as TV scripts. Other novels include Ask Me Tomorrow (1962), The Watchers on the Shore (1966) and The Right True End (1976). He lived in Pontardawe, South Wales until his death in 2011.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1839 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Parthian Books (1 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BAHDLFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has the subtitle ‘stories of five decades’ combining, as it does three previous collections, first published in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, with a couple of more recent stories.

The Desperadoes collection (published 1961) has stories from the late 50’s and early 60’s with post-war austerity and emerging youth culture ,set in the industrial north, providing the context for his tales of everyday working-class men and women.

A Season With Eros (published 1971) and The Glad Eye (published 1986) show how times have changed for these folk with many materially better off and enjoying the freedoms (moral and material) on offer – nice houses, foreign holidays, semi-detached relationships – but against a contrasting background of 3 million unemployed.

For me Barstow is a master of the short story. Usually a punchy opening line hooks the reader in and then the tale unfolds in uncomplicated prose, exploring whatever facet of human nature he has chosen to expose. The dialogue is convincing (any dialect remains readable) and the denouements are satisfying.

The location, characters and situations are reminiscent of Barstow’s classic A Kind of Loving trilogy (one of my favourite reads that similarly had volumes published over an extended period and so reflected social change, as well as Vic Brown’s personal development) and there can be no finer recommendation from me.

A word of caution to the Kindle edition; the page numbering is hard to credit as the 251 pages cannot possibly contain the 41 stories that originally made up three separate books. I timed my reading of the last “12” pages at 40 minutes, so either the printed version is in a miniscule font or the real length is more like 500 pages – which makes the purchase (it was a 99p deal of the day) even better value.

[See my weekly reviews each Friday on abibliodyssey.blogspot.com]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. They were entertaining and some of them thought provoking. They kept me entertained for a couple of weeks. The characters were very well drawn and I was soon immersed in each of the tales. They also cleverly captured the different eras in which they were set. It sums it up to say that I was disappointed when I reached the end of the last tale!
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I'd long forgotten about Stan Barstow over years of savouring female writers. When I came across the name again I was curious & wanted to take a look. So glad I did. Down to earth, socially aware, captivating, a welcome blast from the past with characters varied & real. I guess it would appeal to the older reader, like me, but good story telling is ageless.
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Some very good stories in the best tradition of short story writing. However some seem to be pointless. I found that I was looking forward to read the next story and was keen to see what comes next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent read introducing some fascinating characters. Each chapter leaves one wanting to know more - always a good thing in a short story, in my view.
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I have been a fan of Stan Bartsow since I was a teenager - over 40 years. I really enjoyed the first sections which I was familiar with ( Joby , A Season with Eros etc) but the later stories were disappointing .
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I've always loved Stan Barstow's writing, so I was keen to read this new anthology. However it isn't new and I realise I have these short stories in paperback form from about 30 years ago. I was surprised though in how my own reactions to these gritty tales has changed. They can now be read in a far more historical context and this makes us realise how much life has changed since the 1950s when these stories are set. I can't pretend they are a fun read because they show up all too clearly human frailty and failings as well as how hard life was 60 years ago, but of course they are very well written with characters expertly drawn.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed all the stories in this collection. I've had a Stan Barstow week with this and A Kind Of Loving. A true genius and a cracking story-teller.
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