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A Man of his Time Hardcover – 19 Apr 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; 1st Edition edition (19 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000717327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007173273
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,314,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Sillitoe keeps on going…never flagging, never looking back and writing with a vigour, clarity and humanity that should be the envy of all those novelists who were not even born when he started.’ Daily Mail

‘What impresses one, as ever, about Sillitoe, is the ease of a style which yet allows him to expose the most complex emotions, and his ability to bring to light what people hide from themselves, or choose not to admit.’ Scotsman

‘One of Britain’s most powerful and sophisticated fiction writers.’ TLS

About the Author

Alan Sillitoe left school at 14 to work in various factories until becoming an air traffic control assistant with the Ministry Aircraft Production in 1945. He began writing after four years in the RAF, and lived for six years in France and Spain. In 1958, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was published, and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which won the Hawthornden Prize for literature, came out the following year. Both these books were made into films.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Alan Sillitoe is the voice of England's aspiring working class - and A Man of His Time proves it once again. This isn't just a good book; it's a great book. Born in 1866, Ernest Burton is a man of iron as well as a man of his time. He takes a justly earned pride in his trade as blacksmith and his manhood too: 'I don't take tips, and only touch my cap to a personable woman.' Indeed, he pulls women with as much skill and confidence as he shapes iron. The book's first seduction takes place in a railway carriage with a young widow Burton has just met - 'carmine features contrasting with the black of mourning as she held out her arms.' Sillitoe paints the mystery of desire with honesty and power. If fellow Nottinghamshire writer D.H. Lawrence were still alive, he could learn some lessons from Mr. Sillitoe.
The geography of the novel is confined to a small corner of Nottinghamshire, but the characters are not spared the effects of profound social change. Burton's oldest son dies in the First World War, not from a German bullet, but from the kick of a mad horse. The power of Sillitoe's prose - 'A building on legs, of sheer muscle and flesh coming down...a hoof as big as an anvil splayed wide with lightning suddenness on an unforeseen trajectory, unthinking tons of angry flesh behind.' - has not diminished, but been enhanced by passing decades.
Burton, even his children call him that, is a complex character who is not always likeable - as when he hits his wife or commits adultery with his son's fiancée - but, unlike many other 'men of his time', he is capable of remorse, reflection and change. 'He immediately knew he had done wrong, shouldn't have given even the first, because she was his wife and not a child or animal to be kept in order.
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Format: Paperback
I've just completed this for my reading group and thoroughly enjoyed it, though I did not like spending my weekend with Burton one bit, and found it hard to pick out many redeeming features - a complete chauvinist, with no excuses. I struggled to work out where he got his all-encompassing sense of entitlement and superiority from; he was the youngest of his family and couldn't read or write, so nobody would have looked up to him - but maybe it all came from a feeling of inferiority. Far from coming across to me as a strong individual, I thought him morally weak and immature and quite deplorable. Neither myself or my female friends would have given him the time of day - neither now nor in the 19th century! Additionally I did have to suspend disbelief at the scene in the train in the early part of the book, and later the encounter with Alma. It's brilliantly written as a social panorama of the country over the timescale and very evocative of the changing circumstances of society, but towards the end the pace seems to gallop so that many years have passed without the reader noticing. I can imagine Sean Bean playing him in a film version!
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Format: Paperback
I was and am apart from this convinced that Martin Amis is the best living english writer.( one can google for opinion about this)
. But I saw in library someone a critic had said this was better than Amis and someone else surely not Mcewan maybe Faulkes who I do not rate.
I read it in library and since could not finish it I ordered it had to order it very good so maybe he is better or best living English writer Maybe the critic was right. I always thought it was Martin anyone agree? It is an important point to debate the greatest living writer in English.
Most would say Martin Amis but this critic said Stlitoe was superior to Amis or McEwan and he may be right. Very well crafted book
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reads like an airport novel. A disappointment from such a well respected name. I wouldn't read it again. Very poor
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really takes you away into the book.
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