- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (1 Oct. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007205023
- ISBN-13: 978-0007205028
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Paperback – 1 Oct 2008
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‘That rarest of all finds: a genuine no-punches-pulled, unromanticised working class novel. Mr Sillitoe is a born writer, who knows his milieu and describes it with vivid, loving precision.’ Daily Telegraph
‘His writing has real experience in it and an instinctive accuracy that never loses its touch. His book has a glow about it as though he had plugged it into some basic source of the working-class spirit.’ Guardian
‘Miles nearer the real thing than D.H.Lawrence's mystic, brooding working-men ever came.’ Sunday Express
‘Outspoken and vivid.’ Sunday Times
‘A refreshing originality.’ Times Literary Supplement
From the Inside Flap
This cult classic of working class life in post-war Nottingham follows the exploits of rebellious factory worker Arthur Seaton and is introduced by Richard Bradford.
Working all day at a lathe leaves Arthur Seaton with energy to spare in the evenings. A hard-drinking, hard-fighting hooligan, he knows what he wants, and he's sharp enough to get it.
Before long, his carryings-on with a couple of married women become the stuff of local gossip. But then one evening he meets a young girl and life begins to look less simple...
First published in 1958, 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' achieved instant critical acclaim and helped to establish Alan Sillitoe as one of the greatest British writers of his generation. The film of the novel, starring Albert Finney, transformed British cinema and was much imitated.
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Top Customer Reviews
What great characters and an intriguing story! I can almost feel at every chapter how the book must have caused a sensation in 1958. The portraits of different husbands and Arthur's attitudes towards marriage are interesting, comparing in the final section of the book to being caught on a hook, like the fish he throws back and offers one more chance (p219).
I personally found chapters such as Brenda's abortion and the fight where Winnie's husband, Bill and his solider friend beat Arthur up minutely detailed and described with an urgency and passion I've never read anywhere else. But strangely, detailed description of how the characters look is conspicuous by its absence; This is a lived life and a lived experience that only a writer with a detailed and intimate knowledge of many of these episodes can write.
It is almost as if we are dipping into the character's lives and this is no doubt a consequence of Alan Sillitoe's construction of the book through short stories over a number of years with a sustained period of writing during the autumn of 1956. I do understand the point Sillitoe makes in an interview in the notes, that the characters are not any one individual and have become composites of many different people, so possibly this contributes to the lack of detail around the facial characteristics of individuals as he doesn't want to draw any one person's features onto a character that is many different people from his memories and life.Read more ›
With its ribbons of sooty terraces and zinc baths Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is grimly realistic if somewhat anachronistic. Interesting as English social history it has that distinctly fifties feel when the suppressed anger and resentment against the continuation of inflexible class divisions after the War felt by working-class communities with their backs to the wall was beginning to be expressed in literature, theatre and film.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Alan Sillitoe’s first novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, first published in 1958 rather burst into that territory which came to be described, in literature and especially in... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lady Fancifull
Brimming with an honesty and energy which must have been a breath of mind-blowing fresh air when it first appeared in 1958, and not in the slightest dated now. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sandra Davies
One of the greatest novels of working class life ever, Alan Sillitoe’s best novel packs as much of a punch today as it did when first published in 1958. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amanda Jenkinson
This is a well-written book. The protagonist is amusing, has some strange ideas but is interesting. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sharon Loveday
Although there are very few mentions, ‘Saturday Night And Sunday Morning’ contains (a casual approach to) violence; sexism – including violent intentions towards suffragettes for... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Anonymous