Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
the most beautiful book in the world
on 5 February 2008
I love this book. I'm awed by the love in it and the strange description and the dialogue caught so faithfully. It's set in Birmingham among factory workers in the late 1920s. This is a passage from it:
'Then, one morning in iron foundry, Arthur Jones began singing. He did not often sing. When he began the men looked up from work and at each other and stayed quiet. In machine shop, which was next iron foundry, they said it was Arthur singing and stayed quiet also. He sang all morning.
He was Welsh and he sang in Welsh. His voice had a great soft yell in it. It rose and fell and then rose again and, when the crane was quiet for a moment, then his voice came out from behind noise of crane in passionate singing. Soon each one in this factory heard that Arthur had begun and, if he had 2 moments, came by iron foundry shop to listen. So all through that morning, as he went on, was a little group of men standing by door in the machine shop, always different men. His singing made them all sad. Everything in iron foundries is black with burnt sand and here was his silver voice yelling like bells. The black grimed men bent over their black boxes....
Everyone looked forward to Arthur's singing, each one was glad when he sang, only, this morning, Jim Dale had bitterness inside him like girders and when Arthur began singing his music was like acid to that man and it was like that girder was being melted and bitterness and anger decrystallised, up rising in him till he was full and would have broken out - when he put on his coat and walked off and went into town and drank....
Still Arthur sang and it might be months before he sang again. And no one else sang that day, but all listened to his singing. That night son had been born to him.'
Weird but beautiful I think and I could quote passage after passage. I can't understand why everyone doesn't feel the same.