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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

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To Arthur Seaton, Key worker on a lathe in a Nottingham cycle factory, life is one long battle with authority. You don't need to give Arthur more than one chance to do the Government or trick the foreman. And when the day's work is over, Arthur is off to the pubs, raring for adventure. He is a warrior of the bottle and the bedroom - his slogan is 'If it's going, it's for me To Arthur Seaton, Key worker on a lathe in a Nottingham cycle factory, life is one long battle with authority. You don't need to give Arthur more than one chance to do the Government or trick the foreman. And when the day's work is over, Arthur is off to the pubs, raring for adventure. He is a warrior of the bottle and the bedroom - his slogan is 'If it's going, it's for me' - for his aim is to cheat the world before it can cheat him. And never is the battle more fiercely joined than on Saturday night. But Sunday morning is the time of reckoning, the time for facing up to life - the time, too, you run the risk of getting hooked! Arthur is no exception.


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To Arthur Seaton, Key worker on a lathe in a Nottingham cycle factory, life is one long battle with authority. You don't need to give Arthur more than one chance to do the Government or trick the foreman. And when the day's work is over, Arthur is off to the pubs, raring for adventure. He is a warrior of the bottle and the bedroom - his slogan is 'If it's going, it's for me To Arthur Seaton, Key worker on a lathe in a Nottingham cycle factory, life is one long battle with authority. You don't need to give Arthur more than one chance to do the Government or trick the foreman. And when the day's work is over, Arthur is off to the pubs, raring for adventure. He is a warrior of the bottle and the bedroom - his slogan is 'If it's going, it's for me' - for his aim is to cheat the world before it can cheat him. And never is the battle more fiercely joined than on Saturday night. But Sunday morning is the time of reckoning, the time for facing up to life - the time, too, you run the risk of getting hooked! Arthur is no exception.

30 review for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    This famous novel has always been hanging round, I’ve been seeing it in the corner of my eye all my life. The world was telling me I HAD to read it because I come from Nottingham and this is the big Nottingham novel, and I grew up working class, I knew people like these characters, and I would have been one of these characters if I hadn’t discovered how to pass exams early on. So I more or less resented this novel – it was too obvious, I didn’t want to read it. Finally, I read it – see how short This famous novel has always been hanging round, I’ve been seeing it in the corner of my eye all my life. The world was telling me I HAD to read it because I come from Nottingham and this is the big Nottingham novel, and I grew up working class, I knew people like these characters, and I would have been one of these characters if I hadn’t discovered how to pass exams early on. So I more or less resented this novel – it was too obvious, I didn’t want to read it. Finally, I read it – see how short it is, I thought - I will snap up this morsel like a small slice of ciabatta with gorgonzola, chomp chomp and it will be gone, and get on to something more substantial. That was wrong. This is a big novel in disguise, and every page is thick and dripping with bacon grease or sodden with a spilled pint of stout. It was – well, really quite brilliant. I admit it! The last and greatest of my sequence of British novels of the 50s & 60s I should have read already. I see why there was a thing called the Angry Young Men in the 1950s in Britain. You had Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim, 1953 – working class, now educated and at sea in his first academic job – more irritated and frustrated than angry Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, 1956 – working class but now university educated and frustrated and going nowhere fast – he’s really very very angry Joe Lampton in Room at the Top, 1957 – working class and going somewhere, pretty angry if anyone blocks his way Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1958 – working class, uneducated, never going to be anything else, grimly happy with his lot but harboring fantasies of blowing up the Council House with dynamite Billy Fisher in Billy Liar, 1959 – also more frustrated than angry, working class dreamer and self-saboteur Alfie in Alfie, 1963 – totally working class and uneducated but no longer angry or frustrated – it’s now the sixties, that may have something to do with it Alan Sillitoe has an unflinching tape-recorder mind for Nottingham dialogue "I never tek much trouble to mek people out. That’s summat else as don’t pay." "You’re a sharp ‘un. You don’t miss much." "It don’t pay to miss owt." But he interlaces the grating voices with chilling depths Nothing had been said, but both had felt it, and had betrayed it to each other in their too hard drive for gaiety. There was a bitterness in their passion, tender words without roots, and sarcasms that threw affection down like a glove that both were in too much of a hurry to take up. Sometimes you may think his desire for energetic sentences gets too much She kept a chock-a-block arsenal of blackmailing scandal ready to level with foresight and backsight at those that crossed her path in the wrong direction, sniping with tracer and dum-dum from sandbags of ancient gossip. But still, this is the real deal. If you just want to skip to the big message of this novel, it’s that if you’re working class it’s this : And trouble for me it’ll be, fighting every day until I die…Fighting with mothers and wives, landlords and gaffers, coppers, army, government… There’s bound to be trouble in store for me every day of my life… born drunk, and married blind, misbegotten into a strange and crazy world, dragged up through the dole and into the war with a gas-mask on your clock, and the sirens rattling into you every night while you rot with scabies in an air-raid shelter. Slung into khaki at eighteen, and when they let you out, you sweat again in a factory, grabbing for an extra pint, doing women at the weekend and getting to know whose husbands are on the night shift, working with rotten guts and an aching spine… well, it’s a good life and a good world, all said and done, if you don’t weaken I have to agree with everyone else, this is almost a must-read. 4.25 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    “For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled-up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week’s monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of ‘be drunk and be happy’, kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the “For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled-up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week’s monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of ‘be drunk and be happy’, kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts.” Everybody wants to live easily and magnificently but the possibilities of every man are quite different. So everyone gets pleasures that one just can afford and pays for them subsequently… “The rowdy gang of singers who sat at the scattered tables saw Arthur walk unsteadily to the head of the stairs, and though they must all have known that he was dead drunk, and seen the danger he would soon be in, no one attempted to talk to him and lead him back to his seat. With eleven pints of beer and seven small gins playing hide-and-seek inside his stomach, he fell from the top-most stair to the bottom.” A simple man needs simple delights and in this case, a catch-as-catch-can principle works best. Live today like there’s no tomorrow and pay afterwards… But when the time to pay off arrives one may find oneself in a pretty tight corner.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Toby

    "Don't let the bastards get you down" - Arthur Seaton “For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week's monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of 'be drunk and be happy,' kept your crafty arms around female wai "Don't let the bastards get you down" - Arthur Seaton “For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week's monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of 'be drunk and be happy,' kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts.” And so begins Alan Sillitoe's "Angry Young Man" debut novel about Arthur, a young factory worker in the north of England. It's a warts and all, kitchen sink drama type of novel; unflinching in its depiction of a time and place that at once is quite alien to yet completely the same as working class England in the 21st century. Arthur drinks, Arthur smokes, Arthur fights, Arthur fucks, Arthur rails against society, without Arthur there could be no Alfie or Trainspotting, not to mention the fact that novels such as this are priceless in terms of their value as documents recording social history. It's hard to like Arthur, but that's how he would want it. His tale is one you've probably read before - young man living in the moment gradually realising it's time to grow up, but sixty years ago this was a new way of teling the story. Not as easy a read as you would expect from 192 pages it nevertheless paints a fascinating picture and leave you appreciating every brush stroke. Alan Sillitoe died in 2010, for an excellent article on his influence on literature and his legacy see this article from The Economist.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ·Karen·

    Reckless, brash Arthur Seaton could see off any of today's binge-drinking chancers, it takes seven gins and eleven pints to floor him, but he still gets up for more. At twenty two he's the king of his little world, refusing to let anyone impose their laws on him. 'Don't let the bastards get you down' is his motto, and the 'bastards' are anyone who tries to stop him doing exactly what he wants. At some stage or other his life begins to spin out of control, he is on a helter-skelter that will deli Reckless, brash Arthur Seaton could see off any of today's binge-drinking chancers, it takes seven gins and eleven pints to floor him, but he still gets up for more. At twenty two he's the king of his little world, refusing to let anyone impose their laws on him. 'Don't let the bastards get you down' is his motto, and the 'bastards' are anyone who tries to stop him doing exactly what he wants. At some stage or other his life begins to spin out of control, he is on a helter-skelter that will deliver him swiftly into the arms of retribution, but this almost seems to be no more than a blip, a minimal shift in his ambitions, his attitude remains: combative, recalcitrant, incorrigible. The Angry Young Man. The question remains: why does he bristle with this over-weening sense of his right to take, take, take? He is conceived as a figure representative of those who have been short-changed for so long, come to take what's their due. The world owes him.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cphe

    Not one of my favourites from the Boxall 1000 list although it is certainly well written. Set in Nottingham in the 50's and early 60's it tells the story of a young factory worker Arthur Seaton. Unfortunately I didn't like Arthur as a character and found it difficult to empathise with him. I will say though that by the end of the novel you do feel that you've come to know Arthur, his thoughts and take on life intimately. A bleak novel in some respects. Not one of my favourites from the Boxall 1000 list although it is certainly well written. Set in Nottingham in the 50's and early 60's it tells the story of a young factory worker Arthur Seaton. Unfortunately I didn't like Arthur as a character and found it difficult to empathise with him. I will say though that by the end of the novel you do feel that you've come to know Arthur, his thoughts and take on life intimately. A bleak novel in some respects.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jake Goretzki

    Interesting, and I can see why it was so subversive and necessary (extra-marital shagging, boozing, deeply unpatriotic about the war and about National Service, etc) - but really not what I expected. I thought it was going to be a 'kitchen sink' socialist piece about hardship and hope, in the spirit of Love on the Dole. It isn't: it's almost proto-Thatcherite or proto-punk, even. Arthur ain't no socialist: he hates paying taxes, hates unions (as well as employers), wants to blow stuff up and lov Interesting, and I can see why it was so subversive and necessary (extra-marital shagging, boozing, deeply unpatriotic about the war and about National Service, etc) - but really not what I expected. I thought it was going to be a 'kitchen sink' socialist piece about hardship and hope, in the spirit of Love on the Dole. It isn't: it's almost proto-Thatcherite or proto-punk, even. Arthur ain't no socialist: he hates paying taxes, hates unions (as well as employers), wants to blow stuff up and loves shopping. He's a supreme individualist and sounds rather like Johnny Rotten talking in 1977. Great setting and great on social mores - and nice to see all that dialect.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Anthony

    First published in 1958 my edition is the 50th anniversary one. It is set in the years immediately following the second world war, in a working class community which has now largely disappeared. Its central character is Arthur, a 20 year old Lothario who works and plays hard. There's lots to dislike about him: he is a cheat, with a cuckoo's preference for the marital nests of others. But he is a real professional who seduces the reader along with the rest. He should get caught of course?... I en First published in 1958 my edition is the 50th anniversary one. It is set in the years immediately following the second world war, in a working class community which has now largely disappeared. Its central character is Arthur, a 20 year old Lothario who works and plays hard. There's lots to dislike about him: he is a cheat, with a cuckoo's preference for the marital nests of others. But he is a real professional who seduces the reader along with the rest. He should get caught of course?... I enjoyed the glimpses back at a vanished world – when the smoke really did get in your eyes! We've still got cheats of course but they seem different now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    “If you went through life refusing all the bait dangled in front of you, that would be no life at all. No changes would be made and you would have nothing to fight against. Life would be dull as ditchwater.” This is Alan Sillitoe's first book and probably the most well known. Written in 1958 against the backdrop of the Cold War it tells the tale of the mundane nature of working-class life in a Northern English town, Nottingham, and features an anti-hero Arthur Seaton. Arthur works in a bicycle f “If you went through life refusing all the bait dangled in front of you, that would be no life at all. No changes would be made and you would have nothing to fight against. Life would be dull as ditchwater.” This is Alan Sillitoe's first book and probably the most well known. Written in 1958 against the backdrop of the Cold War it tells the tale of the mundane nature of working-class life in a Northern English town, Nottingham, and features an anti-hero Arthur Seaton. Arthur works in a bicycle factory doing back breaking piecework at a lathe Monday to Friday. He is 22,still lives at home,earns a decent wage and looks forward to the weekend when he goes binge drinking(no its not a new phenomenon surprise surprise) and having affairs with two married sisters. He is a well drawn character and despite being described by his own brother Fred as 'not a very nice bloke' you still end up rooting for him right to the very end. Arthur is constantly fighting against authority whether that be father,foreman, the Police and the Army but is not so daft to realise that ultimately cannot win. By having affairs with married women his is also battling against the perceived norms of courtship and hence ultimately marriage until he is beaten up by the soldier husband of one of his conquests. Yet he also enjoys fishing suggesting he is also able to appreciate the quieter elements of life. Despite this being set at the end of the 1950's, when youth was coming to the fore after WWII with new suits hung in the bedroom ready to wear at the weekend, Arthur is in many respects just like his father and grandfather before him. Thus this becomes a comment on the class system within Britain, Arthur seems reasonably smart yet has only received a rudimentary education and is stuck in a monotonous job with seemingly little chance of advancement. The prose is beautifully written with occasional streams of colloquialisms mainly from Arthur giving it a real authentic feel but despite giving his initials to his hero and after having himself worked in a factory the author has also insisted this was not autobiographical. Writers like Dickens have written about the realities of working class life in Britain but this marked the start of a new age of literary realism and should be more widely read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jan Ruth

    A bleak illustration of late fifties working-class life in Northern Britain. Arthur Seaton works hard, plays hard, and fights hard. He fights against all authority, sleeps with married women, drinks till he falls down flights of stairs and defies anyone to tell him what to do or how to live. Life revolves around working at the bicycle factory, sex, fighting, and drinking. Until the inevitable happens. Contraception for women didn’t exist and neither did the morning-after pill let alone abortion c A bleak illustration of late fifties working-class life in Northern Britain. Arthur Seaton works hard, plays hard, and fights hard. He fights against all authority, sleeps with married women, drinks till he falls down flights of stairs and defies anyone to tell him what to do or how to live. Life revolves around working at the bicycle factory, sex, fighting, and drinking. Until the inevitable happens. Contraception for women didn’t exist and neither did the morning-after pill let alone abortion clinics. A scalding bath and a bottle of gin was the only way to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. Not that this predicament stalls Arthur much in the grand scheme of things. Off-setting the devil-may-care attitude of the main protagonist is the lyrical use of language, and it does elevate what would otherwise be a somewhat monotonous, depressing tale. But every Saturday night is followed by a Sunday morning, and Arthur is certainly more reflective in the final third. This quiet lead into the denouement is something of a lame, albeit satisfactory ending. However, brimful of character and the atmosphere of those times, and I loved the authentic dialogue.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Not really something I enjoyed reading. I disliked Arthur and the plot line wasn't too spectacular in my opinion Not really something I enjoyed reading. I disliked Arthur and the plot line wasn't too spectacular in my opinion

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lichella

    Alternatively: misogyny, the novel. No, okay, although the main character is a dick, this book read really quickly and I found myself quite enjoying it. Despite the portrayal and treatment of women, that is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicky Neko

    I enjoyed this (very much in certain parts), but maybe not as much as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Good stuff though.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    This book is a good chronicle of the despair of young working-class England after World War II, but it is also ultimately surprisingly optimistic. Here was one passages I highlighted as emblematic of the main character's bitterness: "What did they take up for? Bloody fools, but one of these days they'd be wrong. They think they've settled our hashes with their insurance cards and television sets, but I'll be one of them to turn round on 'em and let them see how wrong they are. When I'm on my fift This book is a good chronicle of the despair of young working-class England after World War II, but it is also ultimately surprisingly optimistic. Here was one passages I highlighted as emblematic of the main character's bitterness: "What did they take up for? Bloody fools, but one of these days they'd be wrong. They think they've settled our hashes with their insurance cards and television sets, but I'll be one of them to turn round on 'em and let them see how wrong they are. When I'm on my fifteen-days' training and I lay on my guts behind a sandbag shooting at a target board I know whose face I've got in my sights every time the new rifle cracks off. Yes. The bastards that put the gun into my hands. I make up a quick picture of their stupid four-eyed faces that blink as they read big books and papers on how to get blokes into khaki and fight battles in a war that they've never be in -- and then I let fly at them. Crack-crack-crack-crack-crack-crack. Other faces as well: the snot-gobbling gett that teks my income tax, the swivel-eyed swine that collects our rent, the big-headed bastard that gets my goat when he asks me to go to union meetings or sign a paper against what's happening in Kenya. As if I cared!"

  14. 5 out of 5

    McNatty

    Sillitoe captures the life of a 24 year old perfectly here. Living day by day, working to pay for his drinks on Friday night, hanging out with his mates and chasing birds. Its easy come easy go for Arthur and I remember feeling like that. Arthur is bullet proof and goes against all the rules and conventions of the day. He's not angry he just doesn't want to be told what to do and doesn't want to be cornered. I think Sillitoe has a real knack of writing about the working class and I remember feel Sillitoe captures the life of a 24 year old perfectly here. Living day by day, working to pay for his drinks on Friday night, hanging out with his mates and chasing birds. Its easy come easy go for Arthur and I remember feeling like that. Arthur is bullet proof and goes against all the rules and conventions of the day. He's not angry he just doesn't want to be told what to do and doesn't want to be cornered. I think Sillitoe has a real knack of writing about the working class and I remember feeling just like Arthur and for a while its bliss. The booze is flowing, life is a party and you have no responsibilities. The stress and fear of war and mandatory training is ever present and not something the British have to deal with these days and it must have added to the live fast die young lifestyle. Despite being a cad, Arthur is a romantic and enjoys female company. Sillitoe manages to wrap the short story up in a nice little package. A great little book about a certain time for a young man.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    This is a hard one to rate. It definitely evokes a time and a place. Arthur is frustrating, and appealing--despite his many shortcomings. Sometimes he's infuriating. Reading this book, I was reminded of Rabbit Run, which I hated. This book isn't nearly as sour as that one. Now and then Sillitoe includes a beautiful, perfect little description. In the thick of the book, I felt like the story got slightly mired and slightly repetitive--like maybe 20 pages could have been sliced off somewhere in th This is a hard one to rate. It definitely evokes a time and a place. Arthur is frustrating, and appealing--despite his many shortcomings. Sometimes he's infuriating. Reading this book, I was reminded of Rabbit Run, which I hated. This book isn't nearly as sour as that one. Now and then Sillitoe includes a beautiful, perfect little description. In the thick of the book, I felt like the story got slightly mired and slightly repetitive--like maybe 20 pages could have been sliced off somewhere in the middle. While I realize it may not be important to the overall point of the story, I also felt a bit as though I wanted Arthur's relationship with Doreen to be developed a tiny bit more. The quibbles are minor, though. The book deserves a 3.5.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    Sillitoe really captures the working class in the fifties so well. He really evokes the period and the people of that time. I felt as if I was taken back there, and although I couldn’t like or even emphasize with Arthur, I felt a part of him was in all of us around that time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Bettie's Books Bettie's Books

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melanie H

    Some great phrases that speak to the truisms of the working man's life: "For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week's monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of 'be drunk and be happy,' kept your crafty arms a Some great phrases that speak to the truisms of the working man's life: "For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week's monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of 'be drunk and be happy,' kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts." Saturday night & Sunday morning, all the working man has to claim as his own. Trouble is, I couldn't find it in me to care that much about the characters, they seemed more like the symbolic pawns of the author to prove his point. Granted it was a novel point when this book was published, but all the same...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    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. It’s the story of young Nottingham factory worker Arthur Seaton, who works hard and plays hard and is determined not to be beaten down by “the system”. But when he gets involved with a married woman his life is complicated in ways he could never have envisaged, and his hedonistic lifestyle is curtailed. It’s a vivid and authentic portrayal of 19 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. It’s the story of young Nottingham factory worker Arthur Seaton, who works hard and plays hard and is determined not to be beaten down by “the system”. But when he gets involved with a married woman his life is complicated in ways he could never have envisaged, and his hedonistic lifestyle is curtailed. It’s a vivid and authentic portrayal of 1950s working class life and of a rebel who takes on the establishment. The characters are multi-layered and sympathetic, and Seaton himself takes on a life of his own way beyond the confines of the book. A moving and unforgettable story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Darren

    Amazing portrayal of working class life set in Nottingham in the late 1950's, seen from the POV of the iconic Arthur Seaton - the quintessential "Jack-the-Lad", as he negotiates the ups and downs of work, booze, family, friends and most of all women! All written in a marvelously fluid, rolling style, shifting between first-person for Arthur's thoughts (mainly concerning women, but also some fine political rants!) and third-person for action (including a few surprisingly comic set-pieces) and wit Amazing portrayal of working class life set in Nottingham in the late 1950's, seen from the POV of the iconic Arthur Seaton - the quintessential "Jack-the-Lad", as he negotiates the ups and downs of work, booze, family, friends and most of all women! All written in a marvelously fluid, rolling style, shifting between first-person for Arthur's thoughts (mainly concerning women, but also some fine political rants!) and third-person for action (including a few surprisingly comic set-pieces) and with moments of poetic thoughtful depth. (view spoiler)[Ends at a good "stage" in Arthur's life, but quite clearly signalling sequel(s). (hide spoiler)] Nail-on 5 Stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Owain Lewis

    This was a cracker. A bona fide work of blue-collar existentialism, full of unrefined rebellion and working class whit. I generally don't go for this kind of stuff - English novels about the working classes always make me feel a tad claustrophobic and/or depressed - but this had a real and palpable energy to it. Yes, it does have the slightly ragged feel of a first novel but that's part of what makes it great. This was a cracker. A bona fide work of blue-collar existentialism, full of unrefined rebellion and working class whit. I generally don't go for this kind of stuff - English novels about the working classes always make me feel a tad claustrophobic and/or depressed - but this had a real and palpable energy to it. Yes, it does have the slightly ragged feel of a first novel but that's part of what makes it great.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joe Stamber

    Wonderful illustration of northern working class life in the 1950s, as we follow the adventures of a young man who spends his days working in a factory and his free time drinking, living it up, or recovering. AS writes with dark humour in this gritty tale. It's worth looking beyond modern fiction to discover treasures like this. Wonderful illustration of northern working class life in the 1950s, as we follow the adventures of a young man who spends his days working in a factory and his free time drinking, living it up, or recovering. AS writes with dark humour in this gritty tale. It's worth looking beyond modern fiction to discover treasures like this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate England-Moore

    Had to read this for my English course, not a bad book, although I couldn't make myself care enough about the characters to get really involved. Worth a read and I would be interested in reading the follow-up book, 'Birthday'. Had to read this for my English course, not a bad book, although I couldn't make myself care enough about the characters to get really involved. Worth a read and I would be interested in reading the follow-up book, 'Birthday'.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zara

    This is a great read. It feels like DH Lawrence, just written fifty years later. The main characters should be unlikeable, but unlike Irish Murdoch's narrator in 'Under the Net' who is also a misogynistic self-inflated alcoholic, Arthur's character grew on me. A worthwhile book. This is a great read. It feels like DH Lawrence, just written fifty years later. The main characters should be unlikeable, but unlike Irish Murdoch's narrator in 'Under the Net' who is also a misogynistic self-inflated alcoholic, Arthur's character grew on me. A worthwhile book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    Black and Tan swillin' blokes is where it's at! gin-soaked abortions and falling down the stairs at the Publick? Yes, please! Black and Tan swillin' blokes is where it's at! gin-soaked abortions and falling down the stairs at the Publick? Yes, please!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tash 💛

    Don't let the bastards grind you down. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Realini

    Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe 10 out of 10 Let me start by strongly recommending that you check The Guardian’s 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read list - https://www.theguardian.com/books/200... - because the Magnus opus by the glorious Alan Sillitoe is just another in a series of masterpieces that the undersigned has read, found on the mentioned compilation, which has included phenomenal works, in a comprehensive manner, with attention given to Australian, British and other write Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe 10 out of 10 Let me start by strongly recommending that you check The Guardian’s 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read list - https://www.theguardian.com/books/200... - because the Magnus opus by the glorious Alan Sillitoe is just another in a series of masterpieces that the undersigned has read, found on the mentioned compilation, which has included phenomenal works, in a comprehensive manner, with attention given to Australian, British and other writers, a literature that covers continents, different genres – this book comes into the State of the Nation section. Arthur Seaton is the complex hero of the narrative, based as it seems on one side of the author, who has evidently included some of his own experience – he has lived in Nottingham, worked in a factory at a lathe (just as the protagonist of Love on the Dole) and has been inspired by another writer to relate memories of his own home town, written under a tree (was it an orange one?) in Spain – and has created a main character with stamina, charm – at one stage, he has sex with two married women, sisters, and he is starting off with a new relationship, all at the same time – some serious flaws, like the side of his personality that makes him say to himself, a few times, and others that if he would be hit by a woman, he would hit back. The hero is also quite retrograde, medieval in the manner he envisages his future married life, which, although distant or impossible (as he sees it for some time) would include some primitive rules that would have the future wife watching the children, allowing him to continue with his quite excessive boozing and whatever his male superiority would desire and allow, and he would surely not tolerate confrontation, as he sees in the house of his aunt, Ada, who has fourteen children from the marriage with her late husband and she has about five more now, that she has entered matrimony again. The story opens with a drinking contest and it appears that this chapter has been a short story – the writer explains about the book in the afterword and the end of the e-book contains a short biography and more information on Saturday Night…- the main character drinks seven gins and more beers, winning the competition with Loudmouth, but at the end of the effort, he is somewhat high and falls all the way from the top of the stairs, engaging consequently into an amusing, is strange communication with a waiter, then parking his uncontrolled body on the porch of his lover, Brenda, the woman who has two children and is married to a colleague of Arthur, Jack, a man who is quite difficult to figure out, even for the bright hero, who has a habit of telling people he knows about them, although when they retort in the same way, he declares he has jot figured out himself …. Arthur is inventive, smart, exaggerated at times, such as when he makes up stories, one for the use of his father, who is watching television from 6 to 11 (the protagonist thinks that if something calamitous happens and somehow people lose the ability to watch their TVs, it would lead to a rebellion, albeit he does not care in the least about this addictive occupation) pretending that people have gone blind from too much watching – he was just playing games, but on another level, programs like the ones on Fox News or the equivalent in other countries would have the said effect, of blinding viewers, albeit not literally, just as the father talks about newspapers and the lies they print… Brenda tells her lover one day that she is pregnant and he is responsible and she is sure, when he asks, because she has had no coitus with her husband in months and they need to solve the problem whatever it takes, in spite of the attitude of the would be father, who seems to thinks that since she already has two children, another one would not make a bid difference, but nonetheless, he would ask his Aunt Ada about what is the exit and after some awkward exchanges he finds that a bottle of gin and an excruciatingly hot bath might do the trick and if it doesn’t, well…the invented friend would just have to marry. During chapters or episodes, the protagonist does not look like he cares much, indeed, he is the one to say he ‘does not care what happens in Kenya’ and he is not very romantic or loyal, for when he goes to the fifteen days required by the army for training, he does not forget to inebriate himself to the point where he kicks mates and the Sargent, only to be tied to the bed, but he simply does not remember to write at least a postcard to Brenda, who would reproach that upon his return, when he meets her and her sister, Winnie, the latter entering an outré threesome, that has some brutal effects on the philandering bachelor, who would be the target of the wrath of the jealous, cuckold husband – Winnie’s, not Jack – who takes a friend along to have his revenge. We tend to side with Arthur, but his idiosyncrasies, his cheating, the superficial, indifferent, ultimately harmful way in which he deals with his partners are evident and if this makes the story and the central figure more interesting, giving it more space, width and opening, it is at the same time a reason to disengage with him, although there is something to be said on the attitude of the women, who are accomplices in the infidelity and furthermore, Winnie is aware of the affair that her sister has with the man that she would encourage, entice, perhaps even tempt into her bedroom, understandable as this is, given that her spouse is in the army, away in Europe and from one point in time, he is known to have his own mistress in Germany. Outrageous, politically abhorrent as he would be today, Arthur is hilarious and incredible, in his examination of women, rebarbative, primitive as it is, when he says that he can tell the size of their breasts and ‘the Whippet face has small, pheasant egg sized ones, the laughing woman would give one something to hold on, while the mysterious type would not have large tits, but would compensate that by being rather wild in bed’. A fantastic, marvelous, amusing, instructive, inspiring novel that has been adapted for the big screen.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Phizacklea-Cullen

    It didn't quite all start here, but of the antiheroes of the British New Wave of novelists (I'm not going to type 'angry young men', a wearisome phrase) the Nottingham factory labourer Arthur Seaton was the first to suggest that there was less worth in constantly griping about how green the grass was on the other side of the fence, and more worth in making the most of what you have, getting on with life and enjoying yourself, though you'll find yourself frequently wanting to tell him to grow up. It didn't quite all start here, but of the antiheroes of the British New Wave of novelists (I'm not going to type 'angry young men', a wearisome phrase) the Nottingham factory labourer Arthur Seaton was the first to suggest that there was less worth in constantly griping about how green the grass was on the other side of the fence, and more worth in making the most of what you have, getting on with life and enjoying yourself, though you'll find yourself frequently wanting to tell him to grow up. It's hard perhaps to appreciate the impact this novel initally had, 60 years on, but the writing remains full of life and many aspects of the world Sillitoe portrays remains recognisable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Phil Altimas

    alan sillitoe was one of a group of authors known as the angry young men. this book is about an angry young man, he lives hard , works hard , drinks hard and plays hard he loves married women as he feels they are a sage bet he hates the world , but i felt he hated himself more its a dark and gritty novel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Potter

    Poor Jack eh. I didn't love this. Main man Arthur Seaton gets himself into trouble for sure but none of it is very exciting. I was very entertained by Sillitoe's inability to describe a woman without immediately mentioning her MASSIVE HONKERS. I appreciate the boob love - and it was nice to see old Nottingham vernacular. But overall this was a bit of a disappointment. Poor Jack eh. I didn't love this. Main man Arthur Seaton gets himself into trouble for sure but none of it is very exciting. I was very entertained by Sillitoe's inability to describe a woman without immediately mentioning her MASSIVE HONKERS. I appreciate the boob love - and it was nice to see old Nottingham vernacular. But overall this was a bit of a disappointment.

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