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'Working all week at the lathe leaves Arthur Seaton with energy to spare at the weekends. A hard-drinking, hard-working rebel he knows exactly what he wants, and how to get it. Before long his dalliances with a couple of married women make him the centre of local gossip. But then one evening he meets a young girl in a pub, and life begins to look a little less simple...'
*Synopsis taken from Alan Sillitoe's 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' published in 2008 by Harper Perennial*
I absolutely love this book and couldn't put it down while I was reading it...in fact it didn't take me long to get through at all I was sucked in my Arthur and his womanising ways and the, at times, SHOCKING situations he gets himself into! I guess most people have seen the film of the same title; which is based (unsurprisingly) on the book, although I think both the book and the film adaptation are quite different to each other. The film went through the censors office quite a few times and I know a lot of the book had to be excluded from it because it was too down-right SHOCKING (which is a recurring word in descriptions of Sillitoe's novel). In particularly what I enjoy about this book is that although Sillitoe wrote in in the 1950s it is still relevant today; Arthur Seaton, the main character, works in a lathe factory not far removed from the factories of today and as we all, well most of us do, lives for the weekend. For Arthur the weekend is the 'best and booziest' time of the week...how far is this removed from the naughties??? Also despite many of the unfavourable actions and traits Arthur holds he is a family-man and Sillitoe has written both aspects of Arthur's personality in this way fantastically. There is a brilliant written contrast between Arthur's work persona, home persona, womanising persona, Saturday night persona, Sunday morning persona...you get the idea. To me Arthur is like an exaggerated character of everything we all, if not most of us, know today!
A fabulous contemporary and well-written novel which shouldn't be dismissed:
*If you've seen the film and hated it
*Loved the film and wanted more
*If you aren't interested in working-class 1940s/1950s Nottingham
*If you've never read Sillitoe before.
*If you're scared of SHOCKING
Great bits (and SHOCKING bits in the novel)
*Arthur's Skillfull 'woman juggling' : 0
*Descriptions of 1950s Nottingham (if you're a local- as Sillitoe was!)
*The Gin Bath...need I say more?
*Arthur growing up...from Saturday Night to Sunday Morning.
A must read for a no-frills account of working-class life both then and even now...