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3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  530 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Colin Saville grows up in a mining village in South Yorkshire, against the background of war, of an industrialised countryside, of town and coalmine and village.
Paperback, 597 pages
Published June 1st 1978 by Avon Books (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 10, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel epitomizes one of my favorite quotes:

"Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary." ― Boris Pasternak

Reading this book really is an extraordinary experience! I found much of it to be very comforting, very homey. I found other parts to be quite disturbing. This novel affected me in ways that I'm still trying to sort out. I suspect this is a story that I'll continue to think about, to try to c
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 12, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Saville is filled with coal mining history and follows the life of the main character caught up in the middle of it. Detailed and emotional, it's a really unforgettable story.
Alex Rendall
Mar 30, 2014 Alex Rendall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker-prize
This review has been hard to write, because this book has been extremely difficult to read. This is a personal thing on my part, because I have always found novels that describe childhood in school to be difficult, mainly because my latter years in school were not always pleasant. Saville talks about school life in spades, and a difficult school life at that. It tells the tale of Colin Saville, son of a coal miner in a 1930s Northern British mining village, who wins a scholarship to the ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Philip rated it it was amazing
A reflection on Saville by David Storey

Saville won the Booker Prize in 1976. In such a vast novel it is inevitable that the pace will occasionally quicken and slacken, but a book like this can be read over weeks, almost dipped into as the passing phases of Colin’s life unfold. David Story was born in Wakefield, and so was I. It could be argued that his most famous and perhaps still most successful work is “This Sporting Life”, a portrait of a Rugby League player who achieves local fame and then
Nov 03, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing
Книга - почти бесстрастный рассказ о жизни в небольшой шахтёрской деревушке. Автор настолько хорошо описывает ситуацию, что в книгу погружаешься с головой. Да, это я живу на той улице, за стеной от одного из упомянутых семейств. Очевидно, что жизнь шахтёров нельзя назвать лёгкой, а заработок - хотя бы достаточным. Родители Колина Сэвила заставляют его учиться изо всех сил, ибо это его единственный шанс вырваться из этого окружения. Тут всё понятно и всей душой болеешь за мальчишку. Это, условно, ...more
Peter Jansen
May 30, 2010 Peter Jansen rated it really liked it
Although somewhat bleak this book stayed with me and really gripped me. It really puts you in the shoes of the main character.
There was a very strange feel to this book. It felt very removed from that which it was narrating, the sense of alienation which the main character, Colin, feels by the end, being a part of the reader-experience throughout.

That isn't to say I didn't enjoy it. I did, actually. I rather got into reading it. It gave a view into a world that I didn't know, but that became increasingly familiar throughout. It was a world that I could imagine my Grandparents being aware of, something they would have
Jul 31, 2012 Katy rated it really liked it
This is a book that is going to stay with me for awhile. I enjoyed the minutiae of Saville, but I also found the tone to be just so well handled. It is a tone of bleakness, frank existence, and of struggle.

Struggle to get out of a place, struggle to make others see a place as you see it, struggle to seek approval, struggle to give approval, struggle to please. This was what really struck me most, was the parent-child dynamics being played out. Michael Reagan and his violin, Batty going to jail (
Courtney H.
Mar 03, 2012 Courtney H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookers
Well, I have fallen behind on reviewing and on reading, so I figured I might try to do a little catching up. Since I just reviewed Sons and Lovers, might as well start with Saville, one of its successors. Saville falls into a fairly well-trod category of British literature: boy grows up in poor mining town, tries to escape, alternatively aided and held back by imperfect parents. Similarly, the main character is conflicted about his town: he feels his mining roots strongly, but at the same time ...more
Brought all sorts of other books to my mind: Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, of course, Room at the Top by John Braine, even How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. Early/mid-century bildungsroman among the industrial working class and the tensions created by aspirations to escape one's environment while also feeling connected to it.
G.L. Wilson
Jul 19, 2016 G.L. Wilson rated it liked it
I read this book years ago and came back to it wanting to enjoy the work again. Unfortunately this was a book that perhaps does not bear a second reading. It is now painfully outdated.
This was a surprise. I've re-read a number of Booker prize winners over the years and most do stand the test of time. I read Docherty for the first time recently and feel that, if you're after working class grit and grim, you might be better served choosing that book.
Feb 11, 2015 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
An intense coming of age story that starts off stronger than it finishes, as your hope ebbs for Colin Saville. I became very invested in the main character and it was agonizing to go through the later stages of his young adulthood. A very realistic book that reads as black, white and grey as I imagine 1940s and 50s Wakefield must have been. Powerful, vivid writing.

Not to give anything away, the last line reads: "Above a distant line of trees, a smear of blackish smoke appeared." Yup.
Jan 07, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
This book is just a little bit depressing.

The evocation of time, place and character is strong, but the alienation of the eponymous hero is reflected in a narrative that only really describes the outside of everything. The story is disjointed and there seem to be huge blank areas of the character's life about which we are told nothing.

May 07, 2014 Rose added it
I would like to read this book, but after going through this app I am still not able to figure out how to download the book so I can read it. I have clicked on "to read" but nothing happens, so even though this app has great reviews I am quickly giving up on it, even though there are several books I would like to read.
Oct 16, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
Story of a young boy growing up in a bleak mining town, and the events and his efforts to escape to be something other than another collier. Well written with a good cast of characters from the different classes of people.
Jun 29, 2014 Mamaujeni rated it really liked it
If you grew up in a low-income family; particularly if you've been exposed to a more comfortable way of life (tertiary education or more well-off mates), then this book will surely strike a chord with you. Powerful stuff.
Apr 03, 2009 Gina rated it it was ok
1976 Booker

Story of Colin Saville, from birth until he finally decides to take control of his life.
Jan 28, 2012 Deanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker-winners
Found Saville a very difficult character to warm to. Just found him very insipid, wanted him to have a back bone and to achieve something.
May 26, 2009 Sherry added it
I liked this book. Well written. Kept me engaged. Made me think, reflect, and wonder. Can't ask for more from a book, so I'm glad I rescued it from my husband's hometown library's giveaway shelf.
مى سلامه
Apr 21, 2013 مى سلامه rated it liked it
mmm at first time i think it was like Seville city in Spain :)hh I'm Just Joking but The story is disjointed and there seem to be huge blank areas of the character's life.
I enjoy
Aug 10, 2010 Kim rated it it was ok
I thought the last part of this book was really excellent but it just took far too long getting there.
Jun 20, 2016 Kenneth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-booker
Finishing it felt like being released from prison.
Mar 28, 2015 Val marked it as kindle
Shelves: bookers, temp
Dale Dean
Jun 15, 2014 Dale Dean rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2008 Jen marked it as to-read
1976 Booker Prize
Dec 14, 2013 Thom rated it really liked it
Really good story!
Sep 10, 2016 Smoothw rated it really liked it
A very sincere, old fashioned novel, that I still found quite enchanting for about two thirds of its immense lengths. The descriptions of the hard life of miners,the disappointment and intellectually stifling attitudes of a small village, growing up during world war two, and the confusion of people divorced from their social classes by education was all very well done. I give it less than five stars because when the main character reaches adulthood he becomes a detached, unlikable, character ...more
Aug 10, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having struggled through the first three fifths of Saville, I've semi-reluctantly had to give up on it. That's mainly down to the fact that my copy is a 1970s Penguin paperback with rather yellow pages, very dense and not very dark print, but also, to a degree because of the very slow development of the plot. I can certainly admire Storey's recreation of a lost world of Yorkshire pit villages and the slow drift away of a young boy who had been fortunate enough to win a place at grammar school, ...more
Dalia rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2015
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David Storey is an English playwright, screenwriter, award-winning novelist and a former professional rugby league player. Storey was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1933, and studied at the Slade School of Art. His first two novels were both published in 1960, a few months apart: This Sporting Life, which won the Macmillan Fiction Award and was adapted for an award-winning 1963 film, and Flight ...more
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