Saturday Night and Sun...
Alan Sillitoe
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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,683 ratings  ·  88 reviews
"It's a great life...if you don't weaken."

That's the motto of Arthur Seaton - Britain's original Angry Young Man. Arthur punches the clock at a Nottingham steel factory, waiting for Saturday night when he explodes a week's worth of pent-up passions in outrageous drinking bouts, pub-clearning brawls and encounters with other men's wives. He is determined to escape the clutc...more
Published by Signet (first published January 1st 1951)
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"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 waist
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...more
Jakey Gee
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...more
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...more
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.
Joe Stamber
Wondeful 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.
Black and Tan swillin' blokes is where it's at! gin-soaked abortions and falling down the stairs at the Publick? Yes, please!
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...more

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...more
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...more
Mark Speed
One of these novels I always felt ignorant for not having read.

The life and times of a genuine working-class lad working in a factory in Nottingham, this caused a stir when it was published. The literary establishment was so up its own tail-end that they had no grasp of what real life was like for 80% of the population.

When I was a lad I worked a manual labour job in Northumbria. The lads were mostly from the small villages up the Tyne valley. And this really is a good account of what life was s...more
Another book club read which I wouldn't have necessarily come to on my own. I remember hearing about it on BBC Radio 4 last year when they did a British New Wave season but never heard their dramatisation, which is a shame as it no longer seems to be available to "Listen Again" on the website and I would like to hear it now.

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning follows a year or so in the life of Arthur Seaton. Arthur works all day (except for the odd occasion when he stays home "feeling badly") a...more
In an interview Alan Sillitoe said “The first chapter had been a short story, which I hadn’t been able to get published but it felt like a good thing to kick off with, and so it went from there. I don’t think I knew where I was going in the first draft, I just moved from chapter to chapter pulling things in – the odd story and a poem I’d written. Then after the first draft, when I’d typed it up, I began to chuck it around. Rather like carving a statue out of granite, you know, chipping away. As...more
Entertaining..the language can present a bit of difficulty since it is written in a British Northern slang. Still pretty easy to decipher. The main character (Arthur) is a villainous lout, a boozing womaniser and not very warming to the heart (in my opinion), in fact he is quite a detestable borderline sociopath. This book is, however, an interesting study of the English working class just following WWII and make an interesting socio-cultural study of that particular group at that period in time...more
Beautifully written with provactive but unromanticised language throughout and bleak realism.

Easily one of my favourite characters, Arthur Seaton, is the embodiment of the 50s Teddy boy: angry, frustrated, laddish, nihilistic, hedonistic.
Michael Smith
I first read this story of drinking, fighting and womanising more than twenty-five years ago when I moved to Nottingham. It didn’t really grab me then - perhaps not quite what I was expecting.

Now that I have become Nottingham’s most minor novelist, I felt I should re-read it. And I got much more from it second time round. It deserves a careful read and it is quite surprising in a number of ways.

First, although it depicts the life of a working man in 1950’s Nottingham, it isn’t a “grim up north”...more
Kate England
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'.
Jade Moore
Being a resident of the city of Nottingham, I really loved reading this book and being familiar with the places that the main character,Arthur, travels to. As a general thing, I like to read a book before watching any film version of it, but with this, I had seen the film a while ago, due to media/film studies. So I had the film in mind as I read, but the book gave me more out of it. Overall I enjoyed the character of Arthur, his outlook on working life, women, marriage etc. He is very memorable...more
Laura Brouwer
This book made me want to drink a lot while reading it.
Arthur Seaton is a young man who works all week at a lathe in a bicycle factory so that at weekends he can dress in a smart suit, go drinking, chase women and indulge in the occasional fight. This is the basic premise of `Saturday night, Sunday morning’ set in 1950s working-class industrial Nottingham – when Nottinghamshire still was industrial.
It disproves my preconceptions that the 1950s was a nice, genteel sort of decade, Arthur sleeps with other people’s wives, falls downstairs dead drunk an...more
Lui Arthur îi place ca viața să fie periculoasă. De opt ani lucrează la strung, e ușor metrosexual și cel mai bine se pricepe la femeile măritate cu soți lenți. Unde se vede peste cinci minute? Într-un loc cu zarvă și bere, unde va bea câte o halbă în maxim o pagină, cât vrăjește o duduie. Arthur leșină dacă bea șapte ginuri și unșpe beri sau dacă îl bat soldații furioși că le strică nevestele. Pe una a stricat-o așa de tare că a pus-o să facă baie în gin fierbinte și să se umple cu gin și pe in...more
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning follows the rebellious, womanising Arthur Seaton, a man of 22 years old who likes to drink and fight on occasion if necessary. Working at a bicycle factory during the day and having an affair with his workmate Jack's wife Brenda, Arthur is completely defiant of the consequences as he feels Jack is somewhat of a lazy husband, working night shifts at the factory and spending money on the pools.

I was first introduced to Alan Sillitoe's work at high school in my Eng...more
Una pinta di birra tiepida.

Forse alla fine mi è piaciuta di più l'idea del romanzo che non il romanzo in sé.
Trovo molto bella la similitudine che Sillitoe sceglie per rappresentare la vita di Arthur, giovane inglese poco più che ventenne della Nottingham del secondo dopoguerra, la cui vita si divide tra il lavoro in fabbrica, più di un paio di birre al pub e qualche relazione sentimentale più o meno impegnativa; il sabato sera, quello che Arthur aspetta ogni settimana per divertirsi, diventa per...more
Roger Pettit
I was slightly disappointed by this book. It's a good enough read but, given that it seems to be held in high regard by a number of critics, I was expecting rather more from it. I certainly do not understand why it is generally considered to be a classic of 20th century literature. The novel is set in Nottingham in the 1950s. The principal character, Arthur Seaton, is a hard-working, hard-drinking, womanising, young man who works in a bicycle factory. His personality is complex. I found it diffi...more
Maggie Gammons
This book gave me very mixed feelings.
For most of it, I could see no point in any of the plot and I just really hated the main character. I disliked how the author skipped around from points of view, because many times I had no idea who was talking or thinking. It was a little confusing, and it was hard for me to find reason for many of the plot happenings.
That being said, it all made a lot of sense right at the end. The very last chapter seemed to wrap it all up and give meaning to the rest o...more
Kelly Smith
This book took me a long time to read. I think maybe I felt too comfortable in the world Sillitoe creates. I felt at points it dragged or languished too long. This is also silli(toe) of me but the book is split into "Saturday Night" and "Sunday Morning", so I had thought it would take place in one weekend. So I was a little confused about time for a bit, but (spoiler alert) it's all metaphorical.

These criticisms aside, it's such an anthem book for those of us working hard for little money, but s...more
The dialogue is really difficult to read at times because of their accents (I have a policy never to write in accents but to often describe them instead) but otherwise Sillitoe has some awesome quotes and writes a fantastic novel I think all 20-somethings should read as it's something of a coming-of-age tale for those of us at this stage in life.
I think this book was originally written as two books: Saturday Night AND Sunday Morning.

Sunday Morning was mind-blowingly fabulous. Saturday Night makes you appreciate the finally coherenet thoughts of the main character in Sunday Morning. Maybe there's a metaphor at work about being brought into the light of reason or being enlightened?

Anyways, if you can struggle through the first 200 pages or so, the last 40 pages are incredibly rewarding. only took me what...over 2 years to finish r...more
If this book reflects at all accurately the inner workings of a 23-year-old English factory worker, then I consider it a must read.
I can't judge the accuracy, but it convinces me.

The middle parts started getting to me; this guy really is hooked on getting away with whatever he can, and as the incidents pile up I found it hard to keep reading, it seems so realistic in showing some pretty negative human tendencies. His living conditions and upbringing are a world away from mine.

So I feel I became...more
This book reminded me a lot of Orwell's "Keep the Aspidistra Flying," which I suspect inspired it. Thing is, "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" isn't any good :/
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Alan Sillitoe was an English writer, one of the "Angry Young Men" of the 1950s (although he, in common with most of the other writers to whom the label was applied, had never welcomed it).
For more see
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“All I'm out for is a good time - all the rest is propaganda.” 16 likes
“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.” 12 likes
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