Allan MacDonell's Reviews > How Late it Was, How Late

How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman
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's review
Dec 19, 2010

it was amazing
Read in July, 2010

"Nay point in hoping for the best," says Glasgow, Scotland's bold and blinded Sammy early on in How Late It Was, How Late. It's hard-won advice, and given with the highest of intentions.

Don't be daunted by the accent. Don't be put off because the entire book takes place inside the mind of a solitary drinking man whose eyesight has been beaten right out of his head—while in police custody.

And where is that formerly loyal girlfriend? Has she scampered, finally, or is she buried somewhere just beyond where the remembered light of day shines into poor auld Sammy's benighted realm?

James Kelman won the Booker Prize for this one, and the Brits won't award that to a Scot just for nothing.
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