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Not Not While the Giro

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Not Not While the Giro is James Kelman's first major collection of short stories—originally published by Polygon in 1983. The reader follows the lives of young men, social misfits, whose lives are spent waiting—waiting for their next giro or menial job—in the pub, the dole office, the snooker table and the greyhound track. This collection, written with irony and great tenderne ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published August 20th 1997 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  241 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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One of the books that inspired me to write.
Mar 22, 2010 added it
James Kelman, the last class-conscious fiction writer? Dialect and unreliable narrators are contentious devices in writing fiction, but Kelman puts them to the best purposes. This book takes me back to my downbeat, rather dreadful lifestyle in Belfast in 1998-9, with the constant trips to pubs and off-licenses, the miserable space heaters, and the home phones you had to put coins in. I dig that gloomy feeling of postcolonial British Isles sarcasm, hatred, wretchedness, and funk.
Inside A Dog
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This collection of stories focuses on the working class communities of Glasgow in Scotland. There are people who are socially very much on the periphery of life.

The stories are mainly about young men who are rootless, directionless and lost and they are all in some way or other waiting for something - usually for a pint in a pub, or their turn at a snooker table or for their "dole money" in the post.

I chose this book as one of ten books that represent my country, Scotland, because above all it
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a varied collection of short stories originally published in 1983 by Scottish writer, James Kelman. There are over two dozen stories of various length & quality, but each focuses on characters on the margins of working-class Glasgow (and sometimes London) at the turn of the early 1980s. The settings include pubs, bookies, factories & dole offices and the characters are often alcoholics, gamblers & the homeless. Kelman captures the Scottish dialect well, particularly in the am ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
I'm not, naturally, a short story reader. Prefer to immerse myself in a novel I can see the length of. Also I don't know how best to read them, because to just go one after the other in a collection seems bad manners somehow. So this has been beside my bed since February, me attempting to fit one or two in inbetween novels.
And not having picked it up for some months, with only the last one to read, I have been totally transfixed by the final, title tale. If I didn't have Angela Carter's short s
Sep 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, quirky
I was really torn between giving this 2 or 3 stars: whilst I enjoyed the book in places, it also left me frustrated in others.

Anyone who dislikes reading in dialects needs to avoid this like the plague, because it's full of broad Scottish dialogue.

The dialogue is one of the things that worked really well for me: it's engaging, lively and powerfully effective. The characters jump off the page at you.

So what's my beef with the book? Well, it's full of engaging c
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Kelman's varied short stories I've always loved, but there are a couple in this that I go back to again and again
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kelman's short stories are often elliptical, sometimes frustratingly open-ended but still very evocative of a sense of place and character. I must say though that I do prefer his novels.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great collection of short stories. There's an undercurrent of anger and class-consciousness running throughout them all that I found quite evocative, and the same depressing scenes of bars and gambling arenas, benefit offices, shoddy apartments, give them a sense of world-weariness and frustration. None of the stories stood out to me all that much or rose above any of the others, but taken as a whole, they form a fairly distinct body that works well.
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Kelman says:

My own background is as normal or abnormal as anyone else's. Born and bred in Govan and Drumchapel, inner city tenement to the housing scheme homeland on the outer reaches of the city. Four brothers, my mother a full time parent, my father in the picture framemaking and gilding trade, trying to operate a one man business and I left school at 15 etc. etc. (...) For one reas