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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  743 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Saville centers around Colin, a young boy growing up in the fictional Yorkshire mining village of Saxton during the Second World War and the postwar years.

This is the story of a miner's son, and his growth from the 1930s on, his rise in the world by way of grammar school and college. At first there is triumph in this, not least for the father who had spurred him on, but la
Paperback, 597 pages
Published June 1st 1978 by Avon Books (first published 1976)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  743 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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I am nearing the end of my occasional project to read all of the Booker Prize winners, with just one more to go now. This was the 1976 winner, but in many ways it feels older - in fact the book it reminded me most of is D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers.

This book tells the story of Colin Saville, a miner's son of Storey's age from a village in South Yorkshire, starting with his parents' arrival in the village in the late 1920s and ending in the 1950s. Storey recreates the life of the village and t
Jun 28, 2012 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
Ravi Gangwani
What I really liked about this 1976 Booker Prize winning novel is its Coetzeeshness.
The childhood descriptions were as par compared to 'Boyhood' of Sir JM Coetzee and writing style was slow and moving. This book is all about Coal Minor's son Colin Saville and pictures from his life, right from his birth to bitter adulthood, vacillating in angry formulas of life. But the areas where this book scores are dark, rummaging and going-no-where kind of a life. The meaningless of his family for him, the
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 12, 2016 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 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 prestigi ...more
Aug 20, 2008 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 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 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.
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
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 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 y ...more
Mar 14, 2014 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.
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
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 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 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.
Aug 15, 2010 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 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 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.
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-booker
Finishing it felt like being released from prison.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
1976 Booker

Story of Colin Saville, from birth until he finally decides to take control of his life.
Dale Dean
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2011 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 10, 2009 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.
Dec 15, 2008 marked it as to-read
1976 Booker Prize
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good story!
مى سلامه
Jan 21, 2013 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 03, 2010 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 28, 2012 added it
Shelves: booker-prizes, review
Colin Davison
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel of its time and place, possibly one of the great epics of post-war working class fiction that owes much to the legacy of D.H. Lawrence.
Inevitably so many stories and plays that came immediately before Saville featured characters leaving the horny-handed sons - or rather fathers of toil to go 'oop t'college' with ambitions to become writers, a trend already satirised by Mr Python.
Yet the situation was real enough, even if not every first-generation grammar school boy longed to be a poet,
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An engrossing story of a boy growing up in dire surroundings, a northern English coal mining village. There are passages of epic detail and others of philosophical debate. The main characters are as complex and contradictory as human beings tend to be, Saville himself more than any.
This is not a book to “like” for twists and turns of plot, for the author does not play soap opera games with us. It does not resolve comfortably and one would not wish to meet any of its characters over a pint. But i
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David Storey was 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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