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До чего ж оно все запоздало (Мастера современной прозы)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,461 ratings  ·  255 reviews
"До чего ж оно все запоздало" - самый известный роман классика современной шотландской литературы Джеймса Келмана (р. 1946), в 1994 году получивший Букеровскую премию. Критики обвиняли автора в непристойности, жестокости и даже насилии, но кошмарная история незадачливого жулика из Глазго, потерявшего зрение, - поистине жизнеутверждающий гимн человеческой воле и силе духа.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by EKSMO Publishers (first published March 28th 1994)
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Kevin Tole Thats a rare insight - the comparative merits of Jimmy Kelman versus Irvine Welsh. That one wouldn't last too far past round two. Bold Westerhays gets…moreThats a rare insight - the comparative merits of Jimmy Kelman versus Irvine Welsh. That one wouldn't last too far past round two. Bold Westerhays gets in a few good punches in the first round wih Trainspotting even managing a bit a pathos and gut reality before descending into the utter shite in round two of pish like 'Filth' which is up there with some of the worst books I have left on a transatlantic flight. The bold Weggie Jimmy's been roon the blocks and knows a few things from 'The Burn' and 'The Bus Conductor' to writing about dunking yer mate under when he falls in a vat of acid let alone 'A Disaffection' and 'How Late..'. Its yet to be seen how he'll come back from garbage (OK - my assessment on his personal scale from the heights of the short stories, A Disaffection and How Late...) like 'You Have to be Careful....'
Jimmy Kelman is a great writer. No point in compay=ring him to Joyce or Beckett or whoever. He's jusat a great writer. Something Irvine Welsh wanted to be till Trainspotting made him famous with the Yoof.(less)
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Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very few books can make a plateau-styled plot like this one enticing. What occurs when vision is impaired from page one of "How Late it Was, How Late"? Well, the other senses are heightened of course, and this becomes an intrepid trek for the reader himself, as he mirrors exactly the plight of the newly-blinded outrageously-ambivalent protagonist who suffers under the most nefarious of circumstances. The experience is at once disorientating & ultimately fierce. Nauseating even.

With great
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ye fekkin bampots
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
If you have never been to Scotland, then literature would have you believe that it is the bleakest, most soul destroying pit of blackened abject despair. The cities are populated with grey-skinned downtrodden gurners whose only options are alcoholism, drugs or suicide. The rivers Clyde, Forth and Tay are not filled with water, nay, they are filled with the salty tears of Rangers Fans, beaten housewives, victims of police violence and neglected children. Did Hadrian build his wall in 122 AD as a ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the last handful of Booker winners that I had not read. I must admit to having been deterred by its reputation as a difficult read, and as it turned out, such concerns were groundless.

Yes, the book is mostly written in Glaswegian dialect, but it is never at all hard to follow - the antihero Sammy may be his own worst enemy but the tale of what happens when he wakes up blinded in a police cell is gripping and ultimately life affirming (view spoiler)
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waiting rooms. Ye go into this room where ye wait. Hoping’s the same. One of these days the cunts’ll build entire fucking buildings just for that. Official hoping rooms, where ye just go in and hope for whatever the fuck ye feel like hoping for. One on every corner. Course they had them already – boozers. Ye go in to hope and they sell ye a drink to help pass the time. Ye see these cunts sitting there. What’re they there for? They’re hoping. They’re hoping for something. The telly’s rotten. So ...more
Richard Derus
Pearl Ruled (p53)

It's my mood. I'm sure it's my mood. The dialect is actually really involving as a means to convey the character's emotional reality. The structure of the narrative is beautifully used. The 1994 Booker was well awarded indeed.

But Sammy (PoVman) is working. my. nerve.

I cannay see. is the precise moment where I just...I can't...I can not deal with this shithead one more second. I want to enter the book's reality with a truncheon and a hangover and just wail on this nasty,
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012); Booker Winner
Shelves: 1001-core, booker
A difficult read not because the narration is told via stream-of-consciousness of a 38-year old drunkard and ex-convict but because the language is that of a working-class Scottish dialect that I am not familiar with. I have no problem with difficult reads as I have read and liked the works of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett but they are written beautifully unlike this book of Kelman whose supposedly humor totally missed my funny bones.

The one that saved this book from getting 1-star rating for
Sean Blake
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"People try to stop ye, stop ye doing things. They dont allow ye to live. But ye've got to live. If ye cannay live ye're as well dead. What else can ye do? It would be good if somebody telt ye. What way ye were supposed to live. They dont fucking tell ye that but they've got nay answers there man, no to that yin, that fucking question, know what I'm saying, it's just big silences, that's what ye fucking get, big silences. How no to live. That's all they tell ye. Fuck them all... It's you. They ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-booker-prize
While I see some genius in this book, I did not particularly enjoy reading it as it felt like a homework assignment.

The stream of consciousness writing style, with a prodigious number of f words, seemed a combination of the Sound and the Fury and Trainspotting. The story is set in Glasgow and is a running commentary on a few days in the life of a young man, Sammy, who is a severe alcoholic and who is homeless some of the time and misses his girlfriend and tries to get her back to some extent. He
Becky Douglas
How Late it Was, How Late is about a Glaswegian man who, having gone out and got drunk and ended up getting a beating from the police, wakes up in a police cell to discover that he's gone blind. It's written entirely in the Scots dialect and in a stream of consciousness style with no breaks for different chapters. It's mostly first person, as told by the unfortunate Glaswegian, Sammy, but Sammy gets confused and sometimes switches to third person. It could not be praised for its readability.

Karlo Mikhail
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I was pleasantly surprised to find out how readable the novel is given a considerable number of complaints about its purportedly indecipherable language and use of stream of consciousness as a narrative technique. In fact, the use of the language of the Scottish working classes did not at all hinder the gripping buildup of this dark tale of oppression as experienced by the novel's protagonist, Sammy. He is victimized by police brutality and weighed down by the more grueling instances of day to ...more
My word for the week bampot which means idiot or fool. This stream of consciousness story of Sammy a Glaswegian, ex con who went out and got bladdered resulting in him getting a beating from the police and when he regains consciousness he is blind. When you get past the fact that every paragraph has the f word either has a noun, verb or adjective the story is quite interesting. I thought this book would take me ages to read but I finished it in two days.

The social and political context of us
Allan MacDonell
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Oct 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone I didn't like
I think this is the worst book I've ever read to completion. First of all, it's a stream of conciousness novel written in working-class Scottish dialect. Secondly, there was no ultimate payoff for my having to struggle through the frustrating narrative style. I want those hours of my life back!
Dec 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: European book committees
Allright Booker Prize. We're done. You have proven, time and time again, that either you have terrible tastes or I am a total philistine. How late it was is the newest entry into your proud history of Texan timewasters.

Here's what's cool about the book. Scottish working class guy picks a fight with the cops, gets beatdown, goes blind. The parts where he gets out of jail in his hometown and has to find his way back to his apartment is awesome. The part where he deals with government bureaucracy
.??? 90s: somebody does not like this book, not me, i love it. the steady, crazy, profane, beautiful voice of sammy never relents, never pauses, and this is one deliriously fast read. this blind man’s vision of the world from the disenfranchised, drinking, rousting, working class- but vibrant and alive- is a voice to hear. i have read this over and over, trying to get the full effect in strong doses. i have read stream of consciousness before, read modernist works built of unbroken voice, but ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started out with 4 stars..I loved the language and the stream of consciousness style of writing, it really intrigued me and I enjoyed reading the story. I was whizzing through it so I guess I have to give Kelman credit for that..

..I couldn't wait to find out what actually happened on the Saturday night, what happened to Helen, I swore he must have killed her in a violent episode and he had become so traumatized he had mentally broken down..or something to that affect. I was desperate to know
Alan Wilson
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There seems to be a lot of reviewers who see Sammy Samuels as an unlikeable inebriate and the impression that suggests to me is the main character of How Late staggering around like some pathetic wineo throughout the whole story. That is just so wrong. I found Sammy entirely likeable, and why not. He is not a whinger by any means, he hardly has a drink during the whole story (okay, he starts out severely hung-over), he accepts full responsibility for his problems, even being beaten so ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh me oh my. I felt as if I’d held my breath the entire time I read this. In the end I can remember letting out a huge sigh of relief that it was over. Not that I was glad it was over, just relieved that maybe, just maybe, Sammy’s problems were over. This character knew just what kind of problems he faced and for the most part, he didn’t stand a chance living in a world that is twisted and bent. There’s this relentless sense that maybe his problems are too huge to run away from. There is a Kafka ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So a few years ago, after I read a blue streak through God of Small Things, Midnight’s Children, Amsterdam, Remains of the Day, Possession, The Blind Assassin – they are all amazing – I decided that I would read every past Booker Prize winner (apparently I am unhappy unless doing something that can eventually crossed off a list.) And although we’ve had some good times – I mean, wow, I would never have thought The English Patient worth reading – my current stance is, Booker Prize, can we talk? ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I started this on a rainy weekend and had a hard time putting it down. I was immersed in Sammy's brain and there weren't any good places to stop! It takes a bit to get into the flow of his dialect but once you do, amazing.
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker-winners
Have you ever met a Glaswegian who wasn't complaining? "The weather's shite, sob sob, the sodjers beat me, boo hoo, the gers lost again, wah wah, I've gone blind." I was 35 pages in and I flicked to the back to check how many pages there are because, seriously, how long can you write stream-of-consciousness Scottish dialect about a guy who's gone blind? 380 pages, apparently. But nah it picks up, you get to love the guy, he's adorable.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having requested this one from the library on the strength of other Goodreads members' reviews, my first impression on starting the book was OMG, I'm so not going to like this! - for a number of reasons: written in Glaswegian dialect; no chapters and very few page breaks; no speech marks; written in stream of consciousness style; yet, having persevered with it for a while, I soon found myself engrossed in the story being told from the POV of the main character Sammy who has woken up in a drunken ...more
Ben Peek
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across Kelman a while back. I read an interview with him in which he described, among other things, how he was happy to put himself in the likes of Kafka, for he wrote about the petty humiliations of bureaucracy: “I think that is an essential working-class experience,” he says. “Intimidation, provocation, sarcasm, contempt, disgust and so on. You learn how to cope with it as a young person, because you see your parents in that situation, for example if they’re dealing with the doctor or ...more
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: David Convery
This book is good for those who liked the stream of consciousness style of 'Ulysses' and 'Trainspotting'. Whereas Joyce's characters were mostly lower middle class the main character in this is a Glaswegian ex-prisoner whos thought processes on life in and out of prison we are privy to. There are no allusions to art, academia or philosophy but through allusions to cheesey country and western songs and various radio programmes the character listens to contributes to the authentic feel of the ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. A perfect character study of someone suffering and trying to get on despite dire circumstances, and also incredibly addictive. I hate the phrase but this thing was 'un-put-downable'. People focus too much on how grimy and gritty it is and miss out on the humour, stoicism and at times beauty in it.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kelman is one of the most important prose and narrative stylists of the last 50 years and is maybe the biggest innovator in stream of conscious narrative since Joyce. Highly recommend. Another good one to start with is his short story collection "Busted Scotch."

Mara Eastern
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glasgow, fiction
Bleak, Kafkaesque and bizarre. It deserves the Booker Prize that it won.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Kelman's best (so far). It's a feckin masterpiece.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I know it might be a revolutionary notion nowadays but I do believe in ‘moderation'. Most things, from art to food from politics to sports benefit from a well-balanced approach. Right or wrong, that is what I have been led to believe and, in a world where exaggeration is not only the norm but also the way forward, this concept may sound self-righteous or downright old-fashioned. But please bear with me.
“How Late it Was How Late" is groundbreakingly modern precisely because it is not balanced,
Steve Prentice
I have to admit this wasn't my favourite book but this is probably because it doesn't have the 2 main ingredients that I look for in a novel - relationships and at least 1 character with whom I can empathise with. The 'hero' (anti-hero) of this book, called Sammy, is an unsavoury character who appears to be extraordinarily selfish, using other people exclusively for his own ends.

Having said that, the book's strength and what maintained my interest was the author's use of a 'stream of
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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 reason or
“Waiting rooms. Ye go into this room where ye wait. Hoping’s the same. One of these days the cunts’ll build entire fucking buildings just for that. Official hoping rooms, where ye just go in and hope for whatever the fuck ye feel like hoping for.” 8 likes
“Ye wake in a corner and stay there hoping yer body will disappear, the thoughts smothering ye; these thoughts; but ye want to remember and face up to things, just something keeps ye from doing it, why can't ye no do it; the words filling yer head: then the other words; there's something wrong; there's something far far wrong; ye're no a good man, ye're just no a good man. Edging back into awareness, of where ye are: here, slumped in this corner, with these thoughts filling ye. And oh christ his back was sore; stiff, and the head pounding. He shivered and hunched up his shoulders, shut his eyes, rubbed into the corners with his fingertips; seeing all kinds of spots and lights. Where in the name of fuck...” 6 likes
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