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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,780 ratings  ·  217 reviews
To Arthur Seaton, Key worker on a lathe in a Nottingham cycle factory, life is one long battle with authority. You don't need to give Arthur more than one chance to do the Government or trick the foreman.

And when the day's work is over, Arthur is off to the pubs, raring for adventure. He is a warrior of the bottle and the bedroom - his slogan is 'If it's going, it's for me
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Plume (first published 1958)
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Ian B A kind of Loving - also about an 'angry young man'.
Man at the Top - about an ambitious, and not a very nice, young man who sees his life as getting on…more
A kind of Loving - also about an 'angry young man'.
Man at the Top - about an ambitious, and not a very nice, young man who sees his life as getting on, no matter who you tread on!! A really good book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,780 ratings  ·  217 reviews


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Paul Bryant
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
This famous novel has always been hanging round, I’ve been seeing it in the corner of my eye all my life. The world was telling me I HAD to read it because I come from Nottingham and this is the big Nottingham novel, and I grew up working class, I knew people like these characters, and I would have been one of these characters if I hadn’t discovered how to pass exams early on. So I more or less resented this novel – it was too obvious, I didn’t want to read it.

Finally, I read it – see how short
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Vit Babenco
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 ...more
Toby
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
"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 wai
...more
·Karen·
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cphe
Not one of my favourites from the Boxall 1000 list although it is certainly well written. Set in Nottingham in the 50's and early 60's it tells the story of a young factory worker Arthur Seaton.

Unfortunately I didn't like Arthur as a character and found it difficult to empathise with him. I will say though that by the end of the novel you do feel that you've come to know Arthur, his thoughts and take on life intimately.

A bleak novel in some respects.
Jake Goretzki
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
John Anthony
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1958 my edition is the 50th anniversary one. It is set in the years immediately following the second world war, in a working class community which has now largely disappeared. Its central character is Arthur, a 20 year old Lothario who works and plays hard. There's lots to dislike about him: he is a cheat, with a cuckoo's preference for the marital nests of others. But he is a real professional who seduces the reader along with the rest. He should get caught of course?...

I en
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Peter
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
“If you went through life refusing all the bait dangled in front of you, that would be no life at all. No changes would be made and you would have nothing to fight against. Life would be dull as ditchwater.”

This is Alan Sillitoe's first book and probably the most well known. Written in 1958 against the backdrop of the Cold War it tells the tale of the mundane nature of working-class life in a Northern English town, Nottingham, and features an anti-hero Arthur Seaton. Arthur works in a bicycle f
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Jan Ruth
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bleak illustration of late fifties working-class life in Northern Britain.
Arthur Seaton works hard, plays hard, and fights hard. He fights against all authority, sleeps with married women, drinks till he falls down flights of stairs and defies anyone to tell him what to do or how to live. Life revolves around working at the bicycle factory, sex, fighting, and drinking. Until the inevitable happens. Contraception for women didn’t exist and neither did the morning-after pill let alone abortion c
...more
Lichella
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, uni
Alternatively: misogyny, the novel. No, okay, although the main character is a dick, this book read really quickly and I found myself quite enjoying it. Despite the portrayal and treatment of women, that is.
Laura
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, uni, read-in-2018
Not really something I enjoyed reading. I disliked Arthur and the plot line wasn't too spectacular in my opinion
Nicky Neko
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this (very much in certain parts), but maybe not as much as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Good stuff though.
Riley
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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McNatty
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Terri
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
Paul Ataua
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sillitoe really captures the working class in the fifties so well. He really evokes the period and the people of that time. I felt as if I was taken back there, and although I couldn’t like or even emphasize with Arthur, I felt a part of him was in all of us around that time.
Melanie  Hilliard
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it

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
Mandy
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest novels of working class life ever, Alan Sillitoe’s best novel packs as much of a punch today as it did when first published in 1958. It’s the story of young Nottingham factory worker Arthur Seaton, who works hard and plays hard and is determined not to be beaten down by “the system”. But when he gets involved with a married woman his life is complicated in ways he could never have envisaged, and his hedonistic lifestyle is curtailed. It’s a vivid and authentic portrayal of 19 ...more
Darren
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing portrayal of working class life set in Nottingham in the late 1950's, seen from the POV of the iconic Arthur Seaton - the quintessential "Jack-the-Lad", as he negotiates the ups and downs of work, booze, family, friends and most of all women! All written in a marvelously fluid, rolling style, shifting between first-person for Arthur's thoughts (mainly concerning women, but also some fine political rants!) and third-person for action (including a few surprisingly comic set-pieces) and wit ...more
Owain Lewis
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2000s
Wonderful 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.
Kate England-Moore
Jan 26, 2008 rated it liked it
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'.
Zara
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read. It feels like DH Lawrence, just written fifty years later. The main characters should be unlikeable, but unlike Irish Murdoch's narrator in 'Under the Net' who is also a misogynistic self-inflated alcoholic, Arthur's character grew on me. A worthwhile book.
Jared
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Black and Tan swillin' blokes is where it's at! gin-soaked abortions and falling down the stairs at the Publick? Yes, please!
Tash 💛
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Realini
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
10 out of 10


Let me start by strongly recommending that you check The Guardian’s 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read list - https://www.theguardian.com/books/200... - because the Magnus opus by the glorious Alan Sillitoe is just another in a series of masterpieces that the undersigned has read, found on the mentioned compilation, which has included phenomenal works, in a comprehensive manner, with attention given to Australian, British and other write
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Phil Altimas
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
alan sillitoe was one of a group of authors known as the angry young men. this book is about an angry young man, he lives hard , works hard , drinks hard and plays hard
he loves married women as he feels they are a sage bet
he hates the world , but i felt he hated himself more
its a dark and gritty novel
Melissa Symanczyk
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I usually avoid books centered on an unlikable protagonist, and Arthur is a bit of an asshole. Weirdly, though, I still enjoyed the book. :-) It's very much of a specific time and place and it was interesting to read about working class life in a post-war factory town. The Christmas scene in the second part of the book is just so delightfully bonkers. Different and good.
Norman Howe
In working class England, in the 1950s, a young man finally decides to grow up.
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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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Sil...
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