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A Disaffection
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Booker Prize for Fiction > 1989 Shortlist: A Disaffection

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message 1: by Ang (new) - added it

Ang | 1685 comments A Disaffection by James Kelman


message 2: by Hugh (last edited May 30, 2018 12:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3649 comments Mod
I expect to finish this tonight - it is an impressively realised book, and its central character Pat is memorable if not very likeable, but perhaps not as impressive as How Late it Was, How Late, and given the strength of this shortlist it is unlikely to finish higher than fifth on my list.


Hugh (bodachliath) | 3649 comments Mod
I ended up docking a star for the weak ending and moving it to the bottom of my rankings - the story just seemed to fizzle out without any resolution, perhaps this is within the spirit of the whole but it made for quite a bleak read, if a memorable one. 3 stars: My review.


message 4: by Val (last edited Jun 01, 2018 04:09AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Val | 1016 comments I gave up part way through this the first time I tried reading it and trying it now for the second time I can see why. I think the reason why How Late it Was, How Late works is that Sammy has plenty of real problems to deal with, as well as the confusion in his head, so he never entirely lost my sympathy and the darkness balances the humour. Patrick's problems are not insurmountable and he keeps saying he is going to sort himself out, if he ever stops whining, ranting and mucking about with lengths of piping, which stopped being funny very quickly and is not dark enough to give the same balance.


Hugh (bodachliath) | 3649 comments Mod
Val - I agree. Patrick does seem to be creating almost all of his problems himself. To some extent, Sammy did that too (neither of them is really a sympathetic hero), but as you say he had more tangible problems. I also found How Late it Was compulsive in a way this book just wasn't.


message 6: by Val (new) - rated it 2 stars

Val | 1016 comments Hugh wrote: "I also found How Late it Was compulsive in a way this book just wasn't."
Exactly.


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