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How Late It Was, How Late (1994)
by James Kelman
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039332799X, Paperback)"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 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." From the moment Sammy wakes slumped in a park corner, stiff and sore after a two-day drunk and wearing another man's shoes, James Kelman's Booker Prize-winning novel How Late it Was, How Late loosens a torrent of furious stream-of-consciousness prose that never lets up. Beaten savagely by Glasgow police, the shoplifting ex-con Sammy is hauled off to jail, where he wakes to a world gone black. For the rest of the novel he stumbles around the rainy streets of Glasgow, brandishing a sawed-off mop handle and trying in vain to make sense of the nightmare his life has become. Sammy's girlfriend disappears; the police question him for a crime they won't name; the doctor refuses to admit that he's blind; and his attempts to get disability compensation tangle in Kafkaesque red tape. Gritty, profane, darkly comic, and steeped in both American country music and working class Scottish vernacular, Sammy's is a voice the reader won't soon forget. --Mary Park
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:40:32 -0500)
In Scotland, the portrait of a petty crook who had one run-in with police too many. It is a series of reflections as he sits in jail, contemplating his fate. He had been in trouble before, but this time it's different, the latest brawl with police cost him his eyesight. Now in addition to all his other troubles he is blind.
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