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Alan Sillitoe (1928–2010)

Author of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

87+ Works 3,902 Members 68 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Alan Sillitoe was born on March 4, 1928 and grew up in the slums of the industrial city of Nottingham. He began to write while in the Royal Air Force, stationed in Malaya. He is best known for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958), which won the Author's Club Prize for the best British novel of show more 1958 and The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959), which won Britain's Hawthornden Prize for 1960. Both books were adapted into films in 1960 and 1962 respectively. His other works include The Death of William Posters (1965), Tree on Fire (1967), Travels in Nihilon (1971), and Raw Material (1972). He died on April 25, 2010 at the age of 82. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Monire Childs


Works by Alan Sillitoe

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) — Author — 1,047 copies
The Ragman's Daughter (1963) 72 copies
Out of the Whirlpool (1987) 68 copies
A Start in Life (1970) 65 copies
The Widower's Son (1976) 61 copies
The Storyteller (1977) 52 copies
Travels in Nihilon (1971) 50 copies
Key to the Door (1962) 48 copies
Raw Material (1972) 46 copies
The General (1962) 44 copies
Men, Women and Children (1973) 43 copies
Guzman, Go Home (1968) 40 copies
A Tree on Fire (1967) 33 copies
Birthday (2001) 31 copies
New and Collected Stories (2003) 30 copies
Life Without Armour (1995) 28 copies
The Lost Flying Boat (1983) 28 copies
The Broken Chariot (1998) 27 copies
The Flame of Life (1974) 27 copies
Her Victory (1982) 27 copies
Gadfly in Russia (2007) 24 copies
Alligator Playground (1997) 24 copies
Down from the Hill (1984) 20 copies
Collected Stories (1995) 20 copies
The German Numbers Woman (1999) 20 copies
The Open Door (1989) 20 copies
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner [1962 film] (2007) — Screenwriter — 17 copies
A Man of His Time (2004) 17 copies
A Sillitoe Selection (1968) 16 copies
Snowstop (1993) 15 copies
Life goes on (1985) 15 copies
Road to Volgograd (1964) 14 copies
Moggerhanger (2016) 12 copies
Modern Short Stories 2: 1940-1980 (1982) — Contributor — 12 copies
Last Loves (1990) 8 copies
The Saxon Shore Way (1983) 7 copies
Collected Poems (1993) 7 copies
Counterpoint (1968) 5 copies
Every Day of the Week (1987) 4 copies
The Rats 3 copies
A Flight of Arrows (2003) 3 copies
Mimic [short story] (1977) 3 copies
Storm : new poems (1974) 3 copies
Nottinghamshire (1987) 1 copy

Associated Works

We (1921) — Foreword, some editions — 8,367 copies
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) — Introduction, some editions — 1,592 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 428 copies
Riceyman Steps (1923) — Introduction, some editions — 240 copies
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (1998) — Contributor — 189 copies
Great Modern European Short Stories (1969) — Contributor — 112 copies
Point of Departure (1967) — Contributor — 46 copies
Granta 3: The End of the English Novel (1980) — Contributor — 41 copies
The Lake of the Bees / A Quiet Musician (2003) — Foreword, some editions — 33 copies
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Contributor — 22 copies
Short Stories: The Thoroughly Modern Collection (2008) — Contributor — 5 copies
Modern Short Stories in English (Literature for Life) (1993) — Contributor — 4 copies
Stories of Horror and Suspense: An Anthology (1977) — Contributor — 2 copies
Personal Choice (1977) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Sillitoe, Alan
Date of death
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, UK
Place of death
London, England, UK
Places of residence
Montpellier, France
Kent, England, UK
London, England, UK
factory worker
air traffic control assistant
short-story writer
Fainlight, Ruth (wife)
Royal Air Force
Awards and honors
Honorary Freeman of Nottingham City (2008)
Short biography
[from jacket of We]
Novelist and playwright Alan Sillitoe has produced many celebrated novels and short stories including Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, both of which were written in Spain and became widely acclaimed.



Squalid without being sensationalized. Charming and melancholy. It's hard being a human, but failure isn't as dramatic as all that.

First story is the British cousin of Catcher in the Rye, a bit.

Some of these are very slice of life, which is fine.

I first heard of this from Iron Maiden.
3Oranges | 26 other reviews | Jun 24, 2023 |
In the first, longer, section of the book, Saturday night, Arthur Seaton comes across as rather invincible. Earning a good wage in mindless work in a bicycle factory, making an effort to dress well, carrying out with two married women, drinking too much. In the second part, he's a bit more tentative and open, even if he's still convinced he knows better than anyone. As a novel, I found this book interesting to read, as a character I couldn't really stand Arthur for the most part.
mari_reads | 16 other reviews | May 3, 2023 |
"I'm me and nobody else; and whatever people think I am or say I am, that's what I'm not, because they can't know a bloody thing about me."

It's shortly after the end of World War II; Arthur is a worker at a Nottingham factory, still living at home, biding his time until the weekends. He spends his evenings at the pub, and is having sex with Brenda, the wife of one of his friends at the factory who works the night shift. He chooses married women because he knows they will make no demands on him. As I was reading this, I was struck by how much Arthur reminded me of Michael Caine's Alfie. Of course, the good times can't last forever.

And despite Arthur's perception of "good times," Silitoe does a masterful job of showing us the limitations of the dead end lives of the working class in Great Britain after the war. This was his debut novel (made into a well-regarded movie starring Albert Finley), and we are made to see the disillusionment and lack of opportunities facing the young working class, even if, like Arthur, they don't recognize it themselves. Recommended.

3 1/2 stars
… (more)
arubabookwoman | 16 other reviews | Feb 1, 2023 |
This is the story of a young man who did his Time as a soldier in WWII, and came back home to Nottingham (somewhere around there), living with his mom and stepdad and brother. He works in a bicycle factory, at a lathe, and his life centers around going to the pubs. It kind of reminds me of when I was single, but I didn't get married until I was 34; Arthur only made it to 23. Saturday night is a metaphor for his single, partying days; Sunday morning, he is growing up and beginning to settle down. It sounds boring, and it pretty much pisses you off at the double standard.… (more)
burritapal | 16 other reviews | Oct 23, 2022 |



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