Group Read, August 2019: Kieron Smith, Boy
Join LibraryThing to post.
Our August group read is Kieron Smith, Boy by James Kelman. Please join the group read and post any comments and thoughts on this thread.
Just waiting for my copy to arrive - then I will need to hide away to read it in a oner, if the other book I read by him is anything to go by!
I have my copy and will probably start my read sometime in the second week of August.
I am about 30 pages in. I usually like stories told from a young person's point of view and have read quite a few recently:
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids
Carry Me Down
I'm Not Scared
Almost Transparent Blue
The Butcher Boy
The Wasp Factory
The above titles are all rather short, quick reads. Kieron Smith, Boy weighs in at over 400 pages. I think I will tire of the stream of conscience, heavily accented, story quickly. We shall see.
I think this would make a great choice for an audiobook. I looked around and did not find one...
>6 BentleyMay: I read this back in Dec/Jan and found it slow going. It's not bad and the writing becomes more complex as Kieron grows up. But while I loved some of the descriptions of climbing drain pipes and trees, Kieron sure has an awful lot of boring-boy-thoughts.
My review from 6 years ago echoes much of what you are saying here:
"I grew up near Glasgow in the 1970s, and had friends who lived in the sort of places that Kieron describes, so I should have been able to relate to this story. It was fun to come across many words I hadn't heard in decades (e.g. jook, chib, skite, toty, minging, wasnay, crabbit) and the whole fanatical Protestant (Rangers) v Catholic (Celtic) divide he describes was very much alive when I was at school.
Kelman vividly captures the "stream of consciousness" thoughts of a pre-teen boy. However my problem with the book was that it was too long. 200 pages of plotless, repetitious ramblings of a 12 year-old might have been entertaining, but 422 of them.... . As I might have said at the time "Hod yer wheesht son"! 2.5/5"
I am 75 pages in, it all feels rather familiar at the moment, my mum's family is from Glasgow. Even though this is set earlier than when I lived outside Glasgow as a child, the sectarian violence and knife crime was very much present when I returned to the city as a student. Not sure if I can describe this as a whimsical coming of age story at the moment when you as a reader join the dots the narrator doesn't yet understand.
As BentleyMay said, an audiobook would be great. Not sure yet who would be best: James McAvoy, Robert Carlyle, all depends on how this book continues.
>10 soffitta1: I would love an audio version of this book! I am about 80 pages in and finding it interesting but I am hoping that Kieron's world expands as he grows as I can't quite see staying connected for 400 pages if the viewpoint doesn't widen.
This book is charming but would be better if I were in a slower, more meditative frame of mind.
I found there was some charm, some humor, a lot of truths, but mostly I found that young boys are pretty limited in what they think about so there was a fair amount of boredom as well.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.