This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse

Billy Liar (1959)

by Keith Waterhouse

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Billy Liar (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4871130,237 (3.88)69
  1. 10
    Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (chrisharpe)
  2. 00
    Great Short Stories by American Women by Candace Ward (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Interesting to compare Billy with Paul in "The Case of Paul" by Willa Cather.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 69 mentions

English (10)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This was a very entertaining and interesting book. The lesson learned from this book is: You can tell all the lies you want but in the end, you are only deceiving yourself. It is a cynical portrait of society but you can't but help like the well-developed characters in Billy Liar. Read this book for a very entertaining read. ( )
1 vote EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
This is actually one of the few times when I preferred the movie to the book. Tom Courtenay brings such a fragility to the otherwise unlikeable character of Billy Fisher that I couldn't help but like him. But in the book he's just a self-sabotaging, solipsistic twit. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments in this book as Billy tries to avoid the giant web of lies he's created in all parts of his life. But these were subordinate to the character's essential loathsomeness.

I also think the music-hall patter--it's the main way that Billy communicates with other members of his generation--has not aged well. It's hard for a modern reader to see why such banter would be witty, funny, or subversive in any way. However, Waterhouse's evocative descriptions of a changing Britain are really interesting and spot-on (that is, if Dominic Sandbrook's monumental history of the era, Never Had It So Good, is accurate). Worth reading if not particularly memorable. ( )
1 vote sansmerci | Mar 13, 2013 |
A day in the life of Billy Fisher, serial fantasist and all round loser. Engaged to two of the wrong girls, his workplace sins and emotional failures catch him up on a day that might have seen him escape to something different - but ends up with him back at home, doubtless doing his best next day to dodge the music again. Waterhouse writes of small town Yorkshire life before the Beatles first LP changed everything - an evocative world of dancehalls and narrow streets, that was quickly changing into something different.
1 vote otterley | Aug 21, 2011 |
N ( )
  WenonaSchool | Sep 15, 2010 |
Keith Waterhouse has just died and with his passing there is a loss to the English language. Billy Liar made me laugh a lot when I first read it. ( )
1 vote jon1lambert | Sep 8, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Keith Waterhouseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Lying in bed, I abandoned the facts again and was back in Ambrosia.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

To Billy Fisher, Stradhoughton is one long subtopian cliche - a bad Yorkshire joke. The dimmer his surroundings, the more fantastic are his compensatory day-dreams.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.88)
1 1
2 2
2.5 1
3 22
3.5 10
4 31
4.5 6
5 21

Valancourt Books

An edition of this book was published by Valancourt Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,932,944 books! | Top bar: Always visible