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How Late It Was, How Late

(1994)
A novel by

 
Awards
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel
"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



Winner of the 1994 Booker Prize, this witty, controversial, and brilliant bestselling novel has been compared to the works of Joyce, Beckett, and many other masters.

A raw, wry vision of human survival in a bureaucratic world, How Late It Was, How Late opens one Sunday morning in Glasgow, Scotland, as Sammy, an ex-convict with a penchant for shoplifting, awakens in a lane and tries to remember the two-day drinking binge that landed him there.&#160;&#160;Then, things only get worse.&#160;&#160;Sammy gets in a fight with some soldiers, lands in jail, and discovers that he is completely blind.&#160;&#160;His girlfriend disappears, the police probe him endlessly, and his stab at Disability Compensation embroils him in the Kafkaesque red tape of the welfare system.

A masterpiece of black humor, subtle political parody, and Scottish lower-class vernacular How Late It Was, How Late is a classic-to-be from one of today's most talented novelists.

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Used availability for James Kelman's How Late It Was, How Late


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

March 1994 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: How Late it Was, How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-436-23292-8 / 978-0-436-23292-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2009 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late It Was How Late (Vintage Booker)
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-09-954627-2 / 978-0-09-954627-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 2005 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late It Was, How Late: A Novel
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-393-32799-X / 978-0-393-32799-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 1995 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late It Was How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-7493-9883-3 / 978-0-433-39397-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 1996 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late It Was, How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-385-31560-0 / 978-0-385-31560-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Delta
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

December 1994 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late It Was, How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-393-03817-3 / 978-0-393-03817-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 1994 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late it Was, How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-7493-9535-4 / 978-0-7493-9535-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

1994 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: How Late it Was, How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
ISBN: 0-436-20338-3 / 978-0-436-20338-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Secker & Warburg
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

September 2012 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: How Late It Was How Late
Author(s): James Kelman
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


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