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review 2016-04-19 05:14
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning - Alan Sillitoe

Modern readers may probably readily associate Alan Sillitoe’s 1958 novel with the 1960 film starring Albert Finney. Interestingly, both novel and film are notable contributions to British literature and film. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is categorized as being part of the Angry Young Men movement of the 1950s-early 1960s; the movement which also spilled into filmmaking with the British New Wave—those black and white “mod” films filled with real locations and real people, in essence challenging how traditional studio films were made. Sillitoe’s novel also plays with tradition, challenging social conventions—the idea of settling down through marriage, the dedicated respect felt towards one’s work, duties and obligations—in favor of a carefree, unattached lifestyle.

 

Open Road Media’s edition of the novel ends with an Afterword by Sillitoe’s wife, who states that her husband did not care for the”angry young men” label to his novel. By taking the literal meaning of the phrase, Sillitoe’s reluctance for the label is understandable. The novel’s main character, Arthur, is the antithesis of someone who is driven by anger. Arthur embodies a kind of naive, childlike innocence. He is someone who is immediately drawn to any experience that would maximize his pleasure and happiness. He enjoys fun and play, and it’s through this enjoyment that he’s willing to test boundaries to see how far he can go without exacting any negative consequences back onto himself. 

 

There is no formally expressed anger towards the established order. Any anger incurred is the result of having been caught or “burned” from his various tests; and even then, these moments are fleeting, easily pushed aside in favor of a new challenge that would reap a more beneficial reward. 

 

This is a highly fun and amusing read. Sillitoe was clever in this method of storytelling, since it sets up the reader to easily forgive the main character’s many foibles and predilections for trouble. Part of Arthur’s charm stems from his audacious, unapologetic behavior. It’s frankly amazing how he gets away with the things he does. It is likewise astonishing to see how readily he rights himself once he faces a fall from grace. 

 

The novel’s lighthearted tone also allows Sillitoe to address some weighty and potentially controversial subjects from abortion to unsanctioned leaves from military service. Sillitoe masterfully navigates his way through these subjects, careful not to portray them in a way that would immediately condone the offense. Punishments are served, though they are cleverly presented in a way that does arguably play with convention. Also remember, Arthur is largely unchastened throughout the novel. 

 

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a novel that should not be missed. As a side note, the film adaptation perfectly complements the novel, since the screenplay was adapted by Sillitoe himself. Albert Finney’s portrayal of Arthur wonderfully suits the character; it’s a great pairing.

 

Copy provided by NetGalley

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quote 2015-05-29 08:57
"We're all fools, all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact that we're not perfect and live accordingly."
The Stories of Ray Bradbury - Ray Bradbury,Christopher Buckley

Clemens, No Particular Night or Morning by Ray Bradbury

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review 2014-03-12 03:05
Jellybeans Morning, Noon and Night
Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night - Maggie Pajak,Marni Backer,Noelle Skodzinski,Marni Deilmer A truly scrumptious book with a thought that will delight jellybean lovers. Two brothers have a creative idea on how they can bring mom around to the idea of having jellybeans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The art in the book is stunning. Made with colors not just for around Easter when jellybeans are most popular but designed for everyday story. These two little boys come up with a smart idea for their mom to let them eat jellybeans. The Mother of course says “ If I don’t eat jellybeans, morning, noon and night then neither do the boys.” Is so cute how determined those boys are.
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review 2014-02-06 19:39
An oustanding collection from a master. One of the best collections I've ever read.
The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury

It's been quite the journey with Mr. Bradbury and his amazing collection of short stories, The Illustrated Man. It's been a while since a collection has roped me in like this. It was bittersweet to finally finish it, but at the same time I was excited to reach the ending--if that makes any sense.

 

These stories are pleasantly odd, haunting, somber, and even darkly funny at times. Bradbury makes no secret of condemning certain technological advances, but he does it brilliantly through his stories (two that immediately come to mind are "The Veldt" and "The Concrete Mixer"). And it never comes off as preachy. Bradbury uses that anger and fear to construct brilliant pieces of fiction. In the end, that's what writing's all about.

 

There isn't a stinker in the bunch. Even though I have my favorites, every single story was good. Not once did I find myself wanting to skip around here and there. Every story felt like they belonged in this collection. And in this exact order. I loved the prologue and epilogue, which ties it all together in the end. Yet every one of these stories is good on its own.

 

A few days ago I listed my current favorite stories from the collection, even though I had a few more to go. I've added a few more to the list. Again, just because I don't list a story by no means does it mean I didn't like it. I loved all of them. But these are the ones that stuck with me the most, and will continue to stick with me:

The Veldt

The Other Foot

The Rocket Man

No Particular Night or Morning

The Fox and the Forest

The Visitor

The Concrete Mixer

Marionettes, Inc.

Zero Hour

The Rocket

The Illustrated Man

 

This is an outstanding collection. One of the very best I've ever read. Even though I was always familiar with Bradbury and a few of his stories ("A Sound of Thunder" was my first introduction to him), this was the first time I sat down and really read him. I'm glad I did. He was one of the best storytellers out there, and The Illustrated Man is proof of that. This is a collection I'll revisit again and again.

 

5 stars
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text 2014-01-17 13:52
Reading progress update: I've read 149 out of 275 pages.
The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury

Finished the story, No Particular Night or Morning. Another winner. I think I'm just going to have to create a list that dedicated to Ray Bradbury stories, because right now he is totally dominating my list of favorite short stories that I have to keep revising... not that I would call that a terrible problem or anything!

 

Seriously... if you love short stories, you NEED this book. I'm a little more than halfway through it, and right now it's gearing up to be my all-time favorite short story collection.

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