Alan Sillitoe A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)


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Inhaltsangabe zu „A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)“ von Alan Sillitoe

An outrageously funny novel of adventure, sex, corruption, and crime from one of the greatest British authors of the twentieth century. Michael Cullen is proud to be a bastard. His first memories are of the war, when his mother welcomed every soldier in Britain into her house, and young Michael hid beneath her bed to let the rocking of the springs lull him to sleep. By the time he’s eighteen, he’s got a pregnant girlfriend, and is staring down a long life of working-class respectability that simply makes him sick. So Michael says goodbye to his girlfriend and his home in Nottingham, and hits the road for London, where he will make his fortune—or die trying.   From the nightclubs of Soho to the depths of London’s underworld, Michael can’t help but get into trouble. But whether he’s chauffeuring a vicious gangster or smuggling gold bullion across the channel, he never stops having a wonderful time. Indeed, Michael is something else entirely: a happy bastard with nothing to lose.   A rollicking picaresque novel by the legendary author of such classics of kitchen sink realism as The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Start in Life is one of the funniest British novels of the twentieth century.   A Start in Life is the 1st book in the Michael Cullen Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order. “A Start in Life is, for my money, the best novel that Sillitoe has yet written.” —New Statesman   “The kind of hilarious nonsense that keeps you riveted to deck-chair or arm-chair, depending on the season.” —The Daily Telegraph   Praise for Alan Sillitoe “The master of British verbal architecture.” —Rolling Stone Alan Sillitoe (1928–2010) was a British novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright, known for his honest, humorous, and acerbic accounts of working-class life. Sillitoe served four years in the Royal Air Force and lived for six years in France and Spain, before returning to England. His first novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, was published in 1958 and was followed by a collection of short stories, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, which won the Hawthornden Prize for Literature. With over fifty volumes to his name, Sillitoe was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997.  
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  • Alan Sillitoe - A Start in Life

    A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)


    13. August 2016 um 12:18

    Michael Cullen has to grow up without a father. Already as a young boy he decides to have a better life. Since he always liked reading and as he can show good manners, he is not one to work in a factory and soon he gets his chances in a real estate office. But when he betrays his boss and his girlfriend gets pregnant, he flees his Nottingham working-class background and sets out for London and a better future. On his way, he meets Bill with whom he will be linked over the next years when Michael has times of ups and downs, gets better jobs and worse ones. Since he has nothing to lose, he is not too concerned about other people or his own fate. He is still young, just about to start in life.Sillitoe’s novel is not a typical coming-of-age novel since Michael is too old for that, but nevertheless I’d classify it as one. The young man not knowing exactly where belongs too – especially since he never got to know his father – only sure of the fact that there must be a better life waiting for him. Blessed with intelligence and charm, he can make use of what he was given and manages to escape the most critical situations. At the same time, it’s a novel of escaping or leaving behind the working-class. Michael is not proud of his background, he despises the working-class and never fits in when he has to do jobs like them. One could feel sympathy for him, for his ambition and the hard work he is ready to do – but Michael Cullen is just a bastard, too reckless and egoistic to be loved by the reader and that he falls into the traps he set up himself, leaves you with a bit of schadenfreude. 

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