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If It Is Your Life
by James Kelman


Overview - A collection of short stories by the Booker Prize-winning Scottish master
Giving voice to the dispossessed and crafting stories of lives held in the balance, James Kelman reaches us all. Penetrating deeply into the hearts, minds, and desperation of characters who find themselves in everyday situations--in the hospital, at a bus stop, in a living room with the endless roar of the vacuum cleaner and a distant wife--Kelman follows their streams of consciousness and brings their worries to life.
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More About If It Is Your Life by James Kelman
 
 
 
Overview
A collection of short stories by the Booker Prize-winning Scottish master
Giving voice to the dispossessed and crafting stories of lives held in the balance, James Kelman reaches us all. Penetrating deeply into the hearts, minds, and desperation of characters who find themselves in everyday situations--in the hospital, at a bus stop, in a living room with the endless roar of the vacuum cleaner and a distant wife--Kelman follows their streams of consciousness and brings their worries to life. With honesty and dark humor, he confronts the issues of language, class, politics, gender, and age--identity in all its forms.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781590516225
  • ISBN-10: 1590516222
  • Publisher: Other Press (NY)
  • Publish Date: July 2014
  • Page Count: 280


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > General
Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-08-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

The latest collection from Booker Prize-winning Kelman (How Late It Was, How Late) is a scruffy volume of 19 stories, told in the author's trademark stream-of-consciousness, first-person style. Narratives zigzag throughout—protagonists ramble and travel the earth—yet only a handful of tales genuinely thrill. The title story, while somewhat charming, ruminates far too long on the neurosis of a college student (mostly concerning classism and sex) as he rides a bus to his hometown, and this lingering squashes any goodwill by the narrative's climax. Much better is the trifecta of "A Sour Mystery," "Man to Man," and "The Gate." In "A Sour Mystery," the adult male protagonist nervously walks with an ex-lover to a local bar. "Man to Man" finds a tavern patron ruminating on the idea of cowardice, to powerful effect. And in "The Gate," a grandfather buys a used bicycle for his grandson, only to get lost as he carries the contraption home. Men of a similar age also inhabit "The Third Man, or else the Fourth," a story wound around a group of older gents as they sit around a makeshift fire and discuss local news while waiting for a horserace. Though uneven, Kelman's collection is versatile. (July)

 
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