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A superb creation of love, life and class in the post-war world. When Herbert Thurgarton-Strang was seven, his parents - as loving, as doting as any parents of their generation - took him away from India and left him in a boarding school in England which had everything to recommend it except pity. Through the stifling, alarming years which follow, Herbert is held together by the notion of revenge on those loving parents, and by the knowledge that, over there, a new world beckons. And when he's seventeen, he steals away from school, steals away from Herbert, becomes a different boy; becomes, in Nottingham, Bert the lathe-worker, Bert the womaniser, Bert the soldier, Bert the sometime bruiser. Plunged into the louche life, he bobs like a cork, but eventually Bert/Herbert does lay his demons to rest.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780006493051
ISBN-10: 000649305X
Format: Paperback
(129mm x 198mm x 16mm)
Pages: 306
Imprint: Flamingo
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 4-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » When Herbert Thargastan-Strong is seven years old, his doting parents move him from India to a heartless English prep school. For this cruelty he swears revenge and at 17 runs away from school and takes a new name, accent and lifestyle. He becomes Bert Gedler, a factory worker in Nottingham, until war breaks out and he enlists in the army. By now Herbert's father is a brigadier general and Bert is a hard-drinking, womanizing, ordinary soldier. Sillitoe takes a cool look at class, life and love in pre-1960s Britain and, as his hero resolves his split personality problem by becoming a novelist, he casts a sightly disparaging eye over the publishing business as well. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Alan Sillitoe

Alan Sillitoe was born in 1928 and left school at fourteen to work in various factories before becoming an air traffic control assistant with the Ministry of Aircraft Production in 1945. He began writing after four years in the RAF. His novels Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner are both classics.

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