Kieron Smith, Boy MOBI Ð Kieron Smith, Kindle -

Kieron Smith, Boy ❮Epub❯ ➟ Kieron Smith, Boy Author James Kelman – Thomashillier.co.uk I had cousins at sea One was in the Cadets I was wanting to join My maw did not want me to but my da said I could if I wanted, it was a good life and ye saved yer money, except if ye were daft and don I had cousins at sea One was in the Cadets I was wanting to join My maw did not want me to but my da said I could if I wanted, it was a good life and ye saved yer money, except if ye Kieron Smith, Kindle - were daft and done silly things He said it to me I would just have to grow up first James Kelman s triumph in Kieron Smith, Boy is to bring us completely inside the head of a child and remind us what strange and beautiful things happen in there Here is the story of a boyhood in a large industrial city during a time of great social change Kieron grows from age five to early adolescence amid the general trauma of everyday life the death of a beloved grandparent, the move to a new home A whole world is brilliantly realized sectarian football matches ferryboats on the river the unfairness of being a younger brother climbing drainpipes, trees, and roofs dogs, cats, sex, and ghosts This is a powerful, often hilarious, startlingly direct evocation of childhood.


10 thoughts on “Kieron Smith, Boy

  1. Sean Blake Sean Blake says:

    George Orwell once said of Henry Miller s books,He knows all about me, you feel he wrote this specially for meThe exact same can be said for James Kelman Boyhood has never been written so realistically and evocatively Kieron Smith, Boy is an outstanding novel of a young boy s upbringing in urban sectarian Glasgow that just brims with life on every page.


  2. K.D. Absolutely K.D. Absolutely says:

    What goes on inside the mind of a boy from the time he is 5 until 13 years old It could be beautiful, dark, mischievous, hopeful, scary, innocent, imaginative, indifferent, angry, loving, envious, and a lot of other emotions and thoughts James Kelman born 1946 wrote Kieron Smith, boy published 2008 14 years after winning the 1994 Booker Prize for How Late It Was, How Late that became controversial when one of the judges said that Kelman s book was a disgrace upon hearing that it won the aw What goes on inside the mind of a boy from the time he is 5 until 13 years old It could be beautiful, dark, mischievous, hopeful, scary, innocent, imaginative, indifferent, angry, loving, envious, and a lot of other emotions and thoughts James Kelman born 1946 wrote Kieron Smith, boy published 2008 14 years after winning the 1994 Booker Prize for How Late It Was, How Late that became controversial when one of the judges said that Kelman s book was a disgrace upon hearing that it won the award After reading this 422 page book, I have no doubt that Kelman has proven his brilliance and should be given due respect for having written a book as beautiful as this What makes this novel a joy to read is that it is told in first person narrative by a child, Kieron Smiddy Smith, from his tender innocent 5th year until that time that he is at the brink of young adulthood That narrator lives in Glasgow, Scotland and uses Glaswegian speech patterns with words like ye you , yer your , maw mother , da father , fag cigarette , lassie girl , wean child , wee small, Pape Catholic , cannay cannot , isnay is not , etc At first, it was like reading Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange with its own set of words but Kelman was able to gradually phase in those words mostly in the first chapter As the boy is also forbidden to swear by her maw, all the vulgar and curse words are represented mostly by stars except the first and last letters I just don t know how to type sigh those stars here in Goodreads Oh, there are also words that I could not figure out being not to familiar with Glaswegian speech.To answer my question above, these are the things that go on inside the mind of a boy from 5 13 family members Oh, I did not care about them except my Granda , runaway Oh, I go to a place where nobody knows about me , money and things that it can by Oh, when I have a job and a money of my own, I will buy a denim jacket , sports Oh, I want to play but I have a job so I cannot join the tryout , ghosts Maw, maw, maw, ghost ghost and my favorite sex Please, Sandra, please is Kieron s pickup line for a girl to agree to have sex with him.Innocent without going overboard Think of Frank McCourt s Angela s Ashes sans the unbelievable dirt poor life in Ireland This oozes with sincerity and truth It is like being a child again and having a Scottish boy pal like Kieron Smith


  3. Becky Becky says:

    My word I got really, really sick of this book I spent about 6 years of my life living in Scotland, and I love the place What I grew to hate was people using the accent as some kind of substitute for real creativity The music scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow is full of wonderful, talented musicians It s also full of bands that sing in the most overwrought Scottish accents ever to mask their complete lack of creative spark Kelman isn t that bad in this book But the dialect grows old pretty q My word I got really, really sick of this book I spent about 6 years of my life living in Scotland, and I love the place What I grew to hate was people using the accent as some kind of substitute for real creativity The music scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow is full of wonderful, talented musicians It s also full of bands that sing in the most overwrought Scottish accents ever to mask their complete lack of creative spark Kelman isn t that bad in this book But the dialect grows old pretty quickly, it feels a little contrived The whole tale is a rambling memoir of childhood, of the strange importance taken on by having the right school blazer, a employed father and your religious affiliations It s pretty fun at the beginning But the whole thing is just way, way too long By the fourth time Kieron s mused about how to deal with the mongrel dog from Close number 4 and climbing up the ronepipe you re just about ready to cuff him round the ears and tell him to grow up.So it s alrightbut it needed a way better editor Half the length would probably have equalled double the joy Because nothing really happening for over 400 pages is really too slow


  4. Ade Bailey Ade Bailey says:

    This is a narrative told by Kieron Smith growing up to the age of 13 It is like a series of short episodes, and I found I read it slowly But there is a sustained series of threads, implicit and understated, that come together perfectly in the last 20 pages or so The last three pages almost touch on the vertigo that is just hinted at beneath our hold on reality Climbing is a key motif, a liberation and a danger, a precarious skill that develops More than anything I would say it is a great pl This is a narrative told by Kieron Smith growing up to the age of 13 It is like a series of short episodes, and I found I read it slowly But there is a sustained series of threads, implicit and understated, that come together perfectly in the last 20 pages or so The last three pages almost touch on the vertigo that is just hinted at beneath our hold on reality Climbing is a key motif, a liberation and a danger, a precarious skill that develops More than anything I would say it is a great pleasure to read.I d draw attention to the brilliant handling of powerful feelings the sexual, the anxiety of status and most poignantly the experience of loss which feeds into a sad but fully realised sense of love It s interesting too that in this young outline of the man to come are the confusions and fears over Fate, unseen contingencies and a severe, omniscient God, the latter not so much imbued in the young Kieron by the bible classes and lessons he becomes so skilled at avoiding, but in the culture itself.Kelman s understanding and exposition of the unfolding of language and boundaries, the inner and outer, the growth through social and attainment of individual power in other words, culture is exquisitively sharp He does not need narrative tricks or flags of convenience indeed, he often leaves you hanging denied of conventional closure.Stand back and be amazed This is an utterly charming read, delicate and lovely Anyone new to Kelman or a bit wary, start here and work backwards Please


  5. Elizabeth (Alaska) Elizabeth (Alaska) says:

    In the old place the river was not far from our street There was a park and all different things in between The park had a great pond with paddleboats and people sailed model yachts Ye caught fish in it too Ye caught them with poles that had wee nets tied at the end But most people did not have these Ye just caught them with yer hands Ye laid down on yer front close into the edge on the ground Here it sloped sharp into the water, so ye did not go too close Just yer shoulders reached tha In the old place the river was not far from our street There was a park and all different things in between The park had a great pond with paddleboats and people sailed model yachts Ye caught fish in it too Ye caught them with poles that had wee nets tied at the end But most people did not have these Ye just caught them with yer hands Ye laid down on yer front close into the edge on the ground Here it sloped sharp into the water, so ye did not go too close Just yer shoulders reached that bit where the slope started Ye rolled up yer sleeves and put yer hands together and let them go down it Just slow, then touching the water and yer hands going in If ye went too fast, ye went right in up yer arms over yer shoulders Ye only went a wee bit, a wee bit, a wee bit till yer hands were down as far.I was captivated from this beginning The prose lets you hear the Scot accent without so much written dialect to interfere with understanding And then, of course, there is this boy, this wonderful little boy, this wee boy I did not know my husband as a boy, but this lying on yer front close to the edge is who he was I read this passage to him and he said of course He was a tree climber too, just like Kieron I had daughters, thankfully, because I always said I wouldn t know what to do with boys certainly not one like Kieron.Though he was working class, I think nearly all of us can identify with Kieron He was the younger son and it wasn t fair that Matt, his older brother, got things, got to do things, that Kieron did not It wasn t fair that he got punished for things that were no my fault He was going to run away Oh, what kid hasn t said I m going to run away There isn t really much story here Kieron ages in these 400 pages, from I m guessing about 9 to about 12 His life is sketched in front of us, a life that was tougher than most of us have to face One of the criticisms of this is the amount of dirty language There is a lot of it Boys on the rough side of town knowthan we want them to know, and less at the same time I loved this book until about the last 10 pages I m not sure how Kelman could have written a better ending, but I wanted one Still, it was 5 stars all along and I m not going to cut one off for 10 pages


  6. Margie Taylor Margie Taylor says:

    I have come late to James Kelman and have a lot of catching up to do While he was winning the Booker Prize How Late it Was, How Late, 1994 , and being castigated for it, I was working on my own first novel and reading authors on this side of the Atlantic Michael Ondaatje The English Patient Carol Shields The Stone Diaries Margaret Atwood Alias Grace Alice Munro Open Secrets Oh, and Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, still one of the best books on writing to appear in the last 20 years I have come late to James Kelman and have a lot of catching up to do While he was winning the Booker Prize How Late it Was, How Late, 1994 , and being castigated for it, I was working on my own first novel and reading authors on this side of the Atlantic Michael Ondaatje The English Patient Carol Shields The Stone Diaries Margaret Atwood Alias Grace Alice Munro Open Secrets Oh, and Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, still one of the best books on writing to appear in the last 20 years Stephen King s On Writing is a close second but, to me, still a second I did read Irvine Welsh and discovered Ian Rankin through the Inspector Rebus series on ITV, but somehow missed the Glasgow novelist who s been compared to James Joyce and Samuel Becket, and whose work divides the critics like a sharp knife through butter One of the Booker judges denounced How Late it Was as unreadable crap and said the awarding of the prize to Kelman was a disgrace The Times called it literary vandalism Kingsley Amis dismissed it as one of the last and least of the big fuck novels.The London Review of Books, however, has praised him as a radical Modernist writer of exceptional brilliance And the New Zealand born Scottish writer Kirsty Gunn has called him the greatest British writer of our time It s the profanity, among other things, that gets up the noses of certain people, which may be why Kelman, in Kieron Smith, boy, has chosen to use asterisks in place of letters He sprinkles them throughout the narrative in a kind of thumb nosing, up yours manner, giving us c k and f k and c t and f g Some of these, like w g and t r, need a bit of puzzling out, but by the last few chapters Kelman drops the niceties and we get the words in full.Now there, I ve misled you There are no chapters in Kieron Smith, boy There s no plot, either, to speak of Just the somewhat incoherent ramblings of a young boy from a rough working class district of Glasgow Growing up, I think, in the 1950s, but it could be earlier There are no dates, and few references to the outside world although we learn that his family moves from their tenement flat to one of the new housing schemes built on the outskirts of the city after the Second World War.Five years old when the story begins, Kieron is the youngest in a family of four His father s in the merchant navy, and his older brother, Matt, wants nothing to do with him Like most younger children, Kieron believes that life isn t fair His questions go unanswered, his natural curiosity is discouraged At home, his brother is favoured with a proper desk and the window side of the bedroom while Kieron gets nothing but blame and doings from his da an all encompassing term for anything from a slap on the bum to a full on beating To be fair, Matt pays attention in school and studies hard to get ahead, while Kieron skips out to visit his grannie or take a ferry up the Clyde His teachers complain that he doesn t concentrate in class, and he s certainly no stranger to the strap Side note the sheer brutality of some of his instructors brought back memories ofthan one elementary school teacher who ruled the classroom by humiliating his students Are you listening, Mr Dale Kieron s name is a source of angst to some extent He worries that it s a Catholic name, and he s been brought up to hate Papes As a Proddy he has to beware of wandering into Catholic territory, an especial problem in that he lives not far from the Rangers football stadium In sectarian Glasgow, Rangers F.C is a Protestant club while Celtic is Catholic When Celtic fans come to see their team play, the rivalry is played out on the field and off Parts of the neighbourhood are either Catholic or Protestant turning up in the wrong place is asking for trouble.While Kieron has all the prejudices of his class there is much in him to admire He loves his grandparents, especially his grandad, who was a champion boxer when he was young and teaches him how to defend himself without stooping to dirty fighting He pals around with Podgie and Mitch, who are relatively bad apples, but he has a strong moral compass He s not a bully, is kind to animals, and is pretty fearless, standing up for himself against bigger boys, and climbing everything in sight When neighbouring women get locked out of their apartments, it s Kieron who shinnies up the ronepipe roof gutter and gets through the upstairs window.Language is at the heart of the narrative Kieron s mother, in particular, has bought into the idea that speaking well means speaking like an English person, not a Scot Kieron self censors hence the asterisks because he s been brought up to believe that certain words are inherently bad Speaking like a Glaswegian is bad he must learn to speak properly, which means using what we used to call the King s English His mother demands it she remonstrates with her husband, who uses mild profanity at every turn, and encourages her sons to speak nicely The teachers at school reinforce it It was say yes and not aye, down and not doon, am not and no um nay, ye were just to speak nice Kelman, who considers Scotland to be an occupied nation, has written reams on the cultural oppression, or suppression, of language At the Booker awards dinner, a black tie affair which he attended in a business suit and open neck shirt, he gave a spirited defence of his use of the vernacular My culture and my language have the right to exist, and no one has the authority to dismiss that A fine line can exist between litism and racism On matters concerning language and culture, the distance can sometimes cease to exist altogether The characters in Kieron Smith, boy are limited they have limited opportunities, limited futures But the dreams of a child are not limited without any of the trappings of fancy phrasing, Kieron s dreams soar beyond the street litter, the dead end jobs, and the crumbling tenements into the stratosphere of possibility By the time we leave him, teetering on the verge of adolescence, we hope for the best for this boy, who imagines himself climbing yet another ronepipe, losing his grip, and being rescued by the ghost of his grandfather So yer granda would be there, his spirit would come to yer rescue, maybe a breath of wind or a hard blowing wind, to stop ye hitting the ground heid first, ye would land one foot at a time, nice and soft, or else in a big pile of sacks and just get up and walk away Oh that was lucky, and it would be, except if it was him, yer granda


  7. Alan Alan says:

    This book is worth five stars, but the way I read it made it, for me,a four star one That s because i read much of it in twenty minute commutes, and the odd kid battered hour at home It is the kind of book you need to give space and time to, to give in to, it follows a boy s late childhood and early adolescence in Glasgow in the fifties sixties I think, judging by the fashions, there s little else to go by The writing follows Keiron s thought processes which can seem a little tedious This book is worth five stars, but the way I read it made it, for me,a four star one That s because i read much of it in twenty minute commutes, and the odd kid battered hour at home It is the kind of book you need to give space and time to, to give in to, it follows a boy s late childhood and early adolescence in Glasgow in the fifties sixties I think, judging by the fashions, there s little else to go by The writing follows Keiron s thought processes which can seem a little tedious with its repititions and doubling backs, and an incredibly narrow perspective on which to hang 420 pages Some have called this Kelman s most accesible book to date and I can see why because everyone can relate to the child s p.o.v and the indignities and triumphs he suffers enjoys However I think at first I felt I missed the adult s wider frame of reference in books like How Late it Was, How Late That was until Good Friday The kids were out, it was pissing down so I couldn t mow the lawn, and I avoided other tasks by ignoring them and I spent three and a half hours with this book and it was bliss, I finally got inside it, and was Keiron seeing everything through his eyes That was me, in reading bliss, on the sofa Kelman is superb, his rigour and integrity paying off in spades I felt the lad s stomach ache when he fears his n de book has been discovered, the elation of climbing to the tops of trees, higher than anyone else has ever climbed and feeling the tree sway with his weight, the fitting into shifting heirarchies of mates and bullies at school The language is perfect strange reading a Kelman where swear words are asterisked out f k, c t, but even words like b m, and what is h e Oh did ye get yer h e The lad is restricted by his mother who wants to be posh, and his older brother who is studying for exams at the posh school, the brothers share a room and he s not allowed to go in his brother s half All the tiny injustices are beautifully played out inside Keiron s head Although I didn t have the Catholic Protestant problem much of it was similar to my childhood the climbing passed to the front in big football games school lore friendships and bullying nude books first jobs and vicious dogs sex, the first stirring of w nking I wasused to girls, however, having sisters who brought friends home It was painfully, exquisitely accurate Not a word wrong Keiron gradually does let swear words in only right towards the end and this shows him becoming independent a little Kelman is a great writer, and one day I will re read this and give it five stars.Here s a passage from after his granda s death where you can see what I mean I was just going to give the first para below, as it s a beautiful and succinct piece of writing, but that wouldn t be accurate, this book is definitely not about succinctness , but about how the ragged world is explained and defined by a growing boy s mind I thought about my granda, how God took him and not old people ye saw even if it was grannie Petrie Smith and ones that were sick Ye saw an old person and if they were at the train station or walking with a walking stick and they were very old, they were walking and my granda was not, he was just dead or what, passed onto the other side Auntie may said that Oh dad has passed onto the other side Oh it is just Fate, God wills it Matt said it was not our fault, God willed it for granda It was not fair but Fate gave him it Fate deals a blow to ye If God wills it It will be done as it is in Heaven So then it happens The same with Kings and Queens in history, they had their Fate, and the Princes and Princesses if they were rightful Heirs to the throne, and locked up in dungeons or turrets and then dying there, maybe if they went mad or starved to death, the poor little Prince and Princess, it was their Fate, even if they were on the rack, and getting put to death in the Tower of London, it was God willed it, so if it was Mary Queen of Scots and the English took her The Queen of England wanted to to get her and put her out the way because of her throne and if God willed it she was a Protestant and Mary Queen of Scots was not, she was a RC And there was nothing ye could do, even if the people loved her it was just how the Queen s army was all Redcoats, she had the best ones and they would beat anybody in the world, the whole world, it was the English Army and the Navy, they had the best ones and if countries were wanting to fight them if it was Spain and trying to take our lands, if it was England and all our treasures, the Spanish were sending all their Navy to fight us and that was England and ye saw the Spaniards and they were all high faluting with their wee lace handkerchiefs, Oooohh, ooooohhh, that was how they spoke, anybody could beat them, and the men kept wee hankies up their sleeves for their noses and if they were fencing they had the sword in one hand and then the hankie in the other just if they were nancyboy poofs that was what it was like, if they thought they could just walk in and take over and plunder, we would show them England would not bow to them and never surrender, if anybody thought they would, never until the last drop of blood if it was just their Queen or the young Prince they would show them, just a wee country but an island nation, that was England, so ye got Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake then it was Churchill and they were the best Navy England had the best Navy the world had ever seen.


  8. Simon Wood Simon Wood says:

    THE LIFE AND OPINIONS O SMIDDY It s not often I agree with the blurb on a books dust jacket, but after reading James Kelmans Kieron Smith, Boy I feel that I can enthusiastically endorse the claims made that he is the greatest British novelist of our times The hero of the book is one Kieron Smith, younger son of a family who live in the Glasgow presumably of the 1950 s It charts his experiences, conflicts and thoughts as related by him, from the age when he is in the middle years of prim THE LIFE AND OPINIONS O SMIDDY It s not often I agree with the blurb on a books dust jacket, but after reading James Kelmans Kieron Smith, Boy I feel that I can enthusiastically endorse the claims made that he is the greatest British novelist of our times The hero of the book is one Kieron Smith, younger son of a family who live in the Glasgow presumably of the 1950 s It charts his experiences, conflicts and thoughts as related by him, from the age when he is in the middle years of primary school to his early years at secondary.This is an extraordinary performance on Kelmans behalf the reader is thrust into the scuffed shoes of Kieron and will find it difficult to take them off, at least voluntarily The book is utterly absorbing, and as someone who was once a boy himself, though an east coaster rather than a west coaster, and who grew up a few decades later, I found myself constantly back in my own past as well as transfixed by Kierons story The re creation of the young boys mentality that Kelman has put into writing is an awesome artistic achievement.The book is at times melancholy, such as when Kierons granda is enduring his last hospital bound illness, but can often be hilarious such as when Kierons ruminates on religion, principally the differences between Papes and Proddies , a running theme in his mind, and realistically so given the location of his childhood The account of life in inner city Glasgow before moving to an out of town scheme, at school, in the tenement flat, at his gran and grandas, his conflicts with his older brother and parents, and those within Kierons head never once struck this reader as anything less than completely real.Non Glaswegian readers will be grateful to Kierons mammy, whose constant needling of Kierons pronunciation and nagging in the cause of proper English are reflected in Kierons narrative voice Even swear words are asterisked out, at least until Kieron is away to secondary school.A short review cant do justice to such a substantial, compulsively and compelling work of fiction I had thought that Roddy Doyles Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha was the last word in fiction from the point of view of a child, but Kelman has excelled beyond even that high standard in this marvellous novel Well recommended


  9. Claire Claire says:

    James Kelman has an unmistakable writer s voice that I find exhilarating and troubling to read and very very skarrish Having read How Late it was, How Late and You have to be Careful in the land of the free, I was ready for some cursing and some paranoia I thought I had this Kelman guy figured out.But then I meet Kieron Smith, Boy And I see Scotland and Kelman anew, for the narrator is but a wean, a five year old boy, and we grow up together, Kieron and I, and yes, the writing is exhilarati James Kelman has an unmistakable writer s voice that I find exhilarating and troubling to read and very very skarrish Having read How Late it was, How Late and You have to be Careful in the land of the free, I was ready for some cursing and some paranoia I thought I had this Kelman guy figured out.But then I meet Kieron Smith, Boy And I see Scotland and Kelman anew, for the narrator is but a wean, a five year old boy, and we grow up together, Kieron and I, and yes, the writing is exhilarating and troubling and skarrish and paranoiac, but also, earnest and touching and filled with the kinds of rushes that only come from being a small child and climbing the side of a building and the kinds of questions that come from having a pape s name or wanting to join in on the football match that the RCs are having and the kinds of sorrows that come from having an older brother.When I took this promo I heard it compared to Roddy Doyle and I think that s a bit easy because, yes, young boys coming of age but Kelman s voice is still there I won t forget this boy for a while


  10. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    This was an extraordinary book..as the dustjacket says, A masterpiece This book is Kieron s diary, from being just a wee lad through early adolescence in Glasgow probably during the 1950 s At first the book seems off putting because of the language, short choppy sentences, and repetition Through his entries we learn how little money there is, how much is parents favor his older brother, how endeared he is to his grandparents Kieron s family moves in the story, and the adjustment is painf This was an extraordinary book..as the dustjacket says, A masterpiece This book is Kieron s diary, from being just a wee lad through early adolescence in Glasgow probably during the 1950 s At first the book seems off putting because of the language, short choppy sentences, and repetition Through his entries we learn how little money there is, how much is parents favor his older brother, how endeared he is to his grandparents Kieron s family moves in the story, and the adjustment is painful His strengths prevail as each day unfolds, he literally climbs to surprising heights Kieron is not impressed by the posh people he finds in his life, and seeks out mates who will support him and back him in the places where he wants to be Truly, the reader enters Kieron s consciousness through this book


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