Swing Hammer Swing

[KINDLE] ✿ Swing Hammer Swing Author Jeff Torrington – E17streets4all.co.uk An energetic irreverent and very funny New York Times Book Review first novel set in Glasgow during a single week in the late sixties Publishers Weekly in a starred review called it a rich Scotch brot An energetic irreverent and very funny New York Times Book Review first novel set in Glasgow Swing Hammer ePUB Æ during a single week in the late sixties Publishers Weekly in a starred review called it a rich Scotch broth of language steaming with metaphorand pungent dialect Winner of Britain's Whitbread Book of the Year Award.Swing Hammer Swing

Jeff Torrington was a novelist from Glasgow in ScotlandHis novels draw on the changing face of Swing Hammer ePUB Æ modern Scotland Swing Hammer Swing was set during the demolition of the old Gorbals It took years to write The Devil's Carousel drew on the decline of a fictionalised version of the RootesChrysler car plant at Linwood Torrington worked there for eight years before the plant's clos.

Swing Hammer Swing ePUB ✓ Swing Hammer  ePUB Æ
  • Paperback
  • 416 pages
  • Swing Hammer Swing
  • Jeff Torrington
  • English
  • 09 January 2016
  • 9780156001977

10 thoughts on “Swing Hammer Swing

  1. says:

    Oh the brogue Now lads and lassies I don’a mind a bit a brogue but wha’s a bloke from the States supos’ ta mak’a dis? “Maggie god rest’re never had tae hinge her back tae mend oor fire – bunker aye full tae the gunnels so it was” Or this “Cauld enough tae make a polar bear greet; snaw never aff the grun” Ok so you have to work at it It’s a bit of a chore because ALL the dialog is like that Sometimes despite trying I still can’t get uite get it like “The shop’s owner a crabbit wee nyaff” Or “Just two points short of a back’n front in wan of the good bits up by” Sometimes a proper noun is used and you don’t know if it refers to a person a town or a bar The novel is set in the late 1960’s in Gorbals the worst slum in Glasgow Urban renewalslum clearance is going on thus the title and only a few buildings mostly flats and bars remain standing The main character lives in one of these walk up flats on the list for demolition – cold water coal stove a communal toilet shared by 14 people If you look at pictures at this web site it’s hard to believe that people lived in these conditions in Europe at that timehttpflashbakcompowerful photos oAll the action takes place in about a week while the main character’s wife is in the hospital awaiting a difficult delivery of their first child The main character is a 20 ish man aspiring to be a writer repeatedly sending out to publishers the same hard copy of his novel coffee cup rings and all because he has pawned his typewriter He works part time as a projectionist in a decaying theater but mostly he’s on the dole; his wife begging him to get a real job now that the baby is due On his daily visits to his wife in the hospital she nags him about let’s see I’ve got that list here somewhere hair long dirty shoes military boots stink clothes military jacket drinking heavy breath smoke booze job no real money ? Needless to say her family hates him There really isn’t any plot to speak of Mostly he wanders from bar to bar smoking drinking his pints shooting the bull putting money on the horses and dodging bill collectors He takes advantage of his wife’s absence to get some action on the side Besides the brogue the unusual imaginative language is tremendous – a work of art It’s filled with humor and irony Some passages I liked “It was the kind of place you’d only visit if your plane crash landed there”“The writings of a lunatic they looked like bent and twisted words like an orchard through which a hurricane was racing scattering the fruit of meaning”“a beefy guy with a mane of white hair which was so intricately piled on his head that it seemed a stray thought might cause it to avalanche” “Too many books too few answers”“My jawbones crackled lightly as the yawn tautened them”Imaginative to the point where it’s sometimes overdone but you still have to admire it “that magnificient blonde edifice on her head It looked like the work of a topiarist though doubtless it’d been created by her own bare hands a blowgun a gallon of hair lacuer a few hundred hairpins clasps and side combs With its French combed flying buttresses curlicues intricately coiled donjons and barbicans it apart from being a hairstyle might also ualify as a listed building”“About as comforting as would be the sight of a burning petrol station to a roadweary driver riding a tankful of echoes was the view ahead of me” The novel won the Whitbread Book of the Year in 1992 The author was a factory worker who published it as his first book at age 57 30 years after he started it I give it a 5 for imagination and 4 for story but I have to settle on a 3 for the difficulties with the language Still highly recommended if you’re game Photos from the flashbakcom website

  2. says:

    Swing Hammer Swing starts with a kick and goes with a swingSomething really weird was happening in the Gorbals – from the battered hulk of the Planet Cinema in Scobie Street a deepsea diver was emerging He hesitated bamboozled maybe by the shimmering fathoms of light the towering rockfaces of the snowcoraled tenements After a few moments the diver allowed the vestibule door to swing closed behind him then taking small steps he came out onto the pavement which in the area sheltered by the sagging canopy bore only a thin felting of snowWhile the slums are waiting for demolition their piebald dwellers live adventurous and miserable lives no less exotic than those of ia natives Everything is complicated and interconnected stories within storiesWhen Nelly Kemp was a sprightly lass of no than sixty years of age she kept a caged parrot on the counter of her fag’n paper shop in Scobie Street The parrot was called Jacob a right vicious auld bugger with a beak on’m that could’ve snapped truck axles Since such an opportunity never came his way he contented himself with snapping at the customers – in German strangely enough although to earn his corn he’d throw in the odd English phrase like ‘No tick here chum Hullo Sailor How’s your bum for spots? Thanks for coming – come again ’ What exactly Jacob was saying in German remains unknown but the Scabby legend has it that one day Solly Singer – the last Jew in Scobie Street – on hearing the bird’s Teutonic prattling clapped his hands to his ears and fled the shop never to be seen on the premises againTales within tales The narrator prefers to live dangerously Misadventures within misadventures is his style of lifeHe’d my number all right There were hamsters that’d a better lifestyle than I had I was a walking zero a complete zilch with loser written all over me It was criminal the energy I was willing to expend in order to avoid working for a livingBut he has a clear purpose in life And all these mishaps are just a fuel for his literary engine And all these bizarre happenings are water to a reader’s mill

  3. says:

    I saw this book when the Sunday Times did whole page on The Winner of the Whitbread Prize for first novel £32000 hell of lot now but in 1992 for a older man in his 70s was blood wonderThis very funny book even now after 25 ys I can still remember bits of it including bit about a frying pan a dead budgie

  4. says:

    I must admit I hated this at firstit reminded me of James Joyce; a bit too witty and temperamental for my taste However; like Joyce the metaphors and little witty uips and smart ass remarks along the way caught me up in the meatier parts of the writing I honestly enjoy reading this novel and just wish that the author had to offer after this publication I really was astonished to discover that the author was actually middle aged in the actual 1960s and not a 30 year old in the early 2000s I really have a craving for this novel sometimes It's like pancakesthat's the best way to describe it

  5. says:

    yeh great Scottish novel 30 years in the making of one week in the life of a Glaswegian drunk who visits his pregnant wife in hospital between visits to pubs and to friends Set in the 60s as the Gorbals are demolished it is funny and energetic and full of fantastic word play A rich and absorbing read heavy with Scottish dialect found some notes in my 1995 notebooka kind of Glaswegian Ulysses with Cyclops the cat the 3 sirens coming out of flats his wife like Molly confined to bed although here a week not a day she's having a baby in hospital fags and pubs and beer and darts The Dab four Talky Sloan the Marxist ranter given short shrift here

  6. says:

    Torrington's tome reminded me of something right out of the Beat era A Glaswegian from the Gorbals district is letting the end of the 60s pass him by as the neighborhood is slowly dying Savoring his pubs his friends at the local movie house and despising his in laws and indifferent to his wife who is waiting for their child to be born at the local hospital the hero of the story is getting by one day at a time This was finally the book that I was looking for a look at the culture and lives of the people that call Glasgow home and there were many examples of the city life that went away when the government moved the citizens out of this inner city neighborhood south of the River Clyde to outlying districts that our protagonist does not want to move For anyone that likes reading the Beats this should feel at home

  7. says:

    yesterday I scratched ma arse Today I didnaeBrilliant book

  8. says:

    Set in 1960's Gorbals this is a week in the life of Thomas Clay who has taken a year's sabbatical with a bad back to write his first bookThe Gorbals is in transition the slums in which Thomas lives are being demolished and the high rise flats are being bulitIn the course of the week Thomas gets drunk than once visits his pregnant wife in hospital committs adultary is harangued by his in laws stands up to a childhood bully is almost killed by hard line Protestants witnesses a murder and much This was Jeff Torrington's only novel and though set by my calculation in 1968 Beatles Yellow Submarine Apollo space program etc it apparently took thirty years to write and this occasionally shows in some of the dialogue which have I think later references This small matter apart I found this a thoroughly entertaining book readers South of the border may struggle occaisionmally but should go with the flow

  9. says:

    A great book and an arch example of what you can do through the power of creative writing classes whilst on the broo Some of the scenes are hilarious Glasgow classics like the night at the 'arty' in the Possil

  10. says:

    A blurb on the back says this novel is somewhere in that hinterland where Damon Runyon meets James Joyce I think I might throw in a little JP Donleavy as well When I read a Glasgow author it always takes me a while to get into the rhythm and dialect but I am always rewarded for sticking with it There's plenty of humor and pathos as Tam stumbles through the week before Christmas just trying not to fall under the hammer like the rest of his Glasgow slum You notice there's no plot? The author will address that issue in character during the story

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