How late it was, how late by James Kelman

Mike’s review

I capitalize prepositions in titles even, so to have to lower case all this one hurts me so deeply, but that’s how it is on the book so I’m going to honor it.


I am so scared of the Scottish dialect.


But it was the style, not the dialect–guess I only have aural problems with non-American English–that was problematic. Stream of conscious where sentences don’t necessarily end with periods, paragraphs don’t necessarily mean ends of sentences and worst of all for how I read: no page breaks!


This guy spends a lot of time thinking about taking naps and it’s somehow at least decently compelling. Enough that I didn’t give up, not so much that I read quickly. In short bursts, like two pages at a time, this was a very good book. To do more than that proved difficult. Weird.


So, plot summary: A Scotsman who isn’t exactly a great person, but isn’t really all that bad and flirts with alcoholism goes blind one day when he’s roughed up by the police. The book follows him in his initial realizations and maybe the first week or so thereafter. Not much really happens exactly, he mostly thinks about going blind and what it means, his life, spends some time at doctors and with the police trying to figure out what to do. That’s about it.


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