Winner of the 1976 Booker Prize
David Storey's Booker Prize winner Saville (1976)called 'the best of all the Bookers' by a leading British criticreturns to print in the United States for the first time in decades in this new edition, which includes a new foreword by the author and the original dust jacket art by Tom Adams. Acclaimed in both England and America as one of the leading authors of his generation, Storey won numerous major awards for his works during the 1960s and '70s, but his works have fallen into neglect in the United States in recent years. Valancourt Books has also republished Storey's Radcliffe and Pasmore, with the aim of enabling American readers to rediscover this important and immensely talented author.
'This is the story of Colin Saville, a miner's son, and his growth from the 1930s on, his rise in the world by way of grammar school and college. At first there is triumph in this, not least for the father who had spurred him on, but later "alienated from his class, and with nowhere yet to go" Colin finds himself spiritually destitute, bitter, still held against his will in the place that made him…A feast of a book…it engenders remarkable tension because this self-effacing author, before removing himself from the book, seems to enter organically into his characters, writing from the gut of their experience.'Sunday Telegraph
'Reading this magnificent book is like drinking pure spring water from cupped hands. It has no false notes, no heaviness of emphasis, no editorial manipulations of plot to prove a point. One becomes so totally involved in the lives of these people that their every word and action becomes charged with meaning…Reminiscent of a nineteenth-century classic.'Jeremy Brooks, Sunday Times
'Mesmerically readable, Saville is a revelation. It is alive with light and air and a kind of perpetual motion.'Michael Ratcliffe, The Times
'Again and again I found myself paying Storey the reader's finest compliment of saying, "This is the way it has to be, because this is the way it really is." If you are looking for an intellectual and artistic honesty, a patient thoughtfulness and detailed insight into other lives, a controlled drama of ordinary and extraordinary people, this novel will delight and move you.'C.J. Driver, The Guardian
'Saville is not one word too long. It was worth the ten years it took to write for the result of this industry is a clarity of style and a purity of design. An epic narrative, crowded, naturalistic and riveting.'Valerie Jenkins, Evening Standard
'Not once during its 506 pages did the familiar man with the stop-watch intervene to challenge my total immersion in the life of Colin Saville.'David Caute, New Statesman
'This minutely focused novel of childhood and growth is David Storey's most ambitious book so far. His previous novels seem in retrospect to be mere ranging shots or flanking attacks: this is the assault on the stronghold…a major achievement.'Eric Korn, Times Literary Supplement
'No one has written of this classic dilemma with such detail and penetration as we find in Saville, nor has any previous novel so totally described a working-class family in transition during the real revolution of the forties and fifties.'Ronald Blythe, The Listener
'A marvellous evocation of place and character…this is a book made more than usually remarkable by its intensity of feeling.'Daily Telegraph
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About the Author
David Storey’s nine previous novels have won many literary prizes, including the Macmillan Fiction Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Faber Memorial Prize and, in 1976, the Booker Prize for Saville. He is also the author of fifteen plays.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book reads like a student's report of "What I did on my Summer Vacation": a chronology of events told in a factual style with absolutely no drama whatsoever. The student essay has a distinct advantage: it's short. Saville, on the other hand, is a 500-page tome that plods through the life of Colin Saville. The story opens with his parents moving into a squalid home in a Yorkshire mining village. They soon have a child -- Colin's older brother, Andrew, who died before Colin was born. And then Colin comes into the world, grows up, and is awarded a scholarship to go to a decent grammar school. He has various friends, some from his village and others from his school. He works summer jobs. He decides to attend a 2-year college instead of university. He meets various young ladies. He tries hard to overcome his humble origins.And I'm sorry, but it's all dreadfully dull. There's not a single moment of suspense, tension, or emotion. There were several occasions where I thought a subplot might actually be going somewhere: perhaps a character would turn out to be evil, or some tragedy would befall the Saville family. But no -- even Andrew's death was treated matter-of-factly, and was not mentioned again until Colin was about 20 years old. When he told his girlfriend that his brother's death had a profound impact on his life, all I could say was, "huh?" I'm not sure how I finished it, and I confess to skimming the last 100 pages.This book suffered significantly from an overdone theme ("dreary English mining village"), coupled with a semi-autobiographical story that was definitely of more interest to the author than it would be to anyone else.