An outrageously funny novel of adventure, sex, corruption, and crime from one of the greatest British authors of the twentieth century.
Michael Cullen is proud to be a bastard. His first memories are of the war, when his mother welcomed every soldier in Britain into her house, and young Michael hid beneath her bed to let the rocking of the springs lull him to sleep. By the time he’s eighteen, he’s got a pregnant girlfriend, and is staring down a long life of working-class respectability that simply makes him sick. So Michael says goodbye to his girlfriend and his home in Nottingham, and hits the road for London, where he will make his fortune—or die trying.
From the nightclubs of Soho to the depths of London’s underworld, Michael can’t help but get into trouble. But whether he’s chauffeuring a vicious gangster or smuggling gold bullion across the channel, he never stops having a wonderful time. Indeed, Michael is something else entirely: a happy bastard with nothing to lose.
A rollicking picaresque novel by the legendary author of such classics of kitchen sink realism as The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Start in Life is one of the funniest British novels of the twentieth century.
A Start in Life is the 1st book in the Michael Cullen Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
“A Start in Life is, for my money, the best novel that Sillitoe has yet written.” —New Statesman
“The kind of hilarious nonsense that keeps you riveted to deck-chair or arm-chair, depending on the season.” —The Daily Telegraph
Praise for Alan Sillitoe
“The master of British verbal architecture.” —Rolling Stone
Alan Sillitoe (1928–2010) was a British novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright, known for his honest, humorous, and acerbic accounts of working-class life. Sillitoe served four years in the Royal Air Force and lived for six years in France and Spain, before returning to England. His first novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, was published in 1958 and was followed by a collection of short stories, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, which won the Hawthornden Prize for Literature. With over fifty volumes to his name, Sillitoe was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997.