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“Edging Back Into Awareness”; How Late it Was, How Late, Form, and the Utopian Demand

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posted on 2017-05-22, 02:16 authored by Dougal McNeill
This is Sammy Samuels, an out-of-work builder’s labourer recovering from a big night, and about to receive a blinding beating from the Glasgow police. How Late is Was, How Late is the record of his journey of survival through the de-industralised and blighted landscape of a Scotland damaged by Thatcherism. Its one of the great novels of the 1990s and, on my first encounter with it, I read Kelman’s style as a sort of bravura recreation of modernist stream-of-consciousness. But, on closer inspection, How Late it Was, How Late reveals itself as having a narrator quite distinct from Sammy himself.


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