"A compelling read"
Once I started this book I couldn't stop. The story is that compelling. This is about one
day in the life of Kevin, a car mechanic. The day is Saturday and he wakes up with a hangover
and in the evening goes to the pub and gets drunk. In-between he meets a girl, Helen, and
goes for a walk with her. He fancies her, even though she is a little above his class.
Okay, so why is the story compelling? Because it is peppered with flashbacks: some anecdotal,
some violent, many sexual. And if that is not enough there are a dozen or so poems in the book. (Britta K.)
"You won't be disappointed"
This book is everything the author claims it to be. It is sexy, violent, poetic, etc. I must
admit to being sceptical when I first had the book in my hands. But through very spare writing
there's not an ounce of woolliness and every word counts and lots of white space a immense amount is told.
It's an easy read that I accomplished in one long evening. I intend reading it again. (Paul Crossley)
"Keeps you awake at night"
This is a great read that will keep you up at night pondering the reality of your life and
the meaning of everything in it!
Set in the 1980s the plot centres around Kevin, a boisterous car mechanic. He likes nothing
better than to go down the pub every Friday and Saturday night with the lads to get drunk and
laid. But one weekend Kevin realises he is bored with his life. He starts to question, life,
love, politics and his own existence. He wonders if there is any meaning to it all as he goes
about his familiar routine and courts a girl outside his social class.
Written as a constant stream of consciousness without chapters, we get a glimpse of what it
means to be alive for Kevin that most will identify with.
There's plenty sex, rowdy pub banter and a touching love story that will appeal to all. But
its thought provoking existentialism puts you in mind of Kafka's, 'The Castle'.
The flashback scenes are bountiful as Kevin reflects on his life and occasionally they sneak
up on you and break the smooth reading flow.
If you like a good yarn that gets you thinking long after you've put it down, then this is
the book for you! (Sara Curran-Ross)
Nails at LuluNails at Amazon
"A worthy sequel that stands on its own"
Bottle takes off where Nails finished. Like Nails it starts with a hangover,
but it expands and deepens Kevin and his world. There is that same lightness
in the wording, but between the words there is so much more.
If I was forced to give the book a theme I would say that it is about death.
And then it's about life and surviving. (F. Labusch)
"Well worth persevering with"
In Bottle, the author (David Samson) takes the reader to Any-Town, Anywhere,
where the protagonist, Kevin, is working as a mechanic. Not an immediately
likeable character, the reader quickly learns that Kevin is `one of the lads',
often caught up in fights and frequently found in his local pub with a group
of similar friends. However, on the fateful opening morning of the novel,
Kevin is given some devastating news: a former girlfriend has been killed in
an accident. Distraught and overwhelmed, Kevin finds that - despite a wide
social circle, a jovial work atmosphere and several women on the go - he is
alone in his grief. Here in particular, but also throughout the entire novel,
Kevin's emotions are tackled with accuracy and insight; readers will be able
to identify with events such as Kevin forcing himself to act 'normally' during
a pub lunch with his friends when all he really wants to do is break down. Samson
has tapped into a key human trait here: the art of 'keeping it together'; Kevin
is portrayed as one who feels an expression of his grief (or even acknowledgement
of his loss) would be an intrusion on others, one he ought not to force upon them.
As the book progresses, so does the character of Kevin, who gradually overcomes
his initial shock and undergoes some personal development, leading him to make a
huge decision that could change his life. Through the medium of grief, Kevin
learns more about himself in the short space of time encompassed by the novel
than he has previously learnt in his whole life. However, rather than feeling
rushed and unnatural, Samson gives Kevin's sudden transformation a realistic feel.
Overall, Bottle proved to be a good read, presenting plenty of opportunity to
consider the deeper meaning of life, not only for the protagonist but also the
reader. The errors mentioned above make it slightly difficult going at first, as
it is hard to find a real flow to the story, but perseverance is paid off in spades
from the crux of the novel right through to the end. Intended as a sequel to
Samson's novel `Nails', Bottle has proved a more than adequate read as a stand-alone
text. Bottle is worthy of recommendation, particularly if the reader is looking
for something different. (Jennifer O'G)
To be honest when I first started reading this book I found it quite hard to get
into - not being used to the style of writing (even though I read loads!). However,
once I got passed that I started to enjoy it. It's like being a fly on the wall in
Kevin's life. If you are after trying something new then I would definitely
recommend this book. (K. Fitzgerald)
Bottle at LuluBottle at Amazon