The Grass Arena: An Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141189598: The Grass Arena: An Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)

John Healy's The Grass Arena describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. This Penguin Classics edition includes an afterword by Colin MacCabe.

In his searing autobiography Healy describes his fifteen years living rough in London without state aid, when begging carried an automatic three-year prison sentence and vagrant alcoholics prowled the parks and streets in search of drink or prey. When not united in their common aim of acquiring alcohol, winos sometimes murdered one another over prostitutes or a bottle, or the begging of money. Few modern writers have managed to match Healy's power to refine from the brutal destructive condition of the chronic alcoholic a story so compelling it is beyond comparison.

John Healy (b. 1943) was born into an impoverished, Irish immigrant family, in the slums of Kentish Town, North London. Out of school by 14, pressed into the army and intermittently in prison, Healy became an alcoholic early on in life. Despite these obstacles Healy achieved remarkable, indeed phenomenal expertise in both writing and chess, as outlined in the autobiographical The Grass Arena.

If you enjoyed The Grass Arena, you might like Last Exit to Brooklyn, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Sober and precise, grotesque, violent, sad, charming and hilarious all at once'

Literary Review

'Beside it, a book like Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London seems a rather inaccurate tourist guide'

Colin MacCabe

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Review:

'A wonderful book' -- Ken loach

'Terrific' -- Harold Pinter

'The Grass Arena' is a masterpiece -- Ervine Welsh

'The grass arena is a one off .... one of the most compelling pieces of literature i have ever come accross' -- The Irish post

'Time and again one is appalled by the pleasure The grass Arena furnishes as literature, when it is so clearly not fiction. And this sense of the reader#s dilemma as a priviledged observer in a world of casual savagery that is palpably real is a troubling and thouroughly enriching one' -- John Kemp Literary review

The last thing John Healy needs is a tidy snippet of blurb from the likes of me which is a good thing because economy defeats me; I don't know how to be moderate or concise in praise of his startling autobiography `The Grass Arena'. So economy I'll leave to him, a master storyteller with an ear, an eye and a voice that should be the envy of many men with weightier reputations. There is no perceptible distance between the words, which seem to have chosen themselves and the experiences from which they blossomed like a garden of wild flowers. Armed to the teeth with his wit and self-knowledge he takes us to that other place, his grass arena, the one which we pass how many times in any given day, averting our eyes? The one into whose violent clutches we might descend more easily than we dare to contemplate. He is our jaunty, gleeful tour guide and messenger from hell. His fellow combatants, exuberant, murderous and sentimental, by turns touchingly loyal, vengeful and treacherous seem to have sprung from the same bloodlines as Falstaff, Pistol, Nell and their fellows. They pitch their tents in the same refuse-filled shadows as their forebears; a confederacy of the dispossessed. Healy's life, were it not for an astonishing turn of events, seems predestined to be a short one.
As in Knut Hamsun's mighty book `Hunger', we are utterly compelled both by the power of Healy's story and his great power in the telling of it, no matter how bleak the outlook, to stay by his side until the last word is writ. -- Daniel Day Lewis, August 2008

`A masterpiece'

-- Irvine Welsh

About the Author:

Healy was born into an impoverished, Irish immigrant family, in the slums of Kentish Town, North London. Out of school by 14, pressed into the army and intermittently in prison, Healy became an alocholic early on in life. Despite these obstacles Healy achieved remarkable, indeed phenomenal expertise in both writing and Chess, as outlined in the autobiographical The Grass Arena.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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John Healy
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2008)
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Healy s The Grass Arena describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. This Penguin Classics edition includes an afterword by Colin MacCabe. In his searing autobiography Healy describes his fifteen years living rough in London without state aid, when begging carried an automatic three-year prison sentence and vagrant alcoholics prowled the parks and streets in search of drink or prey. When not united in their common aim of acquiring alcohol, winos sometimes murdered one another over prostitutes or a bottle, or the begging of money. Few modern writers have managed to match Healy s power to refine from the brutal destructive condition of the chronic alcoholic a story so compelling it is beyond comparison. John Healy (b. 1943) was born into an impoverished, Irish immigrant family, in the slums of Kentish Town, North London. Out of school by 14, pressed into the army and intermittently in prison, Healy became an alcoholic early on in life. Despite these obstacles Healy achieved remarkable, indeed phenomenal expertise in both writing and chess, as outlined in the autobiographical The Grass Arena. If you enjoyed The Grass Arena, you might like Last Exit to Brooklyn, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. Sober and precise, grotesque, violent, sad, charming and hilarious all at once Literary Review Beside it, a book like Orwell s Down and Out in Paris and London seems a rather inaccurate tourist guide Colin MacCabe. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141189598

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Healy s The Grass Arena describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. This Penguin Classics edition includes an afterword by Colin MacCabe. In his searing autobiography Healy describes his fifteen years living rough in London without state aid, when begging carried an automatic three-year prison sentence and vagrant alcoholics prowled the parks and streets in search of drink or prey. When not united in their common aim of acquiring alcohol, winos sometimes murdered one another over prostitutes or a bottle, or the begging of money. Few modern writers have managed to match Healy s power to refine from the brutal destructive condition of the chronic alcoholic a story so compelling it is beyond comparison. John Healy (b. 1943) was born into an impoverished, Irish immigrant family, in the slums of Kentish Town, North London. Out of school by 14, pressed into the army and intermittently in prison, Healy became an alcoholic early on in life. Despite these obstacles Healy achieved remarkable, indeed phenomenal expertise in both writing and chess, as outlined in the autobiographical The Grass Arena. If you enjoyed The Grass Arena, you might like Last Exit to Brooklyn, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. Sober and precise, grotesque, violent, sad, charming and hilarious all at once Literary Review Beside it, a book like Orwell s Down and Out in Paris and London seems a rather inaccurate tourist guide Colin MacCabe. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141189598

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Book Description 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 17mm. Paperback. John Healy's The Grass Arena describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 288 pages. 0.213. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141189598

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Grass Arena: An Autobiography, John Healy, Colin MacCabe, John Healy, the son of poor Irish immigrants in London, grows up hardened by violence and soon finds himself overwhelmed by alcoholism. He ends up in the grass arena: the parks and streets of the inner city, where beggars, thieves, prostitutes and killers fight for survival and each day brings the question of where to find the next drink. In his searing autobiography Healy describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141189598

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; John Healy's The Grass Arena describes with unflinching honesty his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. This Penguin Classics edition includes an afterword by Colin MacCabe. In his searing autobiography Healy descr. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141189598_rkm

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