The Grass Arena: An Autobiography MOBI Ö Grass Arena:

The Grass Arena: An Autobiography MOBI Ö Grass Arena: 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 MacCabeIn 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 comparisonJohn Healy bwas born into an impoverished, Irish immigrant family, in the slums of Kentish Town, North London Out of school by , 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 ArenaIf 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

10 thoughts on “The Grass Arena: An Autobiography

  1. Ade Bailey Ade Bailey says:

    Brilliant Not a word wasted I read it in two days I will keep this as a talisman to ward off sentimentality and gush To start at the end of it, I will add this book as a resource to keep away from me, middle class men and women, clean and fresh, whom it didn t seem possible life had touched, discussing in posh, educated voices the hardships that had bee

  2. K.D. Absolutely K.D. Absolutely says:

    Think William Burroughs s Naked Lunch 5 stars and then add chess as the turning point of the story I am not an alcoholic Neither am I a drug user, vagrant nor grew up in a dysfunctional family with abusive father I have not been into a sport but I box only as part of regular physical fitness My father and my two older brothers are good chess players When I w

  3. Serf Serf says:

    I finished Modern Classics the Grass Arena An Autobiography yesterday and it was brilliant A gritty account of life as a homeless alcoholic in inner city London Healy doesn t hold back telling his life story of 15 years of homelessness and life with fellow alcoholics and the carnage caused in order to get the next drink He is not looking for sympathy, there is no

  4. Alan Alan says:

    terrifying Review coming hopefully OK I ve changed the 4 stars to 5, mainly because I ve been sat thinking about this again, and can t get the voice, its insistence on truth and its brutal depiction of the world of the vagrant alcoholic out of my head This is one of the milder episodesWe could get no water to mix with it surgical spirit , so we went in the church and

  5. Whitaker Whitaker says:

    I think it s criminal that this book isn twidely known and read It s a no bullshit account of his life as an alcoholic vagrant It s honest and true and what the fucking hell is wrong with this world that only 12 people on GR have read it Here re two articles on his life subsequent to the events in this autobiography What happened next , and Saved by the book I think it s c

  6. Gearóid Gearóid says:

    Really raw and honest book.Not an easy read but really difficult to stop reading it.Such an amazing hard life described with no holds barred Highly recommend reading this book.

  7. Amy Flaherty Amy Flaherty says:

    This was a book that I really came across by chance and its a rare, rough, gritty, carefully told autobiography of a life that is not usually told Healy was born to Irish parents in London and traveled back and forth across the UK during his young life His early life was brutal, with a father who was very abusive and who did not provide a solid upbringing for Healy He was a boxing c

  8. Carol Carol says:

    This book came highly recommended You open the first page and you walk through a door into the mind and life of an alcoholic His degradation is sickening to read I really got sick to my stomach An alcoholic knows no line they cross them all until there is no where else to go It is either death or salvation John Healy had a noxious childhood Isolated by his mother and abused by his father

  9. Howard Howard says:

    An incredible book This is an autobiography of a genuinely ex homeless man There is no mawkishness here, no sugar coating, just Healy s raw amoral truth I don t think I havesympathy for the homeless some of their crimes are appalling but I don t have less sympathy their lives arehideous than I had imagined What I did get is insight, which, looking around the streets of London, is, in this cas

  10. Katie Mcsweeney Katie Mcsweeney says:

    Didn t realise that it was possible for me to not fall in love with the subject of a biography John Healy I don t idolise or apologise for him I respect him An amazing man His biography has made me see my city with new eyes It has made me see the homeless with new eyes, not the soppy, sorrowful middle class consciousness I previously saw them through I am wondering muchpractical things about the t

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