Book Jacket

 

rank 322
word count 64787
date submitted 30.07.2012
date updated 27.08.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Popular ...
classification: moderate
complete

Gliding by Night

Jed Smart

J lives in a world of pubs and nights out. A good time lad. What you see is what you get. Except it's not.

 

Gliding by Night follows J and his disparate drinking companions on a well trodden pub crawl. As the night wears on however, the bonhomie falters and gives way to the deep rooted issues and problems of all in attendance. Things come to a head in the final nightclub where change appears to be on the cards. This though is interrupted as a vicious fight breaks out, resulting in J being hospitalized.
In hospital through hallucinations and flashbacks we glimpse key moments of J's life and begin to learn how he has ended up in his present state.
Given hope, J resolves to change on his release.
However, a twist of fate sees him back in his favourite pub at the climax of the novel.
How will he react?

 
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tags

bristol, british pub culture, drinking, fiction, gritty, humour, realism, social commentary

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47 comments

 

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Wanttobeawriter wrote 574 days ago

GLIDING BY NIGHT
This is an interesting story. J makes a good main character. I like the way he never gives any more of his name than an initial to people; gives him a real air of mystery. It’s interesting how people in each bar not only know him but what he drinks and even what time he will arrive. It’s a good way to show this is his nightly routine without actually saying that. Not the fastest paced story ever, but one with a lot of depth, I think you’ll find an audience of young adults for this who will ever identify with J or wish they were like him. I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Arlo Timlin wrote 611 days ago

I think the voice is real. If your voice is real, you're winning the battle. I was reminded of Irvine Welsh, don't know if he's a writer you admire or not. Either way, good luck with it, Jed.

elsbels wrote 610 days ago

This is by far my favourite book so far on this site, Jed writes with a realistic , informative , creative flair, you really feel you are living his experiences along side him. As a librarian I read many many books from many genres and this book from a new up and coming author is a breath of fresh air . Have put down my 50 shades of grey (rubbish books!) and given my attention to Gliding by Night! Give it a go and I'm sure you won't be disappointed! x

Raymond Crane wrote 609 days ago

I can say that there is something genuine here - your expression has authenticity - it's real , and we believe what we read as a slice of life . I think the story would develope very well and the characters appear true to life - a refreshing read with lots of interesting detail , I like it very much . - thanks and goodluck !!!

Steve Finan wrote 606 days ago

Just arrived and after tasting a couple of the books I found this and was very impressed. It inspired me to join up (I'll upload my book in a few days time) but was eager to comment on this.
But, sorry, forgive my newbie ways, should i post a full crit here or is it better to go on the forums to do that?
Tell you what, a short crit here. I loved the book. I feel there is a film or TV play in here. There aren't overly many "bloke" books but I think you've achieved the mix between the hard outer armour we wear and the soft (but not always soft) inner core. The skill in peppering it with reference points, those "I've done that" moments, is impressive.
If I may ask, did you write the chapters in the order they are in the book? The slight change of view in Henry's (where the inner thoughts of others apart from J are first made known) made me wonder if it was an early-written chapter?
Also (another question, I'm sorry) were you tempted to make Danny a bigger character? The violence he carries with him gives a good buzz. I'm imagining you holding yourself back from including more details of him "in action" outside The Furnace. But, of course, it is a pivotal moment for J and he has to retain focus. A difficult balance to strike.
I also wondered if you might have similarly underused Sophie early on. Was that intentional?
Actually (and here's a compliment for you mate) my biggest criticism is that it isn't long enough. I'd like to see inside Sophie's head, I think I'd like more Danny. Howabout a sequel? I want to know what happens to Poppy.

Jjkendrick wrote 151 days ago


Hi Jed,
You have a quick, witty writing style which I find engaging. I don't know if anyone else has made the comment, but I found myself thinking of Saturday Night Fever as I read. I think this would make a great movie script. I can practically see J strutting down the street. LOL
There is a lot of "telling". I would look to find ways to clip some of it and get to the action early on, perhaps a short explanation of the groups drinking routine then get straight into the brawl at the Lion. Then the descriptions could be peppered in as the story unfolds. 
 I also wonder if you could start with something that would raise a question in the reader's mind, pique our interest about something to come that would drive us through the more mundane aspects of J's lifestyle.  The pitch accomplishes this, but I think including something in the beginning of the book would work to keep us reading.
I see you haven't edited since 2012, so I assume you are revisiting and revising this.  With a few tweaks to grab the reader's attention,  and make us need to know what happens next, I expect it will do well.  Best, JJ

Richard Maitland wrote 164 days ago

Chapter 1: A man gets up and takes a bus ride.
Chapter 2: A man chats to his friends in a pub.
Chapter 3: A man chats to his friends in another pub.

By this stage, I can't be arsed to read on to the core of the story, which is "glimpsing through flashback and hallucination the key moments in J's life and learning how he has ended up in his present state".

If you want to hold the reader's attention, scrap Chapter 1 altogether--there's nothing intrinsically interesting in it; we've all got up, got dressed and caught a bus, so we know how it's done--and start with a scene in the hospital. Give us a reason to care about this bloke. Make us wonder how he's got there. Then alternate scenes of (very much shorter) interaction in the pubs and clubs--only include what either illustrates characterisation or moves the story forward--with the flashbacks and hallucinations of the character you want us to invest our interest in.

Ian Jobson wrote 315 days ago

Jed Smart's book "Gliding By Night" is full of misanthropy and pompousness, with entirely unconvincing and unlikeable characters running throughout the book. This book is infantile and self-satisfied, the work of someone who has read too much Bukowski, Irvine Welsh and Nick Hornby, but without the wit, originality or convincing characters. In addition, it seems quite antiquated considering that novels celebrating pub culture have gone the way of the wax phonograph. The way in which he elevates J's rather pathetic, loner lifestyle as something to aspire to turns me off, and made it a considerable chore to sit through. The constant name-dropping of 'cool' bands also smacks of insincerity and 'playing to the gallery'.

In the future, perhaps Jed Smart may create a superior novel - for all of his faults, he can write the odd clever sentence here and there - but after reading "Gliding By Night", I feel that he needs to brush up on his writing skills.

Yasmina wrote 320 days ago

Gliding by Night
Jed Smart

I read the first six chapters of your book and can safely say you have an excellent and very descriptive style of writing. You transport the reader back to that time in their past or present where they can identify with the scene.

There is obviously going to be some twists of fate and realisation in the last few chapters but I think the reader might need a few more clues along the way.

It does read like a very long albeit colourful pub crawl but I love the way you have built the characters into the journey. You might need a bit more of a hook at the end of the chapters to spur the reader on.

Not sure when it's meant to be set but maybe you wanted it to be timeless?

Not my usual style of novel but I applauded you for the amazing hard work you have obviously applied to this story.

This story will I'm sure appeal to youngsters and those who are young at heart. I was thinking it's written in the style of a film script and it would be great for that cause.

Good luck with this Jed you deserve to get somewhere with this in the near future.

I will highly star your work and try and give some space on my shelf in the future!

Yasmina Knightley
The Secret of Netley Abbey

jed s wrote 383 days ago

This is a very well written and edited story. I didn't spot any typos, but I would check your usage of semi colons; some of them weren't between two complete sentences.
I read the first six chapters and if I hadn't read the pitch, I would be under the impression that this whole story was one long pub crawl. I'd like to see something at the beginning that comes from a later chapter. Not so much a prologue, but I would consider the structure of the book, so that the reader gets something to be intrigued by at the beginning. So they would wonder how J got into his predicament. You have all the story – I think it could be changed around a bit to get the reader hooked at the start.
When I've read more I'll try to figure which part would work best.
High stars for now and staying on my watch list to read more.
Take care, Jes.x



Hi Jes,
Thanks for taking the time to look at this and for your kind comments. Semi colons can also be used for lists where elements thereof also require a comma so I hope my usage is correct. In regards to your other point I wanted the reader to experience/enjoy/endure the 'monotony' of the pub crawl once, as J does every single day to emphasise the rut he is in. It also make parts two and three of the book even more poignant. I believe it would also 'hook' a certain type of reader whom I am aiming any contained 'message' at. However, if you can suggest a viable alternative I would be intrigued to look at and consider it. Thanks once again and I look forward to any additional comments or support you can offer.

Daryl Scott Aitken wrote 402 days ago

Read your first chapter. Already very intrigued. It reminds me of when I was a student, pints, pubs and pals were a constant theme. Very well written, love the raw and gritty language that suits the setting brilliantly. Definitely going to keep reading, good luck with the rest.

Hope you enjoy my book.

Daryl.

sherit wrote 405 days ago

Hi Jed...sorry it took me so long to get here to give a read. I've only read the first two chapters. I almost didn't make it past the first one to be honest. Maybe it's my frame of mind...I don't know but I didn't find it interesting. I had a hard time getting a fix on J's age. He drinks, he gets on the bus...some other people get on the bus. I don't know but I really didn't care. I decided to get on to chapter two to see if it grabbed me at all, and it was better. I got a real sense of the place and the people, but again...people sitting around talking and drinking. Big whoo. Now from your pitch I see there will be a big fight and J will be hurt and he'll do some soul searching, I guess. That sounds like that could be interesting, so I promise to try to get back here and read a couple of other chapters. I haven't made my mind up about this yet. I'm a bit confused. I don't NOT LIKE it, but it hasn't hooked me yet either. Hope this finds you well.
All the best,
Sheri Emery /Crazy Quilt

Nigelw wrote 428 days ago

Hi Jed...did the magnesium ribbon bit myself...great story. It's a gritty take on life from the perspective of a young man with everything to lose and hellbent on losing it. I like the "Ellen" element and the way you have turned me from disliking the character at the outset to understanding him better as the story unfolds...a lesson for us all there, I think.
Well written and deserves recognition.

Warrick Mayes wrote 432 days ago

Jed,

I read the first chapter. It's delighful stuff and will deserve a high rating.

I hope you intended the reader to be unsure whether to like or dislike J. It wasn't his drinking, smoking and general way of life, but his disregard for law and order that will set many readers against him. Punching the new students, kicking in the bus-stop window, that sort of thing.

Lovely that he has a diverse range of music tastes and seems to have a lot of friends. I can definitely feel a split audience. But, you are portraying a complex character, and this comes across very well, even if we struggle to get into his head.

I spotted one small error: "Well, they did knew he was J at least." should be "Well, they did know he was J at least."

Best wishes
Warrick
"Sleeping With God"

MJ Gleason wrote 461 days ago

It feels like a return to Gonzo Journalism - hopefully an agent or Harper Collins associate can recognize that, too

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 461 days ago

Jed,
This is about Jed on a dissolute course, drinking, partying and chasing hot chicks. His reckless lifestyle reaches a critical point when he gets into a fight that sends him to hospital, and he deliberates on a change, turning his back on all the nonsense. Your narrative is gritty, reflecting harsh reality in clear, punchy sentences. Your dialogue is steeped in local color and attitudes. The sad twist at the end is brilliant. Thank you so much for the intriguing read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The nNorth Korean

Cathy Hardy wrote 461 days ago

Great book, great dialogue, flows with ease and high stars!!

Seringapatam wrote 462 days ago

How real is this? I can so relate to a lot of this and I can so relate to the pub crawl thats for sure. You have a good voice here and I can see this doing well if you get behind it and push it. I enjoyed it and think a lot more than me will also enjoy it. Well done.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a a read or watch list wont you?
Happy New Year. Sean

SJ Bell wrote 489 days ago

Yes, the bar crawl- surely a universal experience of the young and irresponsible. Wresting the car keys from drunken friends, getting into brawls on the sidewalk, catching exotic diseases from complete strangers in the 'Shag Alley' of whatever town you may be in- maybe it is because I am older and wiser, now, but I find the whole thing entirely distasteful, wicked, and basically impossible to put down. Your writing style makes me want to continue even though my skin is crawling with disgust. I have to see what terrible thing is going to happen next, even though I really do not want to. Curse you Jed Smart! Curse you for making me relive this crap!

Software wrote 495 days ago

Ah yes, this is truly a contemporary novel, filled with complete uncensored realism from the opening chapter. The author hits the boards running, placing the reader in a pub/music venue scene at the height of its noise and consumer banter. It lays the foundation for a plethora of pub experiences that J and his cohorts experience on their pub crawls and through their alcoholic hazes. It is intentionally brash and forthright to reflect the nature and character of the drinkers, and the unassuming folk they run into during their pub to pub travels. Though a fiction, it has the feel of at least being part autobiographical. Highly starred.

Clive Radford
Doghouse Blues

Spacecat wrote 535 days ago
jed s wrote 574 days ago

Thanks Tod, I will definitely look at your book as I write a lot of children's literature myself.

Great voice and tone in your writing. While the writing is literary, it is subtle about it. The characterization is rich and detailed, and you show rather than tell an enormous amount, which is a sure sign of someone who knows what he's doing. I particularly like the fine details, such as the way he fixes his hair, or the parking attendant's perceptions.
Nicely done!
Best of luck with this!
And if you have any interest in children's literature, do drop in on the Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Tod Schneider wrote 574 days ago

Great voice and tone in your writing. While the writing is literary, it is subtle about it. The characterization is rich and detailed, and you show rather than tell an enormous amount, which is a sure sign of someone who knows what he's doing. I particularly like the fine details, such as the way he fixes his hair, or the parking attendant's perceptions.
Nicely done!
Best of luck with this!
And if you have any interest in children's literature, do drop in on the Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

jed s wrote 574 days ago

Thank you, your comments and backing are very much appreciated.

GLIDING BY NIGHT
This is an interesting story. J makes a good main character. I like the way he never gives any more of his name than an initial to people; gives him a real air of mystery. It’s interesting how people in each bar not only know him but what he drinks and even what time he will arrive. It’s a good way to show this is his nightly routine without actually saying that. Not the fastest paced story ever, but one with a lot of depth, I think you’ll find an audience of young adults for this who will ever identify with J or wish they were like him. I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Wanttobeawriter wrote 574 days ago

GLIDING BY NIGHT
This is an interesting story. J makes a good main character. I like the way he never gives any more of his name than an initial to people; gives him a real air of mystery. It’s interesting how people in each bar not only know him but what he drinks and even what time he will arrive. It’s a good way to show this is his nightly routine without actually saying that. Not the fastest paced story ever, but one with a lot of depth, I think you’ll find an audience of young adults for this who will ever identify with J or wish they were like him. I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Lenny Banks wrote 595 days ago

Hi Jed, This is a really interesting piece of work. I loved it. You have a good grasp of the story and delivered it very well, setting the scene of the bar and then the dialogue of the friends. I thought the argument was spot on, and I loved the residents complaining whinges. I thought it was responsible to bring in the bit about drugs and I hope people will read this and get the message, too many people say 'there will always be young stupid people who drink and smoke' but I am convinced knowledge such as books like this have demonstrated the dangers all too clearly. Well done, High Stars and Good Luck.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock.

Andy Benson wrote 599 days ago

Backing and reading your book. Very good.

RobertoD wrote 599 days ago

Great read. Would make a great film. You
Have to write a sequel!

jed s wrote 599 days ago

Hi Maria,
Thanks for your comments. None of the backers are fake - some are friends who are having trouble with the site. If you like the book perhaps you would like to back it?!
Cheers
Jed

We do what we wanna do so get out of the way we're the wrecking crew. I knew a guy who listened to the Meteors a lot.

You have a great skill for writing and this is the type of stuff which does well.

I saw that 66 people have backed your book and thought 'wow'. Unfortunately a lot of them only have your book on their shelf and look like fake accounts which this book does not need because it can go all the way on its own merits.

Great writing

Maria

Maria44 wrote 600 days ago

We do what we wanna do so get out of the way we're the wrecking crew. I knew a guy who listened to the Meteors a lot.

You have a great skill for writing and this is the type of stuff which does well.

I saw that 66 people have backed your book and thought 'wow'. Unfortunately a lot of them only have your book on their shelf and look like fake accounts which this book does not need because it can go all the way on its own merits.

Great writing

Maria

MissyMalice wrote 601 days ago

Am loving this and I can really picture it all as I read it.

fartoolate wrote 604 days ago

Bloody good fun

jed s wrote 605 days ago

Hi Steve, Good to read your comments. Yes it was written in the order of the chapters but there was very much a film in mind throughout.
As for a sequel, I have an interesting concept for that as I agree there is more to be heard from the characters. However, the priority for now has to be promoting this one so thanks very much for your support. (I too am new to this so don't really know the protocol for comments or forums etc.)
Let me know when you upload any work as I would of course be very interested to have a look.
Kind Regards
Jed

Just arrived and after tasting a couple of the books I found this and was very impressed. It inspired me to join up (I'll upload my book in a few days time) but was eager to comment on this.
But, sorry, forgive my newbie ways, should i post a full crit here or is it better to go on the forums to do that?
Tell you what, a short crit here. I loved the book. I feel there is a film or TV play in here. There aren't overly many "bloke" books but I think you've achieved the mix between the hard outer armour we wear and the soft (but not always soft) inner core. The skill in peppering it with reference points, those "I've done that" moments, is impressive.
If I may ask, did you write the chapters in the order they are in the book? The slight change of view in Henry's (where the inner thoughts of others apart from J are first made known) made me wonder if it was an early-written chapter?
Also (another question, I'm sorry) were you tempted to make Danny a bigger character? The violence he carries with him gives a good buzz. I'm imagining you holding yourself back from including more details of him "in action" outside The Furnace. But, of course, it is a pivotal moment for J and he has to retain focus. A difficult balance to strike.
I also wondered if you might have similarly underused Sophie early on. Was that intentional?
Actually (and here's a compliment for you mate) my biggest criticism is that it isn't long enough. I'd like to see inside Sophie's head, I think I'd like more Danny. Howabout a sequel? I want to know what happens to Poppy.

Steve Finan wrote 606 days ago

Just arrived and after tasting a couple of the books I found this and was very impressed. It inspired me to join up (I'll upload my book in a few days time) but was eager to comment on this.
But, sorry, forgive my newbie ways, should i post a full crit here or is it better to go on the forums to do that?
Tell you what, a short crit here. I loved the book. I feel there is a film or TV play in here. There aren't overly many "bloke" books but I think you've achieved the mix between the hard outer armour we wear and the soft (but not always soft) inner core. The skill in peppering it with reference points, those "I've done that" moments, is impressive.
If I may ask, did you write the chapters in the order they are in the book? The slight change of view in Henry's (where the inner thoughts of others apart from J are first made known) made me wonder if it was an early-written chapter?
Also (another question, I'm sorry) were you tempted to make Danny a bigger character? The violence he carries with him gives a good buzz. I'm imagining you holding yourself back from including more details of him "in action" outside The Furnace. But, of course, it is a pivotal moment for J and he has to retain focus. A difficult balance to strike.
I also wondered if you might have similarly underused Sophie early on. Was that intentional?
Actually (and here's a compliment for you mate) my biggest criticism is that it isn't long enough. I'd like to see inside Sophie's head, I think I'd like more Danny. Howabout a sequel? I want to know what happens to Poppy.

jed s wrote 607 days ago

Chapter 1 is visible again now

Hi, couldnt open chapter one, so jumped in at 2.. well hooked so i will try and read chapter one later.. its great. realistic, the dialogue is great. Your writing is vibrant, descriptive and compulsive. well done

Kate

Off the rails... and if you have time, have a peek , will be very grateful.

Sue Harries wrote 609 days ago

Added to WL and rated will back asap. Sue 'It's a Dog's Life'

Jase Edgar wrote 609 days ago
Jase Edgar wrote 609 days ago

Hey Jed, great work sir! I am proud of you and wish you all the very best with the book.

Kind regards

Jase

Odette67 wrote 609 days ago

Hi, couldnt open chapter one, so jumped in at 2.. well hooked so i will try and read chapter one later.. its great. realistic, the dialogue is great. Your writing is vibrant, descriptive and compulsive. well done

Kate

Off the rails... and if you have time, have a peek , will be very grateful.

Raymond Crane wrote 609 days ago

I can say that there is something genuine here - your expression has authenticity - it's real , and we believe what we read as a slice of life . I think the story would develope very well and the characters appear true to life - a refreshing read with lots of interesting detail , I like it very much . - thanks and goodluck !!!

elsbels wrote 610 days ago

This is by far my favourite book so far on this site, Jed writes with a realistic , informative , creative flair, you really feel you are living his experiences along side him. As a librarian I read many many books from many genres and this book from a new up and coming author is a breath of fresh air . Have put down my 50 shades of grey (rubbish books!) and given my attention to Gliding by Night! Give it a go and I'm sure you won't be disappointed! x

Arlo Timlin wrote 611 days ago

I think the voice is real. If your voice is real, you're winning the battle. I was reminded of Irvine Welsh, don't know if he's a writer you admire or not. Either way, good luck with it, Jed.

andrewanemic wrote 611 days ago

After reading only several pages, I can totally relate to J. What I think really think sells this book to me, as I really can imagine this could be anybody who you would see, having a few drinks at your local pub...

Finnen wrote 617 days ago

Hooked already and only halfway through chapter 2!

Well done Jed!!

Abby Vandiver wrote 618 days ago

I would start it "J stirred, turning over he opened one eye." Some grammatical error but I think that you are off to a good start.

Sara Stinson wrote 618 days ago

Jed,

You introduce your main character and send us on a ride of alcohol, bar hoping, and brawling.
Your descriptions for this topic are detailed. An entertaining read.

Good luck!
Sara Stinson

Domthedoorman wrote 620 days ago
jed s wrote 621 days ago

Jed,

Really enjoyed the first chapter. Great description of boozing and nights out in general. I can def relate to it..!

It's five stars from me :-)

Please take a look at my book 'Broken Up, Breaking Down' if you get a chance (chapter 4 is a good old alcohol induced tale!)

Eddie



Cheers Eddie, Will do.

BeaconCityTourist wrote 621 days ago

Jed,

Really enjoyed the first chapter. Great description of boozing and nights out in general. I can def relate to it..!

It's five stars from me :-)

Please take a look at my book 'Broken Up, Breaking Down' if you get a chance (chapter 4 is a good old alcohol induced tale!)

Eddie

Su Dan wrote 621 days ago

your general use of narrative and dialogue works very well here. l will back.
read SEASONS...

scargirl wrote 622 days ago

i think this will hit close to home for many, because the main character reminds me of many people i know...well done.
j
what every woman should know

penttinen wrote 622 days ago

Love the language and the characters. Felt quite melancholic but also very vibrant, very 'Bristol' ;) ???!!!

well done Jed!!!! E

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