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This Boy (Paperback)
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This Boy (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 27/02/2014
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Alan Johnson's childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all... This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan's mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child. Played out against the background of a vanishing community living in condemned housing, the story moves from post-war austerity in pre-gentrified Notting Hill, through the race riots, school on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, to the rock-and-roll years, making a record in Denmark Street and becoming a husband and father whilst still in his teens. This Boy is one man's story, but it is also a story of England and the West London slums which are so hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780552167017
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 221 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"the best memoir by a politician you will ever read" -- Philip Collins * The Times *
"a poignant memoir...Johnson writes wonderfully" -- Mary Kenny * Telegraph *
"deeply moving and unforgettable" -- Lynn Barber * Sunday Times *
"a handsome and eloquent tribute" -- Peter Wilby * Guardian *
"beautifully, beautifully written... his style is utterly simple, with a wit so understated that every reader will believe that he or she alone got it" -- John Rentoul * Independent on Sunday *
"Neither mawkish nor sentimental, it is an evocative, filmic account on an early childhood... would make a fabulous drama that, for all its squalor, lifts the spirits" -- Judith Woods * Daily Telegraph *
"a testament to the power of family love and a tribute to two strong women" -- Ian Birrell * Daily Mail *
"Wonderful and moving... unreadable with a dry eye" * The Times *
"the biography of a politician like no other - beautifully observed, humorous, moving, uplifting; told with a dry self-deprecating wit and not a trace of self-pity" -- Chris Mullin * Observer *
"No ordinary politician's memoir ... wonderful." -- John Grimond * The Spectator *

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Reviews

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“I love this, it is excellent!”

Not having read books for pleasure for some years I must say that I loved this book. Having just read three of George Orwell's books [1984, Animal Farm & A Clergyman's Daughter] in very quick succession,... More

Paperback edition
31st July 2014
Helpful? Upvote 65

“Wonderful”

I enjoyed this book immensely. Moving but funny, very well written. Looking forward to his next book.

Paperback edition
18th June 2014
Helpful? Upvote 26

“This Boy”

I will admit that I don't read a lot of non-fiction, I am a fiction girl. But I did really enjoy this book set in a slum area of London in the 50' s and 60's. It gives a great picture of what life was... More

Paperback edition
8th April 2014
Helpful? Upvote 25

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