Nostalgia at its best by Andrew on July 27th 2017
A wryly amusing memoir of 1970s schooling and the bizarre journey boys like us take as we skirt around all the issues that hopefully our own kids have been better-equipped to handle than we were - first relationships, the demon drink, cigarettes and other substances not to mention cars, sport and more nightmares about girls. Yes, this book has all that and more and beautifully explores the other-worldly naivety we had then along with an uncanny ability to fool the younger members of our tribes that we were cool in our Civil Defence greatcoats and long hair (some of us). It's true that I went to the same Grammar School as Chris and that so many of his experiences were achingly familiar but I would have hugely enjoyed this tale of growing up even without the name-check.
A moving yet funny portrayal of a young boy/teenager's life growing up in Dawlish in the 1960s and 70s, and how children amused themselves before the days of computer games and the internet. The dialogue is equally as witty as that in the author's fictional Neil Mackenzie trilogy and made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions. The narrative moves at a fast pace and keeps you engaged whilst managing to project and make you feel the slower paced days back then, really bringing across a sense of the author's gratitude and affection towards the other characters in the story, who are all amusing and quirky in their different ways. An inspiring story of how much could be achieved in those days with determination, hard work and enthusiasm, regardless of wealth or social status, and how much influence small acts of other people can have on our lives growing up.
Brilliant Memoir by Sophie Foxwell on July 31st 2017
A perfect mix of laugh out loud funny and poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse of a school boy's life in the 60s and 70s. Life seemed simpler then, save for relationships which will always be complicated!
Poignant and Witty by Annie M on August 15th 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chris Grayling's latest book on his childhood - sharing a rare glimpse into life growing up in Devon. Full of fun flashbacks and hilarious anecdotes - definitely recommend this as a holiday read! Particularly enjoyed the flashbacks with Chris's old school friends, Bill and Rog, and their schoolboy dramas!