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Summary

Amid slum terraces of Manchester is one boy's year of adventure, abuse, crippling poverty, and an encounter with The Moors Murderers.

A raw and often funny 12-month snapshot of seven-year-old Tommy's brutal young life. Moving us through his daily struggle with poverty and neglect in 1960s Manchester like it's the most natural thing in the world, Tommy lives at the heart of a large Irish family in derelict Hulme, ruled by an abusive and alcoholic father and a drunk, negligent mother.

Alongside his siblings he begs for - or steals - a few pennies to bring home to his parents and avoid a belting, while looking for something to eat and a little adventure along the way. With an unlikely sense of fun and a huge dose of good humor, Tommy introduces us to his foul-mouthed and chaotic family members. Deeply flawed they may all be, but amongst the violence, grinding poverty, and distinct lack of hygiene and morality lies a strong sense of loyalty and, above all, survival.

During this single year - before his family implodes and his world changes forever - young Tommy falls foul of the school welfare officers, the nuns, the police - and Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.

An adventurous, fun, dark and moving story of the only life young Tommy knew.

©2017 Mirror Books (P)2017 Mirror Books

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book

Lots of nostalgia around hard times for many families, also gave me a few giggles and narrated beautifully.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic, gripping and moving

Although it centres around a chance encounter with 2 of the most prolific killers in recent history; it also accurately portrays life as a poor child in the 60s. At times very sad, but also uplifting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

Loved it very funny and sad at times but a must read story hope he has some closure now

1 person found this helpful

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I loved this book. A truely poignant story

I've listened to this book several times and it still makes me laugh and brings a tear to my eye. Brilliant

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing book

By far the best I've ever listened too. Would highly recommend. It's extremely sad and yet it will have you laughing out loud.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for anyone interested in social history, Manchester in the 1960s, or the Irish diasporah.

This has been a rather difficult review to write. So let's deal with the easy bit first. The narrator Kevin Hely, who I had not previously heard of, turns in an absolutely outstanding performance. Of course, with that wonderful Irish accent, it would be hard for me to dislike his narration. But Setting that aside, he manages to bring to life all the various characters which Tommy Rhattigan wrote about. Now to the hard part of this review. The story is a difficult one. Tommy, the narrator, is one of 13 children. His parents, both of them, would now be described as both neglectful and abusive. The "adventures" described are at times harrowing. Rhattigan's style means that he can describe events which are terrifying, all the more so when you recollect that this is a true story. In spite of that I found myself laughing throughout listening to this book. Although the book takes place in 1963, Manchester, I was left feeling that many of the events described wouldn't have been out of place in a Dickens novel set in the Victorian period. This is a book I will not forget in a hurry, a truly memorable read! Rhattigan should be encouraged to write more, especially as I'm dying to know what happened next.

2 people found this helpful

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What a great book

Wonderfully narrated, it’s like Angela’s Ashes, poverty in the 60s where most were in the same boat, interesting story from start to end, loved it.

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A must read

Some of the adventures the kids got up to were hilarious but is sad at times. So beautifully well written and told by far the best book I am listening to on Audible.

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hard to believe in parts

okay story but hard to believe in parts, it's more about one mans view on his his dull life at that time and not about meeting myra hindley and ian brady really.

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Alan

Fantastic and brilliant read enjoyed every minute a must read for every one who lived in the 1963 era

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  • Leila
  • 16-05-17

Excellent!!!!!!

I loved every minute of this audiobook! I loved the author's vivid, detailed memories of his childhood...They were shocking, sad and funny all at the same time, as he shared memories of his childhood days spent avoiding school, begging for change with his siblings, stealing, getting into mischief, and describing life through the eyes of a child with his alcoholic parents. This is the first time I've listened to Kevin Hely narrate, and he is now a new favorite! His irish brogue and performance of the narrative is spot on, perfect, and hilarious! I've already listened to this book twice, and I enjoyed the story and the narrator's Irish brogue and lively performance so much that I'm listening to it for the third time now. Kevin Hely is as charming as Frank McCourt! Love him!

1 person found this helpful