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Summary

John Chambers was brought up on Belfast's notorious Loyalist Glencairn estate, during the height of the Troubles. From an early age he witnessed violence, hatred and horror as Northern Ireland tore itself apart in civil strife. Kneecapping, brutal murders and even public tarring-and-feathering were simply a fact of life for the children on the estate. He thought he knew which side he was on, but although raised as a Loyalist, he was hiding a troubling secret: that his disappeared mother - whom he'd always been told was dead - was a Roman Catholic, 'the enemy'.  

In a memoir of rare power, John explores the dark heart of Northern Irish sectarianism in the '70s and '80s. With searing honesty and native Belfast wit, he describes the light and darkness of his unique childhood and his teenage journey through mod culture and ultra-Loyalism, before an escape from Belfast to London - where, still haunted by the shadow of his fractured family history - he began a turbulent and hedonistic adulthood.

A Belfast Child is a tale of divided loyalties, dark secrets and the scars left by hatred and violence on a proud city - but also a story of hope, healing and ultimate redemption for a family caught in the rising tide of the Troubles.

©2020 John Chambers (P)2020 Bonnier Publishing

What listeners say about A Belfast Child

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His accent is CAT!

I am Belfast born and bred. The reader turned me off. I could not listen to him. Unable to finish the audiobook , I will buy a hard copy.

5 people found this helpful

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Brought me back!

Great read, brought me back to time’s that were dark . However also made me laugh out loud . Fully threaded with a heartfelt family story filled with tragedy and the resilience that brought them together again “you can take the boy out of Belfast but you can’t take Belfast out of the boy “ excellant

4 people found this helpful

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Heart-wrenching and raw

A heart-wrenching and raw account of a nation torn by conflict, yet peppered with humour with precious nuggets of hope. A great read for people from our wee nation and for those trying to make sense of us.

2 people found this helpful

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great listen

keep me intrigued from start to finish. highly recommend it, happy and sad stories, brilliant

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Belfast memories

Great list and well.narrated very funny and full of Belfast Humour at its best

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Depressing

A story about cursed people in a desperate part of modern Europe.
unenlightened and medieval. I lasted 4 chapters

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What a book!

This was one of the best books I have ever listened to, the narrator had a lovely easy to listen to voice and the actual content of the book was fabulous and really interesting. I went through so many emotions and was so sad when it came to the end! Well done

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  • MK
  • 18-10-21

Heart warming

I enjoyed this book, very warm and heartfelt. So glad you got to spend those years with your mum, and it shows what an open heart you have, to embrace everyone no matter how diverse they are from yourself. Be v proud.

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A eye opener

This book really opens your eye on how life was for a kid growing up in Belfast during the bad times, I enjoyed every chapter of this book

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fantastic listen!

Really enjoyed this book, keeps you hooked and a very easy listening to the narrator.

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  • Lee S.
  • 08-10-20

As real as it gets.

Left Northern Ireland for the States at 19 with alot of the same emotions the author had. Read alot of books about back home but this book gives you the closest look into the mindset of a Protestant youth growing up in the troubles I have came across. Well Written and Narrated. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 15-11-20

Authentic Belfast in the 1970’s

An authentic story of a young boy growing up in west Belfast in the 1970’s (I was also there); but also one of his personal journey to adulthood and acceptance. I really enjoyed this book.
The narrator was very good, even though he did make one or two little slips (“h”) that only someone from N Ire would pick up.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-09-20

Cracking story

John has definitely hit the nail on the head with this throw back to his youth in Belfast. Very accurate and amusing, can definitely relate with some of his accounts. Growing up in Ulster in the troubles well described.