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Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles

Narrated by: Tony Macaulay
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)
Regular price: £18.79
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Summary

It's Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned 12 and he's got a new job. He's going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine - or bombs and mortar - he will deliver....

Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. Bombings are on the evening news, rubble lies where buildings once stood, and rumours spread like wildfire about the IRA and the UDA.

But Paperboy lives in a world of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and fish suppers. His battles are fought with all the passion of Ireland's opposing sides - but against acne, the dentist, and the "wee hoods" who rob his paper money. On his rounds he hums songs by the Bay City Rollers, dreams about outer space, and dreams even more about the beautiful Sharon Burgess.

In this touching, funny, and nostalgic memoir, Tony Macaulay recounts his days growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, the harrowing years which saw neighbour fighting neighbour and brother fighting brother. But in the midst of all this turmoil, Paperboy, a scrappy upstart with a wicked sense of humour and sky-high dreams, dutifully goes about his paper round. He is a good paperboy, so he is.

Paperboy proves that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; it is a story that will charm your socks off, make you laugh out loud and brings to life the culture, stories, and colourful characters of a very different - but very familiar - time.

©2013 Tony Macaulay (P)2016 Tony Macaulay

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Super

loved it , I could relate to the story line as I was paperboy too in Belfast in my younger days.
I hope that he publishes his other novels in audio version soon

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • O
  • 10-08-18

Very hard to listen

I couldn’t even finish this book the editing is so bad between the same line getting read over and over again and the man talking about how that line wasn’t right a few times and him talking to someone about he was going to read that this or that again i couldn’t make sense of the story very poor a good idea would be to prof listen to your book before it’s sold

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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brilliant

funny, quick,beautifully written and narrated. Loved hearing about the only passivist paperboy in west Belfast. made me laugh out loud in my car (got some funny looks at traffic lights).

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what about ye

Great story laughed for hours, simple tale in hard times very well read a must.

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Funny

Had great enjoyment listening to this book. Tony read it well. Brought back so many memories of when I was a teenager. Excellent read if you like a good laugh..spit my sides laughing

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Lovely and funny story!

Entertaining story well narrated by the author. Gave me a really rich sense of what it might have been like to be growing up in west Belfast in the 1970s—a funny, insightful, and charming audiobook.

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excellent

funny, very entertaining, especially if you grew up in the 70's. you can relate to a lot of this story no matter where you lived.

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  • Laura
  • 09-08-18

A personal window into N Ireland 1970s

Brilliant! Delightful turn of phrase and imagery. Superb dramatic reading! Warning: strong language in places, but it is never gratuitous. I bought this audiobook to hear and study the accent of N Ireland. I had no idea the story itself would be so good, so engaging, and so well-written. I look forward to the next audiobook I can find by Tony Macaulay, and hope he has read his own book again!
Note: N Ireland dialect and phraseology glossary is in the final chapter. There were things I looked up along the way for clarity; this glossary is quite helpful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim C
  • 11-04-17

Great memories

Perfectly captures the innocence of the young people who were growing up in the midst of "the troubles" My husband was a paperboy and then on a bread truck.in the exact same years snd his mom was even a seamstress. Only difference was he grew up on Falls Road. Same experiences yet a universe apart. We both loved the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • moonspath
  • 24-07-18

Brilliant!

I loved this book! I was about the same age and of Irish American parents. I remember watching the news and thinking I'll never get to go to Belfast. My family came from North Ireland. It felt like I got a piece of a part that I had been missing. As kids we had so much in common. I did get to go to Belfast and it like Tony Macaulay's book was amazing!

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  • Scott&Scott (aka Romentics)
  • 17-05-17

Bad Quality Recording; Remarkably Uninteresting

What was most disappointing about Tony Macaulay’s story?

The quality of the recording was terrible -- repeated lines, broken words, guitar sounds between chapters that were too loud relative to the recording. Beyond that, the story could have been any childhood in the 70s. It was littered with banal pop cultural references, and the central paperboy story didn't resonate at all. If this was meant to illustrate the ordinariness of childhood in a extraordinary (and extraordinarily violent) time, it succeeded. But ordinariness does not a compelling narrative make!

How could the performance have been better?

Professional sound control with a professional reader.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Macauley spent some time on structure, ensuring that certain jokes -- however weak -- persisted through the narrative.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful