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The Madonna of Bolton

By: Matt Cain
Narrated by: Simon Vause
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Summary

Charlie Matthews’ love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life until Auntie Jan gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called "Lucky Star".... 

On his ninth birthday, Charlie discovers Madonna and falls in love. His obsession sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school, fitting in at a posh university, a glamorous career in London, finding boyfriends, getting rid of boyfriends, and family heartbreak. Madonna’s music and videos inspire him, and her fierce determination to succeed gives him the confidence to do the same. Ultimately, though, he must learn to let go of his idol and find his own voice. 

Charlie’s story is Billy Elliot meets Beautiful Thing wearing a conical bra - a story for anyone who ever sang their heart out, looked for love and dreamed of more.... The Madonna of Bolton will make you laugh, cry and Get into the Groove. It’s a book to Cherish and a Ray of Light, and it even has a little Hanky Panky.

©2018 Matt Cain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Both corny and feel good

Yes, indeed; I have say this book is pretty corny. Mind you, the lead Character, Charlie, is - at times - annoyingly corny.

A boy who doesn't fit in at school who has an obsession with Madonna. Also, has probably always been gay from the start.

I identify with Charlie in way other than the gay issue. That is, I was obsessed with Madonna. I used to Madonna-ise my life and see everything did and went marry up with me. Unlike Charlie I ditched all that by the early 90s. Yet, for a brief revisitation in 1998, after coming through a bad time in my life, feeling renewal when Madonna appeared to go through some kind of rebirth. Unlike Charlie, I got tired and dissolution by Madonna from 2008. If the story didn't end with Hard Candy, I expect he'd still be a fan now.
However, Charlie's adoration does finally mature over the course of this story.
The characters are amusing. There!0's a lot of laughter here and there, along with sombre heart touching moments.

Someone remarked about how camp all the gay men are portrayed by the narrator. Well, he camps up almost ever single character. Only Charlie's dad and brother manage to escape that. One of Charlie's boyfriend's also.

Look out for a stark twist in this story latter on. It will have your jaw dropping.

Oh, one more thing I can relate to with Charlie is the football thing. Forced to play it at school. Charlie has a mild visual impairment (short or long sight at a guess) where my eye sight ''tis a lot worse. Thank god my parents didn't give me a brother. The relationship with the brothers is interesting comes with a revealing twist later on.

For all it's corniness, it's light hearted, deep felt and cones with intriguing and revealing twist.

You may identify something of yourself in Charlie, like me, if not totally identify with him.

Ph, the 80s reminiscing, thank you 😊

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t stop listening

This was such a heartfelt book and beautifully narrated. It conjures so many memories of growing up and made me really emotional in places. It’s a brilliant book that will make you laugh, sigh, cry and feel so much for the characters. I felt it was my life in a way being written about and I think many gay men who grew up in small towns will feel the same. But this isn’t just a book for gay people it’s a wonderful story that anyone can enjoy and one of the best things I’ve heard on audible.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this!!!

A wonderful read, made me laugh and cry! Will be recommending this as a great summer read 😊

1 person found this helpful

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Blast from the past

Really enjoyed the story. Brought back a lot of memories . Some sad parts but left me feeling happy. I look forward to more from the author.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing

wonderful story, made me laugh & cry, Bolton is the best. Well written & reminds me of my own journey

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Love this book

There's no question that this book is beautifully and honestly written from the heart. Every inch of this I can relate to, echoing my own life and my obsession with Madonna. Equally my own battle of identifying who I am and facing truth seems to be a mirror image of the bulk of this book. Have now read it several times.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Desperately Seeking Something

This is not terrible but it's not good. I think if I had read it rather than listened I would have enjoyed it more! the overly camp voice of Charlie's speaking voice contrasted greatly with the narrating/internal Charlie voice to the point that i felt it was insulting. the efiting is appalling too with sudden bursts of inappropriate excited reading.
it's made me want to write my own book...

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Absolutely Gorgeous

This story will warm your heart. Especially if you enjoy the 70s 80s nostalgia... and are gay... and love madonna...

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Good story but why the lisping gay narration?

A decent story but marred by the narrator's horrible clichéd camp accent he puts on for most of the gay characters

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining

What a wonderful truthful life story of a gay man's journey from boy to man. Funny and well told.

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  • MACC
  • 27-07-18

Wow Wow Wow

One of my fav book of the year has become my fav audio book of all time.... this had me laughing and crying.... Matt Cain writing skills and Simon Vause talent make a great double act.... need a follow up to Madonna Of Bolton I need to know what happens to these characters next. You do not need to be a Madonna fan to love this book it just helps.