Wednesday, 23 February 2011

BILLY BROWN I’LL TELL YOUR MOTHER by Bill Brown

This is an autobiographical tale of growing up in the years immediately after the second World War.

Some aspects of it are quite interesting: the aspirational nature of council housing (that really bends the mind, today); the sense of community; the fun to be had in bombed out houses. It's also an engaging and pleasant read, and you find yourself caring for the characters, and believing in their world.

In general however I have to confess I found it a tiny bit cheesy. Apparently, immediately after the war, no one ever had any complex or contradictory feelings, and no arguments were ever serious.

I suspect that it is perhaps read and loved by people who remember that time, and in particular perhaps by those who like to tut tut about today.

19 comments:

  1. Seems interesting. Would have loved a deeper review

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  2. I have to say I feel a bit mean in not liking this book! I just got annoyed with all the nostalgia, though the author seemed terribly sweet and genuine . . . x

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  3. This is my Fathers book and is the first he has written. It was originaly a competition entry on a TV show. I have heard him tell me many of the stories before. It mainly concerns iself with his early entrepreneurial efforts in and around postwar Brixton and the love and support he got from his parents, especialy his Mother, my late Grandmother.
    It is very much written through the eyes of a boy which accounts for the lack of depth regarding relationships and conflicts as mentioned in Sarahs review. This volume takes you from something like his 9th to 16th birthday, I believe there are two more volumes to come concerning his late teenage years and then his twenty years as a London Fireman. He has many stories.
    It is an easy read, it is a little 'rosey' but then is that not the nature of nostagia?
    I really enjoyed it (though of course I am bias) and it while it does paint a vivid picture of a past age he is an extrodinary person.
    It appears to have been well recieved, achieved a fair amount of TV news time and he has been nominated Author Of The Month at the publishers as well as being picked up on LBC book club. It has been said it would make a brilliant TV series......

    Peace.

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    1. I loved the book especially as it mentions my grandad peter and ny great aunty Ruth. Really enjoyed it and everyone who I've recommended it to said they did too.

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  4. Oh thanks for commenting! It is great to hear it is his first book - what an achievement to get published! I mean it's an achievement for anyone, but espeically for an older person, publishing being what it is!

    I think you are right, the past does always seem rosier than the present! Perhaps also in our era we are too used also to looking to the negative, rather than the positive. . . which we should definitely work on x

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  5. This is a marvellous book, full of joy, life and laughter.The sense of family and community spirit that pervades the pages is wonderful. To describe it as 'cheesy' very very succinctly summarises what has been lost by so many people between then and now.Shame.

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  6. Hi Andy! Yes, lots of people seem to agree with you! I feel rather guilty that I can't seem to believe in that sort of view of the era. Maybe I am a terrible modern person after all! x

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  7. THIS OOK IS VERY BEATIFUL IT JUST FGOES RIGH IN TO MY HEART AND I HAVE GOT THE BOOK.
    WELL DONE AND CAN YOU NOT SAY ITS ANNOYING CAUSE YOU HEART LASS

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  8. i'm reading the book right now, at page 31 (yes! just!) and i'm already liking it. i love how mr brown started the story. i can already picture it as a movie! i'm looking forward to the next volumes!

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  9. Hey Rae - everyone seems to LOVE this book. I didn't realise it was the first of many? I think Bill Brown is going to be a rich man! Incredible that BILLY BROWN is his first book and so many people love it.

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  10. Love the book, I found I could not put it down. I am of the age where I can say "I remember that"
    Wonderful book, thank you. I am looking forward to the next ones.

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  11. what a great book loved every bit ,plesae write more i cant wait i love nostalgia and made me feel i was back in time fantastic read . wiltshire.

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  12. I just finished the book and loved it! Billy made me smile and care about the people he was describing. Of course it was light hearted, that's how childhood memories are for most of us (if we're lucky). I can't wait to read more of Billys stories and would love to thank him for sharing them.

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  13. I can honestly say this is the best autobiography book I have rea, in fact I have like it that much that I am my ninth read opf it and I only bought it at the beginning of July 2012. Yes maybe it's because I can reflect a lot of my own life from it, I was born in 1944 and would be two and a half years younger than Billy, but when looking at todays world it was a far better time and this book reflects this. Although I won't be publishing my own autobiography I have wrote it for my family to read and only have to print it out now.

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  14. Yes, people seem to really like this book! I actually have had to delete a few abusive posts on this blog, with people who love it so much that they are angry that anyone else didn't. Great work from Billy Brown in writing something so many people really enjoy!

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  15. I have just finished reading this book , and i loved it, i found myself stealing opportunities to read it even arriving at my sons school 45 minutes early. I would love to see the book made into a Tv series.

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  16. I have just read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I could relate to many of Billy's experiences and the close community where he lived. I agree it would make a good TV mini series so not to spoilt the essence of the story or the character by allowing it to drag on too long. Billy should be held up as an inspiration to all young people for his tenacity and moral compass.

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  17. JUST FINISHED THE BOOK. COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. READ IT IN TWO DAYS. CONGRATULATIONS TO BILL BROWN. I THINK WE ALL HAVE A BILLY IN US BUT THE MAJORITY OF US NEVER LET HIM OUT TO PLAY. THANK YOU BILL FOR TWO DAYS OF ESCAPISM.

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  18. Loved this book, has he written any more?

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