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review 2019-06-06 21:46
The Paperboy by Tony Macaulay
Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles - Tony Macaulay

The Paperboy is a memoir set in 1970’s Belfast when the Troubles had not long begun. Anything I've read before depicting this era in Northern Ireland is told from the Nationalist point of view. Tony, the protagonist, however, is from the Shankill, a staunchly protestant area of Belfast (to this day) and is told from a Unionist perspective. His parents are quite progressive, though and he considers the Troubles ridiculous. He attends Belfast Royal Academy (his friends from the Shankill tease him by calling it by the acronym, ‘Bra.’) and a very good friend of his is Catholic, so he fails to see why everyone else can’t just get along.

 

The Troubles are very much a backdrop to the narrative of Tony’s life and as such don’t play a key role. I, for one, welcomed this as most of the books I’ve read set around the same period are focused heavily on the Troubles. I learned much more about Tony’s youthful career as a paperboy and, ‘aul Mac,’ his boss than I did about petrol-bombs and soldiers.

 

There was a very different feel to this memoir than other books of the period; optimism. I usually find if I read about the Troubles for any length of time I get an acute sense of claustrophobia. That wasn’t the case here. The Paperboy was filled with wit and humour, counteracting the turbulent time perfectly. If you’re looking for a book to educate you about this time period I would look elsewhere, as it’s more about pop culture (bay city rollers etc) and youth.

 

As soon as I finished The Paperboy I started the next book in the trilogy which tells of Tony’s adolescent years as a bread delivery boy. I found the atmosphere in that one a little more cloying, though and elected to read it another time. I’m sure it’ll still be great, though. I really hope the author puts on a local event. It’s Belfast book week very shortly and I’m going to a number of events, including one I can’t wait for with the authors Paul McVeigh and Lisa McInerney. I haven’t seen one that Tony’s at, though.

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text 2019-05-06 21:01
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles - Tony Macaulay

Maybe Catholics and Protestants were no more different than the Radio Times and the TV Times: alternative formats- one a bit heavier than the other- but basically the same content.

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text 2019-04-29 21:01
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles - Tony Macaulay

I understood that this was the Northern Ireland way. If someone hits you, you hit them back harder. It felt satisfying and powerful, but I knew this way solved absolutely nothing. I saw it every day in Belfast. Tit-for-tat for tit-for-tat. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a Catholic for a Protestant. Men excusing heinous acts of inhumanity to protect or liberate 'their' people, belligerently sowing pain and bitterness for generations to come. I suppose it made them feel potent and powerful too. I got a little taste of it that night with my father and the wee hood, but I spat it out. It sickened me. There had to be another way. I resolved that I would be Belfast's first pacifist paperboy.

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review 2015-01-16 22:07
Paperboy Book Review
Paperboy - Vince Vawter

I'm having trouble finding decent books this year. Have yet to fall in love with one yet. Paperboy is being said to be just as well done as To Kill A Mockingbird - absolutely not. While it has some of the same themes, it comes no where close to the writing style and brilliance that is To Kill A Mockingbird

 

Little Man, an eleven year old who can't talk because he stutters, has never been able to hold a real conversation with adults or children his age. When he's left doing the paper run he's forced to learn to communicate with several odd people on his route. 

 

I found this mostly boring. A repetetive story of a young boy's paper route. I appreciate that it is about a child who stutters and has trouble talking to people. I just couldn't get interested in it. The character comes off fairly dull and because he stutters there's absolutely no comma's or hardly any grammar, not a fan. 

 

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text 2014-12-31 06:51
A BAKER'S DOZEN: My Off-The-Beaten-Path Favorites From 2014
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel - Anthony Doerr
The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey
By Karen Joy Fowler We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel (Reprint) - Karen Joy Fowler
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy - Karen Foxlee
Women in Bed: Nine Stories - Jessica Keener
Perfect - Rachel Joyce
Paperboy - Vince Vawter
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Claire North
Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line - Michael Gibney
The Removers: A Memoir - Andrew Meredith

So this year was truly an embarrassment of riches. I had to really pair this list down, because when I went through and selected the books I had given four or five stars to this year, there were more than a baker’s dozen. So, I tried to take off a few of the higher profile books, the ones that really don’t need a nudge from me or anyone else to boost their sales. I chose a variety as well, including a short story collection, a couple memoirs, a lot of great fiction, some awesome middle grade, and of course, a zombie book, all in no particular order. Who would have thought I would have to choose between two zombie books before only one made the cut? I realize there is no solid non-fiction here, so I will have to work on that for next year.

 

Let me know if you have some for me to add to my TBR 2015.

 

  1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

 

  1. THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

 

  1. WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES

 

  1. OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY

 

  1. WOMEN IN BED

 

  1. PERFECT

 

  1. THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST

 

  1. PAPERBOY

 

  1. SOUS CHEF: 24 HOURS ON THE LINE

 

  1. THE REMOVERS

 

  1. THE MOUNTAINTOP SCHOOL FOR DOGS

 

  1. MY COUSIN'S KEEPER

 

  1. THE SLEEPWALKER'S GUIDE TO DANCING

 

 

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