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.
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Bad Quality Recording; Remarkably Uninteresting
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!
Professional sound control with a professional reader.
Macauley spent some time on structure, ensuring that certain jokes -- however weak -- persisted through the narrative.
- Scott&Scott (aka Romentics)
- Kim C