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Christopher Fowler – Paperboy

Posted in Book reviews, and Non-fiction

There are two things I have to confess to before you can start reading my review of Paperboy. First of them is little bit embarrasing: my interest in this memoir wasn‘t created only by its reviews on Goodreads, but also because I secretly hoped it will be about the real paper boy. The reason is pretty expectable, as I was a paper girl, and was thinking how cool it must have been in London. Silly me. But we are getting to the other confession: London is the city of my heart, and is calling me regulary to come back. Sure I‘m not the only one and there are many people of different ages who can relate to me. Since my first visit as a small girl, I was planning to move there, then to go there with my friend, with my boyfriend, go there when it‘s summer, when it‘s Christmas time, go there at least once per year.. All of that just to remind myself that incredible feeling this city gives me. And as I‘m not living there, at least yet, I‘m reading books about it. I would probably even read some of its maps. So, now I guess it‘s obvious why I wanted to get Paperboy to my bookshelf.

The whole book is filled with detailed information about life back then. It wasn‘t the London we know now, how could be, constantly changing? But it brought evidence of narrow minded society, and at the same time unimaginable excitement of changes coming with nation‘s war recovery. Those were the times when kids were still playing in the streets, where not obeying all unspoken rules was considered rebellion, where important things were happening between people, and not people and the screen. Christopher is showing this to us, readers, through growing up years in his family. He reveals former life of the working class, the importance of fulfilling expectations, but also relationships within family members in difficult times for various reasons. All of this with both humor and seriousness.

I wish I could appreciate more Paperboy‘s legacy. But I was born four decades later, in a different country, and had to google few things/people mentioned in the book, so I can understand jokes and allusions. But there was a fascinating amount of situations I remember from my childhood, together with kind of people I‘ve met. Until now I find hilarious, how my own mother stores all new things in a way she can‘t even use them, but is sure they are not getting broken, how she‘s whispering gossips although there‘s no one around (just in case), and also her fearless stance towards my father. It‘s almost unneccessary to mention how I spent my early childhood with my parents‘ typewriter writing my own stories, later carrying tons of books up to the hill from our library. Thank you, Christopher, for bringing all those memories back.

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