book reviews , different studio guests each week. Join us every Thursday between 12 and 1pm on Radio Scilly 107.9fm or log on to

Missed any programmes? See below for list of guests, books and other details discussed.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Alan Johnson - This Boy

book review written and read live on the bookshow by Maggie Perkovich on 11th Dec 2014
(showhost said "just hearing the title of the book makes you want to burst into the Beatles song but with my voice I wouldn't be that cruel")

A memoir by a politician who has really lived life at the bad end. Born to
a family with an errant dad and very poorly Mum, life in the 1950s was hard.
They lived in condemned housing with the ensuing health problems.
No central heating, no electricity, and no running water. The money that
kept the rent paid and food on the table was supplied by Lily his Mum who
against Doctor's orders worked all the hours there were in the day and night.
Dad spent his time in the local pub where he played the piano and entertained
other women. Without his older sister Linda, the family after his mother died
would have been split up. She took on the burden of a young brother to keep
and showed the local authority that she could manage without interfenence.
She was still a teenager when this happened.
Alan tells a gutsy story without seeking pity, he praises Linda without stint,
saying "Without her input we would have gone under" To illustrate on
happening. Lily ran up a large debt in the local grocers. Linda offered to
work yp pay it off. He accepted and she later worked for him after the debt
was repaid.
This Boy is a book about success against all the odds and a vivid picture
of a bygone era. Well recommended. Maggie Perkovic.

No comments: