Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America/ Chivers 2003
CS ISBN 075400970X $84.95 Ten cassettes
CD ISBN 075405585X $94.95 Ten CDs
Sam Kelly's experience in radio stands him in good stead as he makes a hardscrabble 1920s Lancashire childhood come alive. Growing up in the center of declining British cotton mills amid hunger, smoke, strikes, and unemployment could be a depressing experience, but Woodruff's prose and Sam Kelly's fully voiced reading bring out the joys of first love, the devotion of a pet dog, and the humorous side of employment. Kelly picks up on the affection of a young boy for his proud but penniless grandmother and his enthusiasm for the simple entertainments of the pre-TV world. The local accent poses no problem; he also does a fair "Churchill," who speaks in the local square, and sings several songs on key. The narrative ends with Woodruff's departure for London in his teens; one looks forward to the sequel. J.B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 04]
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