- A Slice of Bread and Jam
- Narrated by: Kevin Hely
- Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 16-01-17
- Language: English
- Publisher: Mirror Books
A raw and often funny 12-month snapshot of seven-year-old Tommy's brutal young life. Moving us through his daily struggle with poverty and neglect in 1960s Manchester like it's the most natural thing in the world, Tommy lives at the heart of a large Irish family in derelict Hulme, ruled by an abusive and alcoholic father and a drunk, negligent mother.
Alongside his siblings he begs for - or steals - a few pennies to bring home to his parents and avoid a belting, while looking for something to eat and a little adventure along the way. With an unlikely sense of fun and a huge dose of good humor, Tommy introduces us to his foul-mouthed and chaotic family members. Deeply flawed they may all be, but amongst the violence, grinding poverty, and distinct lack of hygiene and morality lies a strong sense of loyalty and, above all, survival.
During this single year - before his family implodes and his world changes forever - young Tommy falls foul of the school welfare officers, the nuns, the police - and Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
An adventurous, fun, dark and moving story of the only life young Tommy knew.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Yusuf on 11-07-17
A must read for anyone interested in social history, Manchester in the 1960s, or the Irish diasporah.
This has been a rather difficult review to write. So let's deal with the easy bit first. The narrator Kevin Hely, who I had not previously heard of, turns in an absolutely outstanding performance. Of course, with that wonderful Irish accent, it would be hard for me to dislike his narration. But Setting that aside, he manages to bring to life all the various characters which Tommy Rhattigan wrote about. Now to the hard part of this review. The story is a difficult one. Tommy, the narrator, is one of 13 children. His parents, both of them, would now be described as both neglectful and abusive. The "adventures" described are at times harrowing. Rhattigan's style means that he can describe events which are terrifying, all the more so when you recollect that this is a true story. In spite of that I found myself laughing throughout listening to this book. Although the book takes place in 1963, Manchester, I was left feeling that many of the events described wouldn't have been out of place in a Dickens novel set in the Victorian period. This is a book I will not forget in a hurry, a truly memorable read! Rhattigan should be encouraged to write more, especially as I'm dying to know what happened next.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Leila on 16-05-17
I loved every minute of this audiobook! I loved the author's vivid, detailed memories of his childhood...They were shocking, sad and funny all at the same time, as he shared memories of his childhood days spent avoiding school, begging for change with his siblings, stealing, getting into mischief, and describing life through the eyes of a child with his alcoholic parents. This is the first time I've listened to Kevin Hely narrate, and he is now a new favorite! His irish brogue and performance of the narrative is spot on, perfect, and hilarious! I've already listened to this book twice, and I enjoyed the story and the narrator's Irish brogue and lively performance so much that I'm listening to it for the third time now. Kevin Hely is as charming as Frank McCourt! Love him!