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Are We All Having A Lovely Time?
 
 

Are We All Having A Lovely Time? [Kindle Edition]

Neil Saunders
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Ben Cashew really thinks he's something special! Being the cruise director of the Ocean Explorer gives him ample opportunity to show himself off as the natural performer he is. Since childhood he dreamed of being a professional entertainer, so considers that he has done very well for himself. But when a drunken séance causes the boy he bullied at school, and committed suicide 20 years before, to come back to Earth, he is confronted by his bitter victim as to whether or not he really is a success. He is forced to re-evaluate his life and, perhaps, both bully and victim, through each other, can even find redemption.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 607 KB
  • Print Length: 127 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again Publishing; 1st edition (10 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GL4IUEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,255 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Neil Saunders (1971- )

When Neil Saunders arrived at primary school he could already read, his mother having taught him from a cartoon strip in the Daily Mirror. School was dangerously easy, and he achieved with little effort, making him rather lazy. He didn't enjoy school and was obsessed, not with reading, but with pop music. He heard Tony Blackburn play M's Pop Muzik and that gave him his first ambition, to become a disc jockey. His early years were quite ordinary. He wasn't very sporty, so he didn't play street football with the neighbours' children, rather sit out on garden walls chatting.

At the age of eleven he was sent to a comprehensive school in Burgess Hill, his brother's school but a different one from all his friends. In retrospect he has described it as: "like a borstal, only without the camaraderie...or the education for that matter." Bullied, he began walking out of school and straight back home. He was immediately returned to the school by his mother. For a long time he had been trying to persuade her that no actual education took place. In front of the man responsible for pastoral care, he claimed that they never learnt anything new. His mother then heard it from a member of senior staff herself that: "We spend the first three years finding out what children learnt at primary school." He enquired Neil's father's occupation. And upon learning that he was a mere factory assembler, said to him: "You are lucky. When I went to school I had to learn Latin and Ancient Greek, you can do Metalwork and Technical Drawing." At the age of 14 he never returned, and his family were threatened with prosecution.

A bitter and resentful teenager, he drifted between periods on benefits, government training schemes and entry-level jobs. It had become a sport amongst his former classmates to park in the car-park where he was an attendant, and point out the loser to their friends when they paid.

In his car-park he had a lot of time waiting around on his hands, in between customers, so he started reading true-crime books. He started a pen-pal correspondence with the true-crime writer, Brian Marriner, which only ended upon his death in 1999. He started reading fiction for the first time since primary school, since the books chosen by his secondary school, for cultural nourishment, seemed completely irrelevant to his life and put him off: he wasn't a poor cotton picker in the deep south denied the same civil rights as his white countrymen. He was a twelve-year-old boy living in a satellite commuter town with a 1980s high street of estate agents and building societies.

Moving quickly into the present, having spent years in factories and finally managing to get a permanent position as an admin officer in an office, he took a short story writing course. He discovered that he could write. And that is how he came to write Al Qaeda Broke My Suitcase and other stories.

Two years have since passed since the publication of his first collection of short stories. He has now published his first novel, Are We All Having A Lovely Time?



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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed 3 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really enjoyable read that had me hooked from the get go, its an emotional rollercoaster that leaves you laughing out loud to feeling sad for the characters in no time at all, I’m very proud of Mr.Saunders. Congratulations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Read 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I have previously read and reviewed Neil Saunders' first publication, Al Qaeda Broke my Suitcase and other short stories, a collection which I enjoyed immensely. I was therefore looking forward to reading his first novel, Are We All Having a Lovely Time?. Both publications have a great cover, which I think immediately appeals to the reader.

Set on a cruise ship with a small cast of characters Are We All Having a Lovely Time? has strong political themes, both British and international, a similarity that can be drawn with Saunders' first publication. The characters discuss Montenegro, former Yugoslavia and Serbia; the European Union; "the first cruise holidays available to ordinary people were provided by Hitler".

Another strong theme is education, and everything that falls under that from being good at sports to bullying to the state of the education system and how funding is raised for schools. Ben Cashew, the main character in the book, bullied Rhys at school which led to Rhys' suicide. Until the drunken séance he hasn't given Rhys a second thought. But by reconnecting, both characters stand to change and maybe gain something.

Saunders' second publication doesn't disappoint. The writing flows well and the characters are believable. As an author Saunders has a strong voice and writes convincingly on subjects he is clearly passionate about. Are We All Having a Lovely Time? is a good read.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Read 26 Feb 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I have previously read and reviewed Neil Saunders' first publication, "Al Qaeda Broke my Suitcase and other short stories", a collection which I enjoyed immensely. I was therefore looking forward to reading his first novel, "Are We All Having a Lovely Time?". Both publications have a great cover, which I think immediately appeals to the reader.

Set on a cruise ship with a small cast of characters "Are We All Having a Lovely Time?" has strong political themes, both British and international, a similarity that can be drawn with Saunders' first publication. The characters discuss Montenegro, former Yugoslavia and Serbia; the European Union; 'the first cruise holidays available to ordinary people were provided by Hitler'.

Another strong theme is education, and everything that falls under that from being good at sports to bullying to the state of the education system and how funding is raised for schools. Ben Cashew, the main character in the book, bullied Rhys at school which led to Rhys' suicide. Until the drunken séance he hasn't given Rhys a second thought. But by reconnecting, both characters stand to change and maybe gain something.

Saunders' second publication doesn't disappoint. The writing flows well and the characters are believable. As an author Saunders has a strong voice and writes convincingly on subjects he is clearly passionate about. "Are We All Having a Lovely Time?" is a good read.
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