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Before the Last All Clear [Hardcover]

Ray Evans
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.95
Price: 16.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2006
This is the story of a young evacuee from Liverpool sent to live in the Welsh town of Llanelli. Separated from his mother, brothers and sisters, six-year-old Ray Evans was dispatched to a series of families who ignored, exploited and brutalised him. Pushed from pillar to post, he finally finds happiness with a family who make him so welcome that he is reluctant to leave when war ends. Set in a world of ration books, air-raid sirens and ever-present danger, this is a candid and direct account of wartime Britain as seen through the eyes of a child.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Book Guild Ltd (15 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857769562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857769562
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,525,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The witty yet deeply poignant memories of a man still haunted by the cruelties he endured. --Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author

can you tell me when you expect this book to be released, and
when i can get a copy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fast, Enjoyable Read 27 Oct 2005
I have always found that the most compelling stories of our history are those of the people involved in it. This book, an auto-biographical account of the story of a young English evacuee during the Second World War, had me hooked at the first words for that reason. I've always wondered what it was like for the people of Britain during those horrible days, and herein is an answer to that question. History is important not just because of the events, but because of the effect those events have on the human experience. This book is important for that reason.
The beauty of this story is in it's simplicity. The story is told in a simple, almost terse style without much ornamentation. The writer is obviously more concerned with telling the story itself than impressing with flowery language. It comes across as a story like your grandfather would tell you as you sat on his knee, a "here's what happened to me" told by someone itching to share an experience. This is Mr. Evans' first book, but he does a fine job of weaving a story in chronological order and with great detail considering that more than 60 years have passed since his experience as an evacuee.
Overall, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and read it in less than 2 days. You may find yourself, as I did, rejoicing, commiserating, sympathizing and despising all within a matter of a few pages. My guess though, is that you will be pleased that you read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and Beautiful... 20 Oct 2005
I am writing this review because Ray Evans happens to be a friend, and because he graciously allowed me to read the manuscript before the book was published. I ended up enjoying it so much I felt the need to write a review.
The style of writing he uses is simple. I got the feeling while reading, in fact that I was listening to my grandfather tell stories about the "Great War". There is no fluff here, no use of overpowering metaphors or hyperbole. Just the simple story of a boy put in an extremely difficult situation, trying to survive while far away from home, terribly lonely and afraid.
It certainly would have been easy for Mr. Evans to exaggerate, but there is no evidence of that here. Somehow, though, the power of the story emerges. It is as if the author has moved aside to allow the story to tell itself. That he was smart enough to realize that his story was powerful enough without embelishment to impact the reader emotionally, is a testament to his wisdom.
If you are looking for a fantastical read with made up heroes and villains, find something else to read. But, if you'd like to read a story about a boy who somehow makes due and even thrives in nearly impossible conditions, a story that is so obviously true that it hurts all the more to read, this might could quite possibly be that rare book that touches your heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars before the last all clear 28 Nov 2005
A very true and well written book on the war years for civilians.It is interesting to read for all ages, those who remember the war, those who like myself was born after the war but was told of these stories and also the younger generation who have no idea what went on in the war. It will have you in tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I have passed it on to a few different people in all walks of life and they too have enjoyed it.I look forward to his next book.Well worth reading
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 9 Aug 2006
This work by Ray Evans is a moving account of a young lads progress through his early life. I dont think anyone reading it could fail to be impressed by the authors tenacity when faced with all he had to put up with during those turbulent years.

Fortunately the book ends on a happy note when the author finds some happiness and a lasting relationship with his adopted family. It is also pleasing that the author himself seems to have come through it all with a sense of humour. Nice one Ray!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Call 6 Aug 2006
This was the most amazing, moving book I have read in a very long time. It was spectularly written. The events in this man's life were very heart wrenching and unfortunately many events as this have occured that we never hear about. Mr. Evans was a very brave, courageous man that lived throughout the horrors of every day life that he had to bear. Today he is a remarkable man. I have just recently met him and he is a very calm, soft spoken man who you would've never believed endured what he had as a child.

Hat's off to you Ray Evans and thank you for sharing your experiences during the war. It was very difficult to put this book down until it was finished. Tears were shed by me of the unbelievable treatment that he went through.

A must read book !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving... 18 July 2006
Ray Evans is my grandfather so I am rather biased as to my feeling on this book but I promise nothing I write below can even do justice to how good this book is!

It was so moving and touching it reduced me to tears at points. I enjoyed it soooo much because I was reading about my grandfather, but its also the way in which the book is written. Ray sucessfully manages to tell the story from his point of view as a nine year old boy, you will find yourself completely captured into his world and feeling the emotions he felt.

Its an amazing book and will touch your heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 12 July 2006
I had the pleasure of reading "Before the Last All Clear" and found it to be thought-provoking, insightful and most amazingly, real. We who are removed from these atrocities find it hard to believe that we are, in fact, reading about the actual experiences of the author and not some imaginings of a fictional writer. While reading, I found myself fighting with Ray to survive, cheering his minor victories, and admonishing those who caused him pain... all the while thinking could I have had the strength to walk in his shoes. The straitforward, "plain talk" style of the author made this a book I not only couldn't, but didn't want to put down. Thank you, Ray, for sharing your story.
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