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Handstands In The Dark: A True Story of Growing Up and Survival [Kindle Edition]

Janey Godley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Brought up amid near-Dickensian squalour in the tough East End of Glasgow and sexually abused by her uncle, Janey married into a Glasgow criminal family as a teenager, then found herself having to cope with the murder of her mother, violence, religious sectarianism, abject poverty and a frightening family of in-laws.

First-hand, Janey saw the gangland violence and met extraordinary characters within an enclosed and seldom-revealed Glasgow underworld - from the grim and far-from-Swinging 60s, to the discos of the 70s, to the tidal wave of heroin addiction which swept through and engulfed Glasgow's East End during the 1980s.

This evocative, intimate and moving portrayal of a woman forced to fight every day for her family's future will strike a chord with anyone who has ever struggled against adversity.

Product Description


"'If anyone deserves their dreams to come true, she does... a tear-jerker'" (Sunday Herald)

Book Description

A unique life story from a true survivor, now in paperback

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost to mental to believe 10 July 2012
By faye
I read this book after coming across it by chance and from beginning to end could not put it down. Though some parts were really quite difficult to read (both because of the nature of them and because of some of the Glaswegian dialect) it was completely worth it and i was finished in 3 days. I do have to say that knowing that Janey Godley is now a completely sucessful woman makes it a slightly easier read, as you can see there's a light at the end of the tunnel during the darker places of the book. The story really is something that you couldn't make up and very well written, clearly with a lot of thought and care. ten out of ten!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 15 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having seen Janey onstage and her act comprises of her life warts and all, I wanted to read the book to discover more. It's shows that the past only refines you, it doesn't have to define you. She was abused, violated, half orphaned when her mother was murdered (her father was largely absent) and then became part of a gangster's family. The latter is where the story ends and as I know she is still married, I wonder if there will be a sequel. It would be interesting to know what happened in the last 20 years and how she became a comedienne and overcame the obstacles that were in the way. Namely the loss of the family business, her abuser's prosecution and how her marriage survived. She describes her husband onstage as autistic but I think she may have had to be either a saint or very committed to staying with him, as he doesn't come across as very likeable in the book. His family also sound horrendous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable woman 8 Aug. 2012
Janey Godleys book Handstand in the dark, is a brilliant read. I think it's easy to understand if you came from the East end of Glasgow as I did. I would have loved to have read further and found out more about what happened to her husbands family.
The book made me laugh & cry and admire
the person that Janey would become. It made me think of the east end of Glasgow which I had spent a long time trying to forget about.
I will hold this book and Janey Godley up there with great pride at the achievements she has made in her life.
I would love one day to meet this remarkable lady.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
What a life for one person to have to endure! I'm so glad that Janey Godley managed to find the humour to get her through and take her life in the direction it did rather than just becoming another "victim of childhood abuse".
I have attended a couple of Janey's stand up shows and have thoroughly enjoyed her great sense of humour and the ability to tell her story with a smile on her face.
Great read but heartbreaking at times.
Well done Janey!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Chelice
Format:Kindle Edition
When I first started reading this book I thought it would break my heart, but the truth is yes you will cry but you will also laugh and be surprised and feel proud of this woman whom you feel you get to know. She tells her story in an honest way and makes no appologies for who it has made her today. So all I can say is if you want a REAL look into someone's life. Pick Janeys and buy this book. The perfect person to show you how not to let your past ruin your future!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read. 12 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had a free Sunday on my hands and had just received this book on the Friday. I read it all on the Sunday. If you want to write an autobiography then please make sure you have lived a varied and interesting life. Janey certainly has and it is a story well worth telling. Coming from Glasgow myself I could relate to so much in the book, knowing the streets and pubs she writes about made it all very real for me. However the fact Janey puts it all in there warts and all, is what makes this a riveting read.

Unfortunately this is not a unique story as there are so many people who have suffered abuse, loss, living with alcoholism etc etc, but having the ability to be able to tell the story with such humour and truth takes real talent. Janey Godley certainly has the ability for story telling, even if it's a story which shows the uglier side of life. If you have a long haul flight coming up I would definitely recommend this book, you'll be finished by the time you land.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down! 21 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful read; I actually couldn't put it down. Having seen Janey's brilliant comedy act I was curious to read about her background so purchased this not really knowing what to expect. She gives a frank and intimate account of her experience of growing up in Glasgow and yes, at times it was hard to read but, being from this neck of the woods myself I found it especially interesting and true to life. The negative reviews on here accusing her of 'fantasizing' I find incredulous. This only serves to demonstrate the reasons why so many find it hard to come out about publically about abuse. Not being believed is something that stops children and young adults telling someone - I applaud anyone that can share difficult experiences like this. Entertaining, inciteful and poignant. I loved it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 27 Oct. 2013
By Pauline
Found this absolutely fascinating from start to finish. If you want to get a better understanding of how it feels for a child to grow up in poverty, to grow up in a household where there's an addiction, to witness violence, to be abused, or if you want to try to understand better why a woman who is being battered will stay with the person who is doing that to her, read this book. It's all written with enough humour, optimism and joy to be an enjoyable read in spite of all the hard things Janey had to go through that she describes. You should follow her on Twitter too, she's very very funny @janeygodley . But finish the book quickly before you follow Janey on Twitter, as sometimes she says things that will ruin the suspense!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good book.
Published 2 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars There's yir Dinner
Very frank and honest account of a life made successful by shear guts, a sharp tongue and a big attitude.
Brilliant read.
Published 2 months ago by WeeTee
5.0 out of 5 stars gutted it's finished
I couldn't out this book down. Initially because I grew up a few miles away but the story of survival from such a young age is quite inspiring. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nichola
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my wife loved this book
Published 4 months ago by S. Maca
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed the book
Published 4 months ago by jean wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a truly remarkable story of a strong woman who, despite a very difficult start in life, overcame her demons and worked hard to escape her nightmares. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully funny...
I read this book around 8 years ago. I was in Borders and noticed the author's name and remembered that I'd seem Janey's stand up routine a few weeks before on TV so thought I'd... Read more
Published 6 months ago by ButterflyLC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A completely harrowing but funny biography glad I read it
Published 7 months ago by tracey hardie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought this after seeing Janey's stand up show. An interesting peek into an interesting life.
Published 9 months ago by phlipp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Rember the places from my childhood
Published 9 months ago by Isabel Campbell
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