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King's Cross Kid: A London Childhood between the Wars [Hardcover]

Victor Gregg , Rick Stroud
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 May 2013
Ninety-three-year-old Victor Gregg has had a rich and fascinating life. King's Cross Kid follows his London childhood from the age of five, when life was so hard that the Salvation Army arranged for young Vic to be taken to the Shaftesbury Home for Destitute Children. Home again a year later, the scallywag years of late childhood began. Then, after the years of street gangs and run-ins with the law, Vic leaves school at fourteen and his real adventures start, and with them a working-class apprenticeship in survival. Ending with his enlistment in the army on the day of his eighteenth birthday, this prequel to the bestselling Rifleman will appeal to the many readers who were charmed by Victor Gregg's engaging, honest and warm voice.

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King's Cross Kid: A London Childhood between the Wars + Rifleman: A Front-Line Life from Alamein and Dresden to the Fall of the Berlin Wall
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408840502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408840504
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Evocative, detailed and unsentimental - gets us wonderfully close-up to the London of the 1930s viewed through the unblinking eyes of a working-class boy relishing every new experience (David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain)

An urchin's story that does for London what The Road to Nab End did for Lancashire ... a vivid recreation of a street life of poverty and insecurity richly infused with great warmth, mischief and humour (Juliet Gardiner, author of The Thirties: An Intimate History)

Vic's honesty and warmth shine through this engaging story (Choice Magazine)

Intensely moving **** (Juliet Gardner, Mail on Sunday)

A gripping life-story: an incident-packed account of heartache, violence and cunning by a man whose will to survive and unbreakable optimism are a true inspiration (Independent on Rifleman)

Completely fascinating ... It has an immediate power throughout that makes war fiction a pale shadow of the real thing (Conn Iggulden)

Second World War memoirs are commonplace, but very few soldiers had Victor Gregg's breadth and depth of experience ... Rifleman is an outstanding book that deserves to become a classic (Lloyd Clark, author of Arnhem)

As action-packed as any fiction, and yet this is no novel ... His is truly an astonishing story (James Holland, author of The Battle of Britain and Fortress Malta)

Quite simply, it is one of the best first-hand accounts by a combat infantryman that I have read ... This gripping book immediately joins a select band of the best soldiers' stories told from the sharp end. It is a classic ***** (Gary Sheffield, Mail on Sunday)

His coldly factual account of the torments of its burned-to-death victims exceeds in power even Kurt Vonnegut's famous fictional account, Slaughterhouse Five ... Warrior Gregg has seen and experienced the stuff of nightmares, but remains a chirpy optimist in his 90s (Daily Mirror)

Book Description

This highly entertaining prequel to the same author's best-selling Rifleman is set to become one of the classic accounts of a London working-class childhood and youth

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 11 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a child who grew up in this era, and area this is a real memory jerker. In a good way.
I don't think todays children with their mobiles and game consoles realise what they are missing.
When was the last time you saw a group of children happily playing in the street.
Today for all its advances is not as good in other ways.
here's to looking back with rose tinted spectacles:0)
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5.0 out of 5 stars locality 28 Aug 2013
By John
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My husband was born in London and lived there so the location was of interest. The author had a disadvantaged childhood and made something of himself. I enjoyed this very much.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A gt start to trilogy 18 July 2013
By Ann - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone with an interest in biographys of the wars will love this precursor book. The skills our author learns in his up bringing make sense when we read his nest two books.
A fantastic insight..
5.0 out of 5 stars hard scrapple 11 July 2013
By barry - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A determined lad from a "single parent"family shows the amusing circumstances of being brought-up on the"other side of the tracks". Graduating from the "college of hard knocks"always prepares a good student for the Outside World. Vic Gregg is still a great forager in survival and one must read his WWII years in the book"RIFLEMAN". Good fortune follows the wise and Vic Gregg is a very wise man and the reason there WILL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND. This Hero is alive and well and over 90 years old. God save the Queen & Vic Gregg.
4.0 out of 5 stars Life can be tough 30 Jun 2013
By Ladonna A. English - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Life between the wars for a poor family in the depths of London. Not a pretty picture, but in that period of the depression we all grew up with hardship & the parents did their best. The London areas mentioned in the book meant nothing to me because I am not acquainted with the city. That could not be avoided. My advice is to read it whether it is your usual reading genre or not. I am presently on "Rifleman", which is a continuation of this man's life, but in WW2. Good reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read chapter of our past 23 Jun 2013
By oldsalt64 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great story of growing up in London in the thirties with the dark clouds of war looming on the horizon and nothing coming easily. It is a story of hardship and triumph and makes you appreciate what you have today.
5.0 out of 5 stars What An Amazing Childhood! 8 Jun 2013
By arie brown - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved reading of a true British hero. I understand now where our American greatness comes from! Both his books have taught me how much we owe our vets American and British.
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