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Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes Paperback – 6 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845962796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845962791
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Stands head and shoulders above everything else in the category . . . a remarkable personal and literary achievement for the author and an unforgettable experience for the reader" (Irish Independent)

"[Long's] story is unique in its rawness and its honesty. Entirely self-educated, she narrates her own life in a way which is both riveting and moving" (Greenock Telegraph)

"Without question the most harrowing tale I have ever read. Even Charles Dickens, whom we appreciate for being the voice of so many abused children, is left in the dust" (Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A heart-rending memoir of a deprived childhood in 1950s and '60s Dublin that will both horrify and inspire

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sheila A. Mcglynn on 26 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Bought this book at Cork Airport, have taken it with me to the Maldives to read, what a bizarre contrast. That poor child, having to endure, along with her siblings, the evilist of all creatures, her stepfather, and her mother, how could she, treat her ownflesh and blood like this. There must be a follow up to this, please Martha, don't leave us all in suspense, what happens to Charlie, Harry, Teddie, Dinah, and Sally do they eventually get away from the awful Jackser, does he get his just deserts, and does your Mother live to say she is sorry. I laughed in trying to read the story in her native tongue, her sense of humour was wonderful and descriptive and cried at the atrocities that fell upon her in this sometimes wicked world we live in.In the Acknowledgement notes, she mentions her first born Tina and her lovely two grandchildren, but then goes on to thankn her two children Fabian and Marie-Claire? surely she means three children?
I will try and contact the publishers and ask if there is a follow up, and if i get some conclusion i will post a note here. I am sure, as others are, this story has a beautiful ending, i truly hope it does.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeanette Heatherington on 30 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
A friend gave me this book and warned me to cancel the days events. I went to bed with the flu and started reading it, and seriously could not put it down. One more page, one more page!!! It was gripping from start to finish, and the cruelty although disturbing was made bearable by the small comforts that come along to Martha throughout the book. I almost shouted out loud when they got a bit of extra food etc. When I finished it, I felt I could hardly wait to read the next installment and find out what happened Martha when she was sent away, so please hurry up Martha with the next book. Brilliant...
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Thomas on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
i have read hundreds of books over the years and this is certainly one of the best.
the way its written is amazing,i cant believe this little girl lived to tell the tale after what she went through.
hope there is a second book from martha long as i want to read it NOW!
excellent!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. Elbahi on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Absolutely the best book I have read in a long long time, couldn't put it down. Desperate to know what Martha did next and how she came to be the women she is today. I hope for a follow up as soon as possible cos I can't wait. She's amazing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. M. Carroll on 5 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
Not really one for books about child abuse of any sort, for the simple reason I find it hard to stop myself thinking of any child going through such harrowing times. This book however, (an account of author Martha Long's own childhood) was recommended to me by my sister, so I decided to give it a go. From the beginning I was transported into this little girl's young life, and the many hardships she endured. Martha lived in dreadful conditions, along with her uncaring, cold mother, and her mother's cruel, abusive, lazy boyfriend. As her mother gave birth to more and more babies, it was left to Martha to look after her younger siblings as best she could. In the meantime this child continues to endure both physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the atrocious boyfriend. Forced into stealing from shops, then selling her ill gotten gains to anyone willing to buy, Martha does this with an uncomplaining sense of duty, hoping the proceeds will both appease the boyfriend, and afford her siblings a bite to eat. Despite this read bringing a lump to my throat many times, it equally caused me to laugh out loud just as many times. I found Martha funny, and very endearing, and very much look forward to reading the continuation of Martha Long's story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sadie the Critic on 21 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
I recently traveled in Ireland and picked out this book at a book store in Galway. I started reading it during my trip, it stayed with me over the entire trip and into Dublin, simply could not put it down at night, just amazing. The writer keeps in character for the entire book, gave a child's view into abuse, and left me praying for her personal safety. I keep wondering if the nuns finally were responsible for giving Martha the proper education and shelter she deserved, and if that is how the book finally came to be developed. I would really like a follow-up book, even if it is not exciting. I would like to know what happened to the next segment of her life journey and whatever happened to me ma and that bastard Jacksper. God Bless You Martha. And I hope your book hits the shelves in the US very soon. I think this book would be a best seller here. I compare it obviously to Angela's Ashes -- different, not as comical, but just as captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leeds lass on 27 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was totally unprepared for this book. It completely blew me away. It is quite a big book but i read it in two sittings. During the first few chapters Martha tells us about her childhood, and i laughed out loud at least six times - i had to re-read certain bits as they were so funny.I kept thinking well this isn`t a bad old life...but enter `Jackser`-her mother`s fancy man-and poor martha doesn`t know what day it is half the time. I was so sorry for her as she faced each day, never knowing what horrors she would have to deal with next. I wanted to kill Jackser-and at times i wanted to kill martha`s simple minded mother too !How martha survived is anybody`s guess, but what a character she is ! Her one liners and put downs are in a league of their own. I absolutely loved this story-and especially the way she tells it- and strangely, the one time someone is kind to martha was when i cried.Her physical and mental pain and suffering are almost tangible. Every day in martha`s life is a story on it`s own. I want to know what happened next, and i do hope martha will write a follow up. Brilliant - don`t buy it if you`re busy !!!

Edit - I have since lent this book to two people. One said "I couldn`t put it down !" - and the other one stayed up all night to finish it - she got to bed at 5am and then couldn`t sleep for thinking about it.
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