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Paperboy Hardcover – 12 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st Edition edition (12 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385615574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385615570
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.8 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mysteries. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. He spent 25 years working in the film industry.

His collection 'Red Gloves', 25 new stories of unease, marked his first 25 years of writing. His memoir 'Paperboy' won the Green Carnation Award, and was followed by a 2nd volume, 'Film Freak'. Other new novels include the dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' and the haunted house chiller 'Nyctophobia'.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He has a weekly column called 'Invisible Ink' in the Independent on Sunday. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. Among his awards are the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, The Best Of Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in London's King's Cross and Barcelona.

Product Description

Review

'Entrancing, funny, deeply moving and wonderfully written. Please read it'
-- ELIZABETH BUCHAN

'One of the funniest books I've read in a long time. In fact, these pages are packed with so many good lines, even the footnotes are a joy to read...Witty and wise, moving but never mawkish, this is the kind of memoir that puts most others to shame.'
-- Time Out, June 2009

'The book is fabulous, and I hope it sells forever' -- JOANNE HARRIS

Review

'Entrancing, funny, deeply moving and wonderfully written. Please read it'

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Groves on 22 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Paperboy by Christopher Fowler.

Reviewed by Stephen Groves

First I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading the biographical story of the early life of Mr Fowler, as I am not a great reader of biographies myself and tend to find them heavy going and sometimes boring. Believe me no worries on that count here. This is a book that evokes memories of a 1960 lonely suburban London boy with a passion for reading and dreams of being a writer, living with the fashions, toys, attitudes, household products, strange foods and films and television of the time, a must for readers born in those years and it also handily explains them to those who were not.
The inventiveness and imagination of Christopher Fowlers childhood, the rebellion of youth, the mistakes and experiences all causing the reader to turn the next page, I finished this book in two sittings so enthralled had I become with the Fowler story.
This book has that rare power to transport the reader to long forgotten memories and experiences of their own life as Mr Fowlers family life unfolds. Many parts of the book made me laugh out loud remembering the fads and home DIY, the eccentric relatives and some made me just reflect upon the poignant intimate family moments. The mother who encouraged her son's dreams of being a writer is both moving and inspiring, small acts of courage and sacrifice by parents hidden amongst the daily chaos of family life and a difficult marriage.
The relationship between father and son is explored with those moments of lost chances and in the latter part of the book simple acts of love, compassion and understanding that hit home hardest. This book should be made into a film - it's the Billy Elliot for writers !

I simply urge you to read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Foggy Tewsday VINE VOICE on 29 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
First, a confession: I haven't read any of Christopher Fowler's fiction except for an aborted attempt at reading Spanky several years ago. However, his fascinating `Forgotten Authors' columns in one of the Sunday newspapers is one of the week's reading highlights for me. Or perhaps I should say "was" as it seems to have disappeared of late. Sigh. `Paperboy' is his memoir of his early life.

The awkwardness of youth spills onto the pages as the bookish young Christopher finds sanctuary in the local library while his father indulges his own obsession with home improvements. Unfortunately, these DIY projects have more "disaster" about them than "do". Christopher's passion for reading and writing is tolerated up to point. However, the discovery of a book of poetry in his possession incites his father to an explosion of rage that culminates in a shocking act of vandalism.

`Paperboy' is a wittily intelligent book. The writing is wonderfully evocative and the nostalgia factor alone should engage the attention of the (British) baby-boom generation. When the author referred to the horse racing game `Escaldo', I had a "lump in the throat" moment. I played with that game for hours and hours as a child, but I haven't thought about it for years: the course that vibrated at the turn of a handle producing a clackety-clack noise causing the metal horses to move forwards (or sideways, or into each other producing racehorse carnage). Happy times!

Most cultural references are given explanatory footnotes along with some helpfully wry comments. For example, the author explains that his Letts Schoolboy Diary "Listed important calendar dates like `Public Holiday in Tonga'".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Goth lady on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a book to cherish. Christopher Fowler (author of the hugely enjoyable urban fantasies, Roofworld and Calabash, as well as many great spooky short stories)is just a few years younger than me, and although the South London background he describes was very different to my own, so many of the things he evokes in this detailed, evocative memoir immediately struck a chord with me (Jamboree bags, the comics, the toy building sets--I had one of those too!) Anyone who grew up in the UK in the fifties and sixties will relate to this--it's a wonderful slice of social history, as well as charting the development of a writer. Highly recommended!
(And it's won The Green Carnation Prize too!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By avid british reader VINE VOICE on 7 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once in a while you get the book that you could read and read and you dont want it to end( I am 50 pages from the end sadly....). I am going to give everyone I know this book this year for their Birthday safe in the knowledge that they will enjoy it as much as I have - Observant and full of detail...and here was me thinking I was the only detail geek child who remembers all and never gets to share it! well done-fabulous
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paperboy is a wonderful book with has been elegantly written. I could hear echos of my own life in so much of what Christopher Fowler has written and I think anyone born during the 50's and 60s will hear it too. This book should also be an awakening for some people who wish for the "good old days". It describes a world where the choices for one generation were opening while the regret and suffering of a previous generation made them begrudge the change that was inevitable in many ways. The book does this sympatheticaly and without judgement while simulatneously making the reader smile. Its a book that will captivate audiences that can relate to much of its content from the beginning while many younger readers will, I think, be bemused by the world it describes. Great to see our History being recorded in this way.
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