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Teardrops on My Drum Paperback – 20 Mar 1986

7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Mar 1986
£74.82 £0.01

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Gay Men's Press; 1st Edition edition (20 Mar. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854490035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854490035
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,052,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

PAPERBACK - Some creasing and other signs of handling/storage. Some page tanning but still in good condition. Available by email for queries.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Son of Nietzsche on 19 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
It is surely impossible not to be swept away by this incredibly sweet and entertaining book. It is described as an autobiographical work, but don't let that deter you: this reads as smoothly as would any fictional story, and is essentially a delightful and intensely captivating tale of boyhood.

Set in 1930s Liverpool, our narrator, Jack, grows up in poverty, yet scampers around the streets and alleyways of the city, barefoot and happy. 'Teardrops on My Drum' covers his life from the age of about 5, up to the age of 14. Along the way, young Jack falls in and out of love (or lust) many times, and discloses (in his disarmingly naïve, but highly erotic way) his 'adventures' with playmates, his best friend, older teenagers on a camping trip, and a young policeman - with whom he has moved in by the time he is 13. Jack is adorable; wide-eyed yet sensual, looking for sex, fun, and a man to love him - and has an uncanny ability to discover all three with impressive frequency. The squalor and grime of pre-WW2 Liverpool, with its horses and carts, docks, filthy streets, slums and unemployment, are beautifully captured by the author as the backdrop to the tale.

What strikes the reader most about the narrative is Jack's constant tone of optimism and joie de vivre. He comes from poverty, is frequently betrayed by disinterested parents (his mother pawns a treasured book that he won as a school prize) and, materially, has nothing to call his own. Yet, he remains full of sunshine, manages to find pleasure in his daily life, and pursues his desires determinedly. If you were to be harshly critical, you might question whether it is plausible for a character to be so loveable and flawless. But in this case, I am more than willing to drop my cynicism. Absolutely enchanting, and unmissable - a must for your collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Jack tells his story growing up in Liverpool from the age of five to fourteen. It's a tough life with parents who at best care little for him; a father who is perpetually drunk and a mother who will pawn anything of any value he manage to acquire. But Jack is a resourceful and positive lad, he makes some good friends, and he is prepared to work to improve his lot. Among his friends is his school mate Eggy, and the two boys eventually become very close indeed. He also meets a young policeman who delights Jack by getting inside his knickers and with whom he eventually lives; he also enjoys various escapades with other guys including an adventurous camping trip with some older boys where most of the adventures take place within the tents.

The conditions in Liverpool between the wars which Jack describes are horrendous. His home is filthy, the streets are squalid, he owns no shoes and little else, and most of the time he is starving and left to fend for himself. Yet while these aspects are vividly portrayed, this is far from a depressing tale, in fact quite the opposite, for Jack has the ability to see the positive in all he encounters. He comes across as an appealing and most likeable boy, good looking, wiry and athletic; and he certainly appeals to those he meets, many of whom he enjoys intimate relations with. Nothing seems to get Jack down, from the appalling conditions of his home life to the drudgery of the army, all he sees are the many delightful boys and men in his life; in truth it is this aspect of his life that make the rest bearable.

This is a most enjoyable story, described as autobiographical, the writing at times almost poetic as Jack becomes carried away in wonderment as he describes some of the many pleasures he enjoys. I found this a moving, rewarding and enlightening book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only just read this gay 'classic' as it is oft referred and I checked out what it says on Wikipedia and was a bit alarmed. Firstly the book is autobiographical and tells the story of Jackie growing up in a Dickensian Liverpool of the 1920's and between the wars. He has abusive and neglectful parents and learns to survive on his own wits.

This being forced to fend for one's self makes you grow up quicker and Jackie is no exception and that includes his adolescent sexual awakenings and realisations.

I also love social history and one of the many strengths of this book is the sheer amount of detail of the Liverpool he grows up in a view that has all but been forgotten. He talks of the filth and poverty and the songs, the smells the food (or lack of it) the simple joy of getting a penny's worth of chips. How to steal from the horse drawn drays and delivery lorries and even working in a kosher butchers (for one day only as unusually for such a promiscuous young lad he could not bring himself to 'choke a chicken').

He then has a sexual encounter with an older man in a cinema, They start a relationship but due to his Ma pawning the clothes (he has only one set of clothes and no shoes as was the norm at the time)that the man has bought for him. After he realises the potential of his libido he wants a 'real man', he is having regular gay sex with his friend 'Eggy' but he meets his man friend again as he is a police officer. They then begin a mutual sexual relationship and the copper Eddie takes proper care of him. Wikipedia states that this is an abusive relationship and that Eddie is a paedophile.
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