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The Pimlico Kid Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007468202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007468201
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Barry Walsh grew up in the heart of the ‘Great Metrollops’ during the 60s and thought belatedly that there might be a story in it. The result is The Pimlico Kid, a novel about ‘first love’. He is now writing his second novel.
Barry is a life-long Gooner who enjoys cycling, holidaying in France, listening to Neil Young and, occasionally, gazing at Audrey Hepburn’s face. He is closely involved with an inner city youth club and believes that London might just be the centre of the universe. He is married with two daughters.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Filsell on 5 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lazily, perhaps The Pimlico Kid may have the misfortune of being labelled undeservedly tagged "a rites of passage novel". It is far more - a writerly memoir of the pains, pleasures and fears of adolescence in one of London's many `villages' in the 1960s by a skilled writer.

The author's reflections are those of a mature,knowing, man who has retained the ability to recreate his youth and reveal it as time of pleasure and innocence and of guilt and loss. The book's writing is sharp, telling, affectionate, humorous and sympathetic.

Evocations of early teenage which feel accurate are not easy to create. They can be stilted, maudlin and overly introspective. Barry Walsh has the skill to bypass these traps to create a completely believable feel of London, its life and working class families. His characters feel accurate, his opinions are un-judgemental and sympathetic.

Whilst my own adolescence in my `down the hill' Wimbledon' may not have totally mirrored that of a gifted grammar school boy in working class Pimlico, the reflections of the hero's life, anxieties and yearnings - and indeed the smutty mind gifted to most 13 year old boys - match those which I and many others faced and enjoyed and hated in equal measure in our youth.

As this early review must indicate, since the book arrived yesterday The Pimlico Kid has come as close to a non-stop read as anything I have picked up for some considerable time. It is a terrifically good piece of work about London, adolescent life and angst which offers readers great pleasures. It deserves considerable success.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Double Espresso on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm trying to be rational about The Pimlico Kid. Why do I love it so much? Not because I was 13 in the 1960s, like Billy Driscoll, the central character of Barry Walsh's novel. The story doesn't depend on the era. Not because I'm a Londoner, because I'm very definitely not. Not because it's a mystery or a thriller, because it isn't. And not because it talks big and sets the world to rights, because it doesn't... and yet...
Through a small story of small people, the author takes a profoundly humane snapshot of how it feels to be thirteen and not quite in control of your own destiny. Barry Walsh's easy, flowing prose never draws attention to itself: he is a natural storyteller. And hidden within a comfortable, warm narrative are quite a few emotional punches.
Through a series of vivid episodes, he bring a cast of memorable characters to life. I was only a few chapters in when the feeling grew that I was still thirteen myself, and meeting people through Billy's eyes. Each character became so real to me that I was left wanting to know more, to spend time with that person. I was rooting for Josie, expecting outrageous backchat from Rooksy and feeling Sarah's dilemmas in the politics of relationships with the boys and girls around her.
The author may have drawn on his childhood in 1960's London, but this is far more than memories made fiction. He takes the reader inside the head of a sensitive thirteen-year-old boy, allowing us to feel all the contradictory impulses that drive him. Billy Driscoll begins to understand the nature and responsibilities of friendship, and through a series of confrontations, he discovers the fallibility of previously unquestioned adults.
One personal point of recognition for me is Billy's childhood asthma.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. Angelo on 4 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This utterly wonderful book is a page-turner, but don't expect it to be a quick read that you can finish and forget; it's rolling around in my head hours after finishing and I've a feeling it will be with me for a long time to come. The story is a reminiscence and I suppose that to give some idea of the style and feel I could compare it with the wistful writing of Meg Rosoff in `What I was'. It also has the lyrical evocation of a period moving away from us that means it wouldn't be embarrassed in the company of Cider with Rosie. But these comparisons don't do Barry Walsh justice. His voice is also rich, dynamic and wholly authentic. It's his own voice, and the story is a breath of fresh air.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daisy on 13 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I endorse the reviews above. It is a page turner
Although I had intended to wait to read it once I'd dipped into it and was caught up with Billy and his friends I was drawn to keep going. The pace of writing is fast and I found that I read some chapters too quickly and I re read them to capture all the details. Without being obvious Barry draws you into the lives of the children and adults. The characters were as powerfully portrayed as those in a Dicken's novel. It also reminded me of my own teenage years, insecurities and difficulties growing up in another of
England's big cities. While trying to describe it to some friends over dinner, I thought Barry could tell it best so I read it to them. That evening, sat in the garden on a summer's evening, was a magical moment. We laughed together and two of them asked where they could buy it. I Even as I read the first light hearted chapter I knew the book was going to be an emotional roller coaster. A must read, it is a great story. The book deserves to be in the best seller lists and I look forward to the next book.
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