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The Tailor of Inverness

The Tailor of Inverness [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Zajac
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £5.39 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


'Matthew Zajac s breathtaking investigation of his father s mysterious past has taken him into the darkest corners of Central Europe s 20th century history. Out of a merely curious son develops a forensic investigator who peels back the lies hiding truths not just about Nazism and Stalinism but also the puzzling but energetic mendacity of his own father. Zajac s winning personality, however, turns what might have been a sustained exploration of pessimism into a revelatory and uplifting examination of self, family and national identity. Matthew s final discovery is heart-stopping and sincerely moving. This book ploughs a parallel furrow to The Hare with Amber Eyes. --Misha Glenny

'Mesmerising and lyrical.' --Annie Brown, Sunday Mail

'Matthew Zajac has seamlessly gathered subtle patterns of narrative and worked them into a vivid, rare and elegant whole. I was transfixed by a story as compelling, mutable and uncomfortable as truth must sometimes be. This is a brave and unforgettable work that will leave your mind spinning as you contemplate the yarns that make up your own sense of identity.' --Kevin MacNeil, author of A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde

'Zajac slowly peels back the layers of half truths and lies to discover that his father's mysterious life was far more complicated than the simple picture that had been presented to him as a young boy. The author brings to life brilliantly the effects that the war had on his own family and the way that it fractured their lives forever.' --Scottish Field

A wonderful storyteller....part travelogue, part history, part biography and, at times deeply moving, this is a real page-turner --Susan, Aberdeen Press & Journal

...his father s recordings hid the truth. That is what makes this book compelling. --Douglas Osler, The Scotsman

...engrossing....written with tremendous affection. --Alastair Mabbot, The Herald

Product Description

The Tailor of Inverness is a story of journeys, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) came to be a tailor in Inverness. His life spanned most of the 20th century. His story is not straightforward. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 and forced to work east of the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He then joined the thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to be integrated into the British Army, fighting in North Africa and Italy. He was then resettled in Britain in 1948, joining his brother in Glasgow. This is the story he told.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2560 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 190873745X
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press (18 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D5FOFY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my childhood 13 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a 12 year old I travelled to Poland for the first time with my Polish father and Scottish mother and crossed the same borders as Mathew and was packed in, along with my 10 year old brother, to as small a space as possible, due to all the presents and goods that my Father was taking to his home town of Grudziadz. The car we were in was , like Mathews fathers, a Vauxhall Cresta, light blue in colour and also caused a sensation everywhere we went.
My father died as a result of a road accident in 1968 when I was 21 so I never got round to hear about all that happened to him and how he arrived in Kelso in the Scottish borders and I hoped that Mathews book would shed some light on this but his father came from a different area so this was not to be, but there must be many similar stories about what a terrible time it was to live in any part of Poland during WW2
I smiled , laughed and cried my way through this book and congratulate Mathew on what was obviously a very difficult and emotional book to write and sections of it were very close to my heart and my upbringing as the son of a Polish Soldier

Dziekuje bardzo.

Ben Malinowski
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising 14 Oct 2013
By woodawe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wasn't expecting to be hooked by this book but it was a revelation. A journey, a childhood, a family history, a tale of one of the greatest upheavals of the second world war and full of emotion. A mystery as well in Matthew's efforts to delve deeper into his Father's war experiences. A tale that grows in the telling, that becomes much more involved than at first sight and leads Matthew into areas that often expose raw emotions. Written in a delightful prose style that makes reading it a joy. Thoroughly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read 29 July 2013
By Deep Reader VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Matthew Zajac is a highly accomplished playright and actor, which means he really knows how to tell a story. Which is as well, because in The Tailor of Inverness he really has a story to tell. Since it is about the unravelling of his late father's war stories it could hardly be more personal. Also about the fragmentation and reformation of families by war, it could hardly be more universal. No doubt its themes are being repeated all across the world even now. It is a wonderful read though, a page turning narrative and, although the conclusion is open ended, it is totally satisfying. In addition, the book's pages are embellished with fascinating photographs from before World War Two, through the Cold War, to the present time, and they give additional layers of interest. It is a book not to be missed. One that sits very closely on the shelf to those of Misha Glenny who provides a powerful endorsement on the cover. The Balkans: 1804 - 2012: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers Shadow Behind the Sun: Flight from Kosovo: A Woman's Story (Non-Fiction)The Long Bridge: Out Of The Gulags
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey of Purpose and Fulfillment 19 Sep 2013
This book is an emotional journey, beautifully written. Although it is a personal story, it is also a story of the universal effects of war on individuals, their families and future generations. It illustrates how many many people affected by turmoil have felt the need to reinvent themselves in order to live more peacefully. It is a thrilling story, a real page turner, easy to read and relevant to all those connected directly or indirectly with conflict - which is just about everyone! Uplifting.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving 20 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was a great insight to a troubled time for people from our continent. thank you Matthew for a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and moving 20 Feb 2014
Matthew Zajac, a playwright and actor, first told the story of his father's amazing life in an award-winning play of the same name, which has toured the world since its original performance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. Now he has written a fuller, prose version of the story. His father settled in the Scottish Highlands town of Inverness after the Second World War, and worked as a tailor. His children of course always knew of his Polish origins, and they knew that he had arrived in Scotland only after an amazing journey across war-torn Europe. What Matthew did not discover until after his father's death was how, along with many other Poles, he survived both Nazism and Stalinism only at the expense of leaving home and loved ones behind him. This book is about history, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, the brutality of war, and the deep emotional need to know the truth about who we are and where we come from. You think there can be no more new stories to come from that dark era, but this is one, and it's both fascinating and moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tailor of Inverness 16 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a loving account of the life and times of an ordinary, yet in some ways, extraordinary, man, narrated by his son. If truth is beauty, this is a beautiful read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read. 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read. A very interesting idea as one man investigates his past and discovers some things perhaps he wishes he hadn't.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars powerful and moving
Like the layers on an onion, Zajac peels back his father's story, slowly uncovering an incredibly moving human story. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alistair J Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay
It's okay, but I wouldn't recommend it as it was boring in a lot of it's parts. For fans only.
Published 3 months ago by Caleyman
3.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting story
Very interesting, opening eyes story. Unfortunately too many, not really important for the story details makes it slightly boring sometimes in my opinion (hence 3 stars only).
Published 4 months ago by Mundi
2.0 out of 5 stars bad book.
the start of the book is ok. that's about the inverness tailor.Then the writer just starts writing about himself .And his drama groups.Its utter s***. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Graeme Duff
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Mathew Zajac the author comes from my home town so i was interested to read his story

Well done Mr Zajac
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Tailor of invervness
Tedious and self indulgent. I found it difficult to understand where it was going although I appreciate th as t there is a truth and a history involved. Just not to my taste.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
This isn't the book I would normally read. I found the subject matter really interesting and had to get out my atlas to look geographically at the places being written about . Read more
Published 5 months ago by NettyP
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought the bookafter seeing the play on stage....
Just fabulous....very evocative, sad, funny, questioning, great read! I would recommend this, and the play, of course - which stars the main character's son.
Published 6 months ago by Adie
1.0 out of 5 stars Biography?
I had really been looking forward to reading this book, having had several Polish friends, who had fought and suffered in the Second World War when I lived in London. Read more
Published 6 months ago by serensage
4.0 out of 5 stars The title is somewhat misleading.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book although some of the stories he tells do not make for pretty reading. The history involved in the book is both real and frightening and the story has... Read more
Published 6 months ago by CP
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