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World's End Mass Market Paperback – 16 Mar 2006


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (16 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099474166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099474166
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'An overwhelmingly honest account of one boy's wartime memories'" The Good Books Guide "'Written to almost make you wish you had been there'" The Times "'Terrific, an insightful memoir about family love'" Evening Standard "'I loved it. Wheal spins a fine, affecting tale. It begins in a world where, on Fridays, factory girls wore curlers in their hair, and the now gentrified streets were once known for the brutality of their Saturday night fights. It ends with the horrors and destruction of war.' Gilda O'Neill, author of My East End and Our Street"

Book Description

A warm-hearted and moving memoir in the tradition of The Road to Nab End:

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "johneast21" on 9 Jun 2005
Format: Hardcover
Being a relative and near contemporary of Donald Wheal and, having shared many of his experiences of the World's End and wartime evacuation, I was transfixed by his narrative. It was warmly evocative, conjuring up local characters, buildings, sounds and smells of that unique environment. His description of the bombing of the Guiness flats moved me to anger and sadness as well as unutterable gratitude that my family survived that dreadful night. My memories differ from his in some respects (they would wouldn't they?) but that does not detract from my overall respect and admiration for this long overdue work.
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Format: Hardcover
My Dad grew up in the World's End; 4 years younger than the author. He went to the same school: Ashburnham. My Dad has memories of being a small boy looking up at the Lots Road Power Station as the men (control)-smashed all the windows so the glass would not damage anyone if the place was bombed in the Blitz. He says he and all his mates would have LOVED that job! He does not share the same memories as the author, however, of the evacuation day and he would have loved to have met the author (who died in 2008?) to discuss their differing memories of the same event! My Dad, who grew up in Tadema Road, Lots Road, and then much later in Tite Street and Ann Lane, was evacuated to Devon. I have read bits of the book to my Dad and now will send it to him. I go to World's End regularly and sadly the World's End pub has changed its title and may as well have been renamed 'Theme Pub from hell' or some such thing! The Cremorne Gardens - referred to in the recent TV drama series about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - is now a small landscaped space on the riverside but still very pretty. Most importantly (should the publishers or author's agent ever read this) I have a photo of my Dad as a small boy amongst a group of kids walking with their gas masks and little bags with a teacher ahead of their group, carrying the sign Ashburnham. I'd be delighted to share this photo if someone asks!
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Format: Hardcover
When a friend casually handed me his heavily dog-eared paperback and nonchalantly remarked I might like the work, I took notice. Not only did the wear-and-tear indicate the book had been passed through the multiple hands of our friends "on recommendation", but it just happened to correspond with my interest in WWII memoirs. While the book creates an indelible impression of a tight-knit family surviving the hardships of the blitz, it also masterfully delivers an insight into the psyche of vanishing dimensions of rural and urban British life. My words will never do the book justice. However, I do find it telling that I remain profoundly grateful our writer survived to tell his tale...and too, that I cannot help but ponder the incalculable loss our world suffered in those who didn't survive. In short, the book doesn't preach, but the myriad costs associated with war are delivered with both intellectual and emotional equilibrium.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the best book of memoirs/autobiography to come out for many a long year. As you read it, you BECOME that young lad from pre-Playstation Britain. You feel his hunger, smell the smoke from the high explosives, sense his fear. The amazing thing is that people lived like this 'only' 60 years ago.

This book should be part of the course work in schools throughout Britain, nothing gives a better insight into the life our parents/grandparents lived and the real meaning of war. I was born ten years after Dee in a similar working class block of flats (only at the other end of Chelsea)and I now know how easy I had it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only is this an absorbing account of one child and his family's life during an intense and dangerous period, it also invokes a lost time and place of a community with its own identity. Our family were close neighbours of the Wheals.
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