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Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve (Library of Wales) Paperback – 27 Oct 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Parthian (27 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905762259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905762255
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Funny, moving and idiosyncratic. --The New Statesman

A loving, accurate and funny book Financial Times --Financial Times

"Written from the heart and many will respond to it." The Spectator --The Spectator

About the Author

Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff in 1923. While still a student his first book of poems was published and his first play performed. Further poetry volumes followed over the decades, culminating in his New & Collected Poems(2003) and Running Late(2006). His first novel, Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve appeared in 1954 and his most recent, the Booker long-listed The Strange Case of Dr Simmonds and Dr Glasin 2002. His three prize-winning plays were collected in The View from Row G (1990) and his autobiography, Goodbye, Twentieth Century, was published in 2001. He is president of the Welsh Academi and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By diablo@ping.net on 25 Mar. 2001
Format: Hardcover
A fabulous tale of a young boy's passage through childhood painted against Cardiff in the grip of the second world war. It's as funny as it is poignant and will leave you with a warm sepia afterglow. It's a crime that Dannie Abse is relatively unkown, even in Wales, as he's a fantastic poet. Anyway enough guff, buy the book, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll probably wish you were Welsh, I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. I. McCulloch TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book as a schoolgirl in Cardiff many years ago. It entranced me then and it still does, with its mention of familiar landmarks and the speech patterns that surrounded me as a child. .

The chronology of the book follows Dannie from roughly 5-18 years of age. It is heavily autobiographical, but there are also elements of fiction. Dannie's older brothers Wilfred and Leo feature heavily, particularly Leo, a left wing political activist who became a sometimes controversial Member of Parliament. The atmosphere of the late 1930s and early war years is beautifully captured with contemporary references to music and political events. The Spanish Civil War and the early events of the Holocaust thread through the majority of the book, although not referred to in the book, Leo Abse actually visited Spain in 1939.

What the book captures superbly is the atmosphere of childhood. Dannie's awkwardness and longing for familiarity when visiting his friend Keith's house for tea; the staccato call and answer speech patterns of the young, ('I like Ogmore best', 'I like Porthcawl best') the casual cruelty of children, as when Keith crushes Dannie's finger in a mangle; the daydreams of sporting glory with Glamorgan County Cricket Club or Cardiff City football club.

The book is also suffused throughout with humour, one of the best being Dannie's description of a date with a first girlfriend, where he is told he doesn't kiss like other boys - he keeps his mouth closed.
The end chapters have an unexpected sadness; the events of war bring an abrupt end to innocence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CLASS GIRL on 5 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was received promptly and it was second hand. Appeared to be off the market but since discovered it was re-published. Nevertheless it was worth it. Read this as one of the books for a Book Club. Surprisingly interesting and easy to read. Words flowed smoothly and evocatively. Hadn't realised what an amazing family Dannie Abse hailed from. Both his brothers contributed enormously to making a difference to other peoples' lives. If you are interested in reading about a childhood based in Wales in the 30's and finding out the background for pretty illustrious siblings - well this is the book for you.
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By Evans on 15 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A clear view of life in the 30's and 40's in Cardiff
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