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The Two Pound Tram Paperback – 1 Nov 2004

36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (1 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747573336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747573333
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Newton is a wonderful find, it’s my book of the year and I shall give it to everyone for Christmas' -- Spectator

'Rather like Daisy Ashford’s The Young Visiters this is a charming, miniature oddity, just right for a Christmas stocking' -- Sunday Telegraph

'The Two Pound Tram is a necklace of miracles, each more beautiful and unbelievable than the last.' -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

William Newton is a retired doctor who lives in Oxfordshire. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carl Spencer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2012
Format: Paperback
The storytelling in this story confused me a little. There is very little description or elaboration of events. Everything is dealt with in as few lines as possible and very little consideration of how events EFFECT the characters we're following. This can be frustrating if, like me, you like a bit more depth to the story. However, it means that the book is kept short and sweet and the story is simple and easy to follow.

Duncan and Wilfred are brothers and, after their mother abandons them and their dislikeable father, they decide to leave home and head to London to buy a tram for £2.00. So begins a brief re-telling of their life story, told by Wilfred. From humble origins on a horse-tram, through to an electric tram and into the chaos of the Second World War, the brothers and their close friend Hattie share so many experiences as they grow up together.

Without sharing any spoilers, there are more than a few unorthodox aspects to the story which are often left unexplained. The story flies by big moments without really exploring how they affect the wider world or what impact they have on the characters we are supposed to care about. The narrative is sometimes frustratingly simple, with bad grammar arising far too often. It's not 'older' English as you might expect given the time period, it's just bad English. You might think it was being told from a child's viewpoint, but this isn't the case.

The story only really comes into its own in the last chapter, where Wilfred reflects on his experiences and what the passage of time does to places and to memories of those places. If more of that sort of reflection and characterisation had been conveyed throughout the book, it would have been far more engaging. That said, this isn't a bad book. The story is charming, honest and fulfilling. Its definitely a book worth reading in bed over a few nights.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dalwyn R. Attwell on 22 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully written book. The plot moves at the leisurely pace one imagines of the horse-drawn tram that features at its centre. The characters both human and animal are well drawn and invite sympathy and interest. This is a warm tale of understated heroism, perseverence and courage. It reminds the reader of what decency can achieve.
(Edited Dec 2006) - I have just re-read this book, and I would still give it five stars. The links between the humans and their animals is striking. This is a wonderful tale of how two boys from indifferent beginnings, made themselves heroes just by being honest and open to the world around them.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Angel Silver on 20 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
The year was 1937 and Hitler had just walked into Austria. It was also a marvellous year for clouded yellow butterflies.

Duncan and Wilfred live in a large old house in Sussex, only ever see their parents on Wednesdays for lunch, and spend the days catching butterflies and dreaming of adventure. Then their mother elopes and their already distant father takes up with other ladies. Deciding that enough is enough, the brothers run away from home. They already have a plan -- to go to London and buy a tram they have seen in an advertisement. It costs two pounds.

And so as the Second World War hits England, Duncan and Wilfred, along with their tram, embark on an adventure of a lifetime -- from scrapes with the law in Canterbury, to an encounter with a German war plane in Worthing, and even a magical meeting with the King and Queen of England.

Utterly droll and captivating, The Two Pound Tram is a bitter-sweet testament to youth, its dreams, and its triumphs over adversity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Harris on 10 April 2011
Format: Paperback
what a wonderful story, beautifully told - this is a great book, short and easy to read but hugely uplifting and refreshing. the simplicity of the telling and the subject come breathing from the pages and you are sad to finish it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Hawkeswood on 2 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book about 10 times and absolutely love it. Ok so it isn't true to life but what books are? It was heartwarming, made me laugh, made me cry. What more could I ask for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Corner on 24 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
The perfect book to read on a Sunday afternoon. I could not stop until I had finished it. The story moved at a great pace and worked on many levels. Some events taken in isolation might seem far fetched, however in the context of the story they were perfectly believable and often left me feeling that i had learnt something new. This is the best form of fiction, a good story that could be read by anyone of any age! I eagerly await the next book from Mr Newton. Thank you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Robson on 4 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this in a day and night after receiving it as a Christmas gift and felt rather sad when I had finished. It trasnported me back to kinder times when values were important, the pace of life was slower and violence was more or less unheard of.
Nevertheless, it lifted me too. After all, as they say, they can't take the memories away.
Lovely!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert J on 25 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Very enjoyable - seems far-fetched in places until one reads it in the context of the year and the boys.
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