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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The picture on the cover is key to the story (for once)
It's a pet peeve of mine that the marketing of abuse survival memoirs is downright manipulative when the power of the stories would be enough of a basis on which to sell the book. Unloved is different, since the picture on the cover IS the author at two and the picture has been a feature of his life, with (sadly) mostly negative results. The book does a public service in...
Published on 16 Nov 2007 by Born Again Bookworm

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
Sympathy for the Author's upbringing, but story was boring and repetitive. Not a great read I'm afraid. Sorry but don't bother
Published 6 months ago by Michael C


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The picture on the cover is key to the story (for once), 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
It's a pet peeve of mine that the marketing of abuse survival memoirs is downright manipulative when the power of the stories would be enough of a basis on which to sell the book. Unloved is different, since the picture on the cover IS the author at two and the picture has been a feature of his life, with (sadly) mostly negative results. The book does a public service in showing up the NSPCC of old as arrogant, manipulative and mercenary and Mr Roche deserves to make as much money for himself today as his image raised for that charity, about which I have serious doubts about making donations again.

However, that's a side issue compared to the survival of Peter Roche himself. I read the book 100 pages at a time over three days, you certainly need the break from it as you simply cannot comprehend the absolute lack of love and physical abuse dished out by Roche's parents which essentially forced him to become hidden homeless by sleeping on floors when he wasn't on the streets.

You see parallels in this story with Wasted by Mark Johnson although Roche didn't become an addict, (he simply couldn't afford to and anyway, he was starved enough to make food a drug). The abuse inside the family home also kills any relationship between Roche and his other siblings and that also has consequences after they are grown up and Roche leaves prison which have to be read to be believed.

So buy it, it's worth it, but don't attempt to speed-read this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly shocking and sad!, 22 Dec 2007
By 
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
Before reading this book, I read the back to get some idea of what it was all about. I came to the conclusion that it was going to be similar to reading A child called It by Pelzer. Unfortunately, it was worse. It was a shocking story of unbelievable cruelity to an innocent child but what made it even worse is the fact that the authorities of that time used Peter's situation to bring attention to some elements of his life but did nothing at all to help him.

I can't even begin to imagine the extent of what Peter felt when he discovered this. I applaud his bravery and courage and pray that he will remain strong and surrounded by his loving wife and children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly true, 21 Dec 2008
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
Somehow, amazingly, despite terrible abuse in his own home, against all odds, a little child manages to grow up. And we get to read his or her story, because of an incredible survival.

Somehow, amazingly, when that person was still a little, defenseless child, a school teacher or someone belonging to institutions aimed to protect the weak, turned a blind eye (to say the least).

Somehow, amazingly, the particular child in this autobiography was even part of a "study" about the poor in London at the time (1960s). The NSPCC got involved. Pictures were taken by one of the most famous photographers in the world and his entourage for fund-raising purposes. A noble and respectable intent, aimed to help other children like him.

But. Somehow, amazingly, nothing changed for this particular baby, Peter Roche, nor for his siblings. Nothing. Granted that his image was utilized to help others, how could he himself (or his siblings) be forgotten?

This book will make you swallow twice and stare into space reading the atrocities Peter had to go through, along with his numerous siblings, at the hands of their parents. And not only.

The photograph on the book cover speaks for itself. The book begins and ends with it. As hard as I try to take into consideration certain aspects of this story, which could "explain", marginally, the lack of action by the authorities or institutions aware of the Roche family (such as the historic frame at the time -1960s- things have certainly changed for the better these days), I still think there are no valid excuses. It is incredible that not even an attempt was made to help out. The "explanations" Peter was given as he discovered this picture of himself decades later sound lame to say the least.

Still. Peter was able to tell his side of the story and to come to terms with his past. I truly hope that the photograph of himself, which has helped many others in the past and moved the public, is now deservingly serving its purpose to Peter himself and hopefully to other neglected, abused children.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 1 Sep 2007
By 
Mrs. S. Davies (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
I read this book right through last night and could not put it down. A shocking, and very sad tale of unbelievably cruel child abuse and neglect, which unfortunately is also the true life story of the author Peter Roche. What a courageous man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that will stay with you, 9 May 2008
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
It is hard to comprehend the devastating effects such parents as Peter's could have on a whole family but Peter writes truthfully and from the heart, explaining the minute details of his heartrending and difficult life. I was lost in this book for days. I was furious that almost every adult failed Peter and his siblings as they grew up hungry, victimised and unloved, for years. The people I was most annoyed with were the teachers, I hope one or two of the teachers from Peter's various schools read this book and learn something from it and remember how they could have helped, yet didn't. As for the Roche parents, a disaster, they couldn't look after themselves let alone their offspring. Peter is a walking tribute to triumph over extreme adversity and a great writer. I will recommend this book and never forget this story as long as I live.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally shocking, 28 Sep 2007
By 
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
This is the extremely harrowing tale of a childhood spent at the mercy of violent neglectful parents and bullying brothers. Starvation and fear lead to a life of sleeping rough, begging and robbing that leads to a stint in Borstal. Peter does eventually overcome the odds and tries to lead a normal life, only to find out at the end of the book how the NSPCC had not only let him down in the most appalling way throughout his childhood, but actually used his misreable existance as a marketing ploy for their own gain!
I was really shocked and disgusted by what I read in this book and really felt sorry for Peter and what he's been through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars peter-unloved unwashed and unwanted, 16 Dec 2007
By 
Mrs. J. Child "etty" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
peter went through his life without moaning, even if he had ,no-one seemed to listen ,it is such a sad read but i couldnt put it down untill i'd finished it.his brothers were awful as were his parents and im so glad he had a family of his own in the end that he could love and who loved him
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last a picture of the subject, 28 Dec 2007
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
Yes its about time we had a book with a real picture of the subject.
This stands out from every book that i have read concerning this subject matter it is exceptional.
the system used you peter to save other children but left you to a terrible childhood.
this picture became famous around the world the book draws you in but is not full of self pity unlike others an incredible read thankyou
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood, 11 Oct 2007
By 
C. DONOVAN "Oldskool" (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
I am not a regular reader of books by any stretch of the imagination and innocently stumbled across a review of this book in a national newspaper and decided to buy a copy off the back of the review. I must admit that I did think 'oh, another hard childhood story' but I read it in about 4-5 nights (which is very rare for me!) and found myself always wanting to read more each night to know 'what happened next?'. Whilst there are plenty of books on this subject matter out there, the life portrayed through the words and pages is one I thankfully cannot claim to have any experience of and I truly think that this book will stir the emotions of anyone who takes the time and effort to read it. I have two young sons myself and find it horrifying to think how cruel some people can be to their own children (and from such a young age). You will not be disappointed by this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Sep 2007
By 
A. Solomon "netstar" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Paperback)
I have just finished this book. It was a brilliant read and I couldn't put the book down. Well done to Peter Roche and thankyou for sharing your life with everyone. I will tell everyone about this book and good luck in the future.
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Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood
Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood by Peter Roche (Paperback - 23 Aug 2007)
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