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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2002
I must admit I approached this book with some trepidation as I was (am) a big fan of Father Ted and Paul Burkes' gentle humour.
But I need not have worried, because if anything this is better. A finely woven plot full of wonderful characters based in a London that the author obviously holds real affection for.
A writer well worthy of the comparisons to Tony Parsons and NIck Hornby that are currently being made.
And, perhaps more importantly, a book that's a real pleasure to read.
.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2002
Paul Burke, author of the hugely entertaining Father Frank, has done it again. Another razor-sharp observation of London-based Catholics growing up in the 1970s.
This time Paul stays longer in the era that brought the Mod revival to the fore. As well as two strong central characters, Paul weaves in some delightful tales about their time at what seems to have been a totally loopy grammar school. It could almost have been my own.
As with Father Frank, this was a real 'couldn't put it down' book. Just don't tell the Pope.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2002
Paul has perfectly captured that late-seventies era of Mod revival, Two-Tone, Saturday Night Fever & Grease in this offering. But where did he draw the inspiration for the monster of the school caretaker, and some of the other rich, larger than life characters he has skilfully woven into the story.
I think most 40 years+ London Catholic school educated people will empathise with the hopes and fears expressed by the central characters in the novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2009
I really enjoyed this book. For the first 2 or 3 chapters I had my doubts as the author seems to be on a Catholic bashing exercise (I'm not Catholic by the way) however it soon becomes obvious this is mere scene setting and the book is actually very even handed. I won't spoil the plot for you ... suffice it to say that this book is in many ways the 'High Fidelity' (Nick Hornby)for those who enjoy the cinema (and music!). If you were a teenager in the 1970's you will identify with much of this book (and if you were not a teen in the 70's don't let that put you off as it could still work if set today). On one level it is a book about a scam and it has you worried for (and envious of) the lead players all the way through - however it is much more than that: a gentle comedy, a love story, a book about how your school-days were NOT the best years of your life and a book about the journey from being a boy (and indeed being a girl) and suddenly finding you are a grown up. It won't spoil it to say it has a happy ending. It really should become a film (for a whole variety of reasons that will become obvious as you turn the final pages). If it ever does can I be in it please?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2003
First Father Frank, now another gem from Paul Burke. Reading Untorn Tickets resulted in the proverbial suppressed hysteria on the London Underground as I went to work, even 97 degrees heat could not dampen my enjoyment! Andy and Dave, the two protagonists are hilarious and utterly real, the Polish milieu and mores faithfully replicated in all their ethnic eccentricity.
Paul Burke has the great gift of being able to write simply, succintly and funnily, his books are a joy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2002
An excellently crafted book - full of memories for those of us who grew up in the 1970's. If Four Weddings can make it to the big screen then this surely must follow suit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2002
Another brilliant work by Paul Burke. I thoroughly enjoyed Father Frank but Untorn Tickets was not put down until finished. This book has really uncovered many memories for me as I attended a Catholic Grammar school at around this time or shortly before in a geographical location not so far geographically from St Bede's.
The depictations of the masters at the school have re-kindled emotions that I thought were buried for a long time and the friendships and family ties written about were truely humourous and touching.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone in the 30 - 50 year age range, especially if they have themselves "enjoyed" a similar sentence at such a school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2002
Having thoroughly enjoyed Father Frank, I excitedly seized on this second offering from Mr Burke and I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed.
His drawing of characters, Andy and his family, the luscious Rachel and the fabulous Tony Harris (surely another book about him should be in the offing), proved another wonderful example of an in-depth knowledge of the world about which he writes.
For a man who spends his time in the lightweight easily digestible world of writing advertising, Mr Burke shows a remarkable depth of sensitivity that one would not normally associate with such a background. I recommend this to you without reservation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2005
This book was really funny throughout with a really good ending. It was very realistic to life then and especially in relation to the cinema and how they made their money with the 'untorn tickets'. As with Father Frank the references to Catholicism were true to form and described in such a way that they were funny without being offensive. This is well worth a read, you won't want to put it down. When you have read this then read Paul Burke's other books - they are all equally good, especially Father Frank.
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on 22 May 2015
The book follows the lives of a couple of Catholic schoolboys whose paths first cross working in a cinema. This is the backdrop for the story of a couple of years of their lives, growing up between O-levels and A-levels, discovering music, fashion and girls as they struggle with their studies and their backgrounds.

Perhaps because I grew up in the era in which the book is set and in a strikingly similar environment, Untorn Tickets struck a few chords with me. It is well written, humourous and full of insight. Tinged with nostalgia I was soon catapulted back a few decades. The films, the music, the fashion, it's all in there. It's a small window back into the days when punk was emerging, mods were a common sight on their scooters and schools were pretty brutal, a very different world to now.

The characterisation is good and the storyline keeps you immersed. Highly enjoyable and easy to read, I would thoroughly recommend it.
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