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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most excellent books I have read in a long time, 18 April 2002
By A Customer
The cover of "All Souls" suggests that the reader will enjoy this if they enjoyed McCourt's "Angela's Ashes". In my view this is every bit as good, if not better. This is an autobiographical work - the author writes about growing up on the "Old Colony Project" a tough housing development in "Southie" (South Boston), dominated by American-Irish Catholics. This book deals with tough issues- Race, drugs, crime , corruption,mental health, with the author losing 3 brothers to suicide and murder in the 1970's and 1980's. Despite this subject nature it is not a depressing read - but an insiprational, brilliantly-written book. It is also peppered with humour as the author shows how stoically, family characters (in particular his "ma") deal with the trials and tribulations their tough life throws at them. The author has retained a love for Southie - and has moved back there to become a leading figure in anti-violence campaigns. In this sense, the reader is left with a sense of hope and inspiration for all those in Southie. I picked this up at Boston airport on a journey back to the UK - the trip made all the quicker, because I couldn't put it down! You do not simply read this book - you "live" it - with all the complexity of emotions the author so brilliantly puts across.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Great book! MacDonald is a true Irish storyteller.", 7 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Mike MacDonald tells the honest truth about South Boston's demise at the hands of the Irish Mafia, led by powerful bosses such as Whitey Bulger. Intertwined with the stories about the criminal and political world of South Boston, MacDonald tells the story of his large family and the many tales of tradgedy that they endured living in the "projects". The story is well told and the book ends in a very positive note, with the memories of many of Southie's young being remembered and the neighborhood silence finally broken.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its easy to think its just a movie....., 22 Aug 2007
I stumbled across this book after watching 'The Departed' - a gangster movie set in Boston, which seems to have used this for some of the source material. Forgetting all that was glossy about the movie - this is a moving true account told through a childs eyes as they witnessed riots, fights, murders, suicides and racism while trying to survive on the poverty line. This was every day life as the author grew up in a large family in South Boston. I couldnt put this book down, as you really wanted to find out how the family got through it. Unfortunately some of it is tragic, some of it makes you realise how lucky you are, some of it makes you realise why things are in such a mess...... Definately give it a read. Awesome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Patrick MacDonald All Souls, 6 July 2012
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This is one of the best books I have ever read.
Michael Patrick MacDonald lets us know, against the run of descriptions of life in Boston, what it was like to grow up in poverty and under the control of drug gangsters.
He showed also how brave families fought against it.
He is proof of how, despite multiple disadvantages, a person of strength and character can come through.
I find it relevant in Northern ireland today where there are similar problems, particularly in loyalist communities, and where there are those who are keeping good people down, both by starting youngsters on drugs and making money from them and by claiming that they are better thant others - our great wee country mentality.
In the meantime the poor are funding the lifestyles of those who hold them down and the "leaders" are apparently held in esteem by our authorities, police and government. just as in South Boston.
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All Souls: A Family Story from Southie
All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald (Paperback - 1 Aug 2008)
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