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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read, 31 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: People of Providence: Housing Estate and Some of Its Inhabitants (Paperback)
An incredible insight into the lives of some very ordinary working class people living in a South London housing estate the late seventies and early eighties. A series of around 40 interviews of people living in conditions which are difficult for much of "Middle England" to believe, let alone understand. The histories of these people, from the desperate and depressed ("An end sixteen floors below") to those delighted to be given the opportunities to live a life ("Love it, this little place"), are enough to make the reader cry and laugh, depending on the interview.
The way Tony Parker gets people to talk is incredible, and the unwinding of the people's lives over the series of interviews is both awful and totally compelling.
In an age where docu-soaps are all the rage on television, this book should be a bestseller. The written word acts a deeper record of thelives of these people than any screen could ever do, and the stories told are sufficient to deeply move the reader.
Anyone serious about understanding the behaviour of people in the UK, and the problems that the working (and not-working) classes face, must read this book. Whether Left-wing or Right-wing in outlook, the reader will be both challenged and encouraged by this portrait of urban life in the latter half of the twentieth century
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listening to these people talk is fascinating, 29 Sep 2007
This review is from: People of Providence: Housing Estate and Some of Its Inhabitants (Paperback)
This book is based on dozens on interviews conducted over 5 years with the residents of a South London housing estate, the people who work there and even the local tramps. The people talk about their lives and anything else that comes to mind.

Each interview lasts about 6 pages and surprisingly (for me at least, given my preconceptions about council estates and the people who live there) most of the people seem to have a positive outlook on life. However, in amongst them are some quite shocking snipets of people lives: tranqiliser addiction, broken families and drepression, whilst the final (unfinished) interview wills stick in your mind for a very long time after you've finished the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing, and real insights into a small slice of London life, 25 Jan 2014
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Everyone should read this book, no matter where they live. Humanity shines through every page. Fascinating, humbling, enlightening. A treasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book, 30 Aug 2013
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An intriguing and fascinating read - I couldn't put it down. I didn't realise what a mixed community there could be.
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