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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Canny Story
Wow, I really can not praise this book enough. I am originally from Newcastle and this book caught my eye as I grew up not far from the area that the stories are set. That said, this has a universal appeal beyond us Nova Castrians and the stories Samuel tells will take you through highs and lows, laughs and tears like nothing else I have ever read. It is at times hard...
Published on 18 April 2012 by JAFFA

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit repetative. More of a memoir than a story.
Published 5 months ago by Sue


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Canny Story, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: The Avenue: A Newcastle Backstreet Boyhood (Kindle Edition)
Wow, I really can not praise this book enough. I am originally from Newcastle and this book caught my eye as I grew up not far from the area that the stories are set. That said, this has a universal appeal beyond us Nova Castrians and the stories Samuel tells will take you through highs and lows, laughs and tears like nothing else I have ever read. It is at times hard to believe the life that the Herberts, and many others in the area, led and the dignity that he and his family managed to keep throughout is a shining example to those who sell their souls on the likes of Jeremy Kyle.

The story starts in 1913 when Samuel was just 5 and covers his journey to adulthood. It is not only a great collection of stories from that time but also a history lesson.

It is a real shame that his untimely death has robbed us of a chance to find out how the rest of his life unfolded as I would have definately pre-booked the sequal.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic true story df early childhood in poverty, 24 Jun. 2012
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I cannot praise the author of this autobiography enough, it is a great pity that he did not see his book in print before he passed away. I could not put this down and the story kept wanting you to go on from chapter to chapter. It was a great eye opener to me who did not realise the places like these existed during that period. It would make a great period drama as it has all aspects of true life in the slums. Comedy, violence, poverty, the types of work young lads had to do to survive. His family should be proud that this factual story of his young life has been set into print for all to read. I just wish that it had been longer into his life as I enjoyed it so much. It was recommended to me by his Grand Daughter and I must say thank you to her as one of the best books I have ever read.I recommend this book to everyone who may think of purchasing or to read on kindle. It is a book that you will want to read again and again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - I read it in one day., 13 Feb. 2013
By 
MIJ6689 (Sunderland UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Avenue: A Newcastle Backstreet Boyhood (Kindle Edition)
This was a book I simply could not put down. I was taken from the absolute highs of the innocence of childhood to the devastating lows of the harsh realities of Sam's impoverished upbringing - often in the same chapter.
The story is told in such a simple way, but with such clarity and realism that it is clear you are in the hands of a very natural writer.
It is such a shame that this was Sam's only work, as it really does leave you wanting more. I understand that the publishers significantly shortened the printed work from the original manuscript, but would love to be able to view an unabridged version. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 14 May 2013
What an outstanding book. It is both an humorous and somewhat chilling account of how things where during the end of the First Great War. I say chilling only because of the hardships that where an every day occurrence in the early 20th century. The book was well written and entertaining. I originally downloaded an electronic version on my E-Reader. I was about half way through the book when I went online and ordered a "hard copy" of the book. I liked it so much that I knew that I needed a physical version. As I read the book I could picture an elderly man, sitting in his easy chair. Children and grandchildren sitting around as he regaled them with tales of his youth. I am insanely curious though as to what happened after. I will not go into detail as I do not want to spoil anything for any that have yet to read this book. I highly recommend this book as both and entertainment as well an educational read. I am glad that this was found and published, it would have been a loss had it never had the chance to be shared with the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One proud Great-Granddaughter!, 1 Mar. 2013
I got given a copy of this book by my mam, who happens to be Sam's Granddaughter who has the origional manuscript that she watched him write, by hand! I never got the pleasure of meeting my Great Granddad, but this book has made me unbelievably proud to say I am a relation! It will make you laugh and cry, normally in the same chapter! An amazing insite to life in the early 1900s and if you are from Newcastle you can relate to it! I recommend it to everyone!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Real Life Story, 11 April 2013
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This review is from: The Avenue: A Newcastle Backstreet Boyhood (Kindle Edition)
What can I say...WONDERFUL!

A FANTASTIC read!

Samuel managed to describe his young boyhood circumstances, both good,bad and ugly, during this period of his life so well, I felt I was there. His ability to record his experiences many years later with such clarity is amazing. This book left me wanting more. Did he write anything more about his experiences in later life? If he did I would love to read them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story you must read!, 22 May 2013
This story will grab your attention and heart while reading the introduction and it will not let go chapter after chapter. I learned of this book from Samuel's grandson, and I thank him for introducing me to the book. I laughed and cried while reading it. I would read chapter after chapter because I simply could not put it down. Samuel's writing style is like no other I have ever read. It felt like he was there with me just telling me all these amazing, heartbreaking, and humorous stories. I anticipated every chapter except the last one because I didn't want his story to end. I cried when I was finished because I wanted to know more. Samuel W. Herbert must have made his family so proud by the life he led and the story he has shared with all of us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must'!, 11 Jun. 2014
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Bought this book for my mam,then another copy for her brother who grew up in Elswick (on the Avenue).
They both found the book a fantastic read, with vivid description and very well written - the reader is drawn into the story and into the setting and events which marked the author's life - you just want to read on and on to find out more and more.
Perhaps if it goes to print again, some of the existing old photographs of the Avenue (which are so evocative) could be included? This book documents (the harshness of) life and living conditions for the working class in Newcastle at the turn of the twentieth century - would be a great addition to local schools' reading lists to encourage young people to be aware of their local social history. In all events, highly recommend this book as a fascinating read to anyone who just enjoys reading, and then in particular to anyone interested in finding out about living conditions in Newcastle in the past, and how great was the spirit and resiliance of working-class people of the town.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: The Avenue: A Newcastle Backstreet Boyhood (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my Dad and he said it was one of the best books he'd ever read.
He let me borrow it, and I couldn't agree more. It's 'unputdownable' and will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will not want this book to end!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book, 11 May 2013
By 
Mr. R. Cross "Ryan Hampshire" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I picked this book up when I was in Newcastle. I was looking for some local interest type stuff.

This is an amazing book, written with such ease, it glides along and is a real page turner. This is gritty, honest, very sad, and incredibly funny. This is a very personal, autobiographical book about living in utter poverty in a the rough end of Newcastle. It'll make you laugh, and it'll make you cry.

I really wanted the next part of this life story, but have to be contented with just this one volume, offering a tiny glimpse in to this wonderfully colourful life.
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The Avenue: A Newcastle Backstreet Boyhood
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