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4.6 out of 5 stars
179
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2013
In Maggie and Me, Damian recreates Scotland in the 80s; it is the era of Thatcher, of her power, but also of the very real hatred of her in many homes in Scotland. Damian’s father works at ‘the Craig’ (Ravenscraig) which is threatened with closure. Wee Damian is convinced that Maggie won’t allow this to happen, but we all know the outcome – there would be no more of the almost magical second sunsets he describes. His parents have separated by this time and Damian is living in the roughest and most violent flat in a rough and violent estate. He finds solace at the Carfin grotto, which says it all about the writer’s ability to find humour in what was an appallingly difficult childhood.

I laughed out loud. I cried. But I didn’t want this book to end. Go buy it. Go buy tickets to see Damian Barr at a Book Festival, or just follow him on twitter – he deserves your attention.

Maggie and Me will certainly make it onto the ‘favourite books of the year’ list for 2013.
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on 16 September 2013
I felt there was some untruths and a few holes in it surrounding areas of his dad and partener as it was seen through the eyes of a child would have been nice to hear more about family but it was a good book and terrible what damian came through and iam glad he has came out the other end a smart and beautiful person as he was when he was as a child and caring and forgiving i wish him all the best but there must be a few people feeling hurt when they read this book and not just in newarthill
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on 29 November 2013
What can I say. The book has been well written, it holds your attention. I know Damian very well. and feel he has taken all his anger out in this novel, he did have a hard time with his family not just his mother. What was said about his Gran and Granpa Barr was elaborated, Mr Barr was an intelligent and kind man, and he certainly did not speak through his cat to Mrs Barr and his memory of being in his pram and the cat lying on his face is a total lie.{ I wish I could remember that far back,} We know he has to elaborate on certain issues of his life to sell his book.. But do not speak ill of the dead when they are not here to defend themselves. He certainly has a gift for the dramatic, but as I have said do not slate two good people who where honest and hardworking people to sell books! more than can be said for his mothers side of the family, as he certainly did not take his intellect, from them. Just for the record this is Jacks wife Lillias nee Barr, who wrote this review.
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on 30 July 2013
What a truly inspirational human being Damian Barr is (with or without Maggie's rhetoric). Barr invites the reader to share his experience of growing up in industrialised Scotland in the 1980's under Maggie's 'matriarchal' gaze. A sometimes brutal account of abuse, homophobia and uncertainty is tapered by wit, warmth and forgiveness. Anyone growing up in the 80's will find the children's TV references a real treat coupled with evocative images of food, fashion and furnishings. Despite the adversity and what was at times a difficult read, I was left with an insightful story of a boy with the vision and tenacity to follow his chosen path. I'm truly grateful Barr had the courage to share it.
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on 17 November 2013
I read a review of this book in a random magazine and was intrigued to find out more - so glad I got the book. The entire way through I was hooked (and even appreciated delayed trains so I could get a few more pages in). It's both funny and sad, but be prepared, there are some uncomfortable bits to read - it had me laughing out loud and welling up. Thought it was a brilliant read and have recommended it to lots of people. Enjoy!!
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on 20 September 2013
I really enjoyed this book because I was a teenager when Maggie was in power and my Nan and Dad were Scottish and one loved Maggie and the other hated her. Also because I have quite a few gay friends. Met the author when he was promoting the book. Top bloke!
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on 28 November 2013
Discovered this one as after meeting the author at a literary festival in Cornwall. The book reads very well and although I'm only part way through it, it has captured my interest and was a good buy. Looking forward to reading the rest.
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on 21 June 2013
An open and honest account of a life of conflict. The outsider wins through so it's also a record of achievement. Acute observation and a sense of humour make this a wonderful read.
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on 23 August 2013
Author is known to our family & we were recommended to read it. We found that it gave us a greater insight to the author & his upbringing. Would recommend the book wholeheartedly.
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on 26 November 2013
Such a great and inspiring personal story, woven cleverly with Thatchers ruling. Often touching, devastating and hilarious, I highly recommend it. You need to read this book.
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