- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 539 KB
- Print Length: 249 pages
- Publisher: Barley Hole LLC; 2 edition (24 Oct. 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0060CKF52
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,500 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1923: A Great Depression Memoir Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
It is a bleak & depressing reality that 1923 is lived daily all around us, just with a few more modern acoutrements, but plenty of hungry, cold lives half lived all around us, Harry Leslie Smith, in his dotage is "banging on" & rightly so about a world now that reflects his own youth but at the other end of his life, & that is what clearly upsets him, that in nearly 100 years society hasn't got a lid on so much poverty within the country / world, we are taken in (as before) by government & having seen the rise & near fall of the NHS is bloody well angry enough to shout us out of our own stupor.
My 12 year old is now reading this, & with good reason, "this is reality" ..& it should be a a memory of the distant past!
It is a most worthwhile read, & he's worth listening to! ...Harry can be found on the likes of twitter under the handle @Harryslaststand or read widely through the media such as the guardian newspaper amongst others.
We need to pay more heed to folk like Harry, his life then is someone else's now ..a painful realisation that hopefully will stay with you & change your mindset with regards to your fellow man.
Breathes life into the phrase "there but for the grace of god go I"
This memoir of Harry Smith's early life in the poverty-stricken north of England was gripping, from the start - a short history of his family and how he came to be born into the situation he did - to the end, which was an account of the war from an average Joe's point of view.
I liked the early part best - it's so hard to believe that such hardship could have existed in this country, in the the last century, not so many years before I was born. I found the perceived difference between the starving north and the wealthy south most interesting, too. I kept being amazed over and over again that so many people had to live in the way they did, before the Welfare State. I know we all know about such things because we've been told about them, but to read someone's personal account of such a life brings it homes much more soundly.
I was engrossed in this book and read it very quickly - when the Kindle started saying '92%', and upwards, I was thinking, no, no, I want to read more! Better go and buy the next one, then....
Highly recommended, fascinating.
I discovered this after following him on twitter. This book Is reality and I think it would do people the world of good to read this, of progression is made you need to know about he past. This book is a great insight into growing up and existing before the NHS during times of great turmoil.
Thank you for sharing this with us Harry
It is a beautifully written and moving story of a child growing up during a time of post war poverty and depression in northern England. Harry's memories are extremely vivid and provide an emotive view of how his family fell apart through circumstances, lies and deceit.
Written in the style of a novel, it's easy to forget that this is true life, as the words and memories flow in detail along the pages. It's interesting and at times sad to read how hard life was for poor Harry to begin with, and how it impacted the poignant relationship with his father. There's no sympathy for his mother, Lilian, until you understand the problems she herself deals with, and then you realise there are two sides to every story.
But this is Harry's story and not only does he provide a graphical account of living in times of desperation and dire poverty, he also describes what it's like maturing into a young man and the impact on normal life of political events happening across the globe - as England enters world war two.
Harry's way with words is splendid:
Of his parents brief marriage ceremony, Harry says: "It lasted only slightly longer than the sex that had led them to the marriage altar."
Describing a trip to the store to purchase pullet eggs, the cheapest eggs available because they were small and transported from Poland packed in crates, Harry says: "The shattered and smashed eggs congealed in the straw. They emitted a foul damp smell like farts trapped in a sofa."
As a young man, trying to improve himself and his chances in life by joining a finishing school, Harry says: "The other students viewed me as someone who had mistakenly entered the room and forgotten to bring the tea trolley and biscuits."
And there are gems like those all over the book, which are a delight to come across.
1923: A Memoir is a true story well worth telling and a true story well worth reading - not only because at the very least it will make you appreciate how good we have things today, but also because it is very well written and flows from page to page. I'm looking forward to the second volume to find out what happened to Harry after he met the love of his life. This is due out in October 2011 titled: A Place For The Heart To Kip.
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