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Barry Braithwaite's Last Life: A Story of Redemption by [Lowe, A R]
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Barry Braithwaite's Last Life: A Story of Redemption Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2555 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: A R Lowe (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096UF83O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #345,496 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a clever weave of narrative and dialogue, the author takes us through the ups and downs of a pair of alcoholics, one determined to steer the other clear of his vice that would inevitably end in his early death.

"We walked down the street laughing. It was the first time I had seen Barry laugh and he did so like a naughty child. I couldn't help noticing his teeth, and the fact that he seemed to have all the normally visible one. I was pleased for him, but felt like a horse vet."

"So Father Ralf was another unbeliever in Barry's return to a sober, useful life? Only the powers above could save him from earthly; and celestial, no doubt, damnation? I would show them! But no, it was Barry who was going to show them, and I was to merely move a string or two from above the stage; a black clad puppeteer making barely perceptible finger movements that even he would scarcely notice."

At times the story is of a desperate, last-ditch attempt of one human being trying to save another. At other times during their mission the two alcoholics interact with other believable characters, as they pick a course between state and charity organisations on the road to redemption. The rare set of human qualities that Alfred possesses enables him to not only see the chances of saving Barry right from the outset, when others had given up on him, but also to give Barry the care and space for him to help himself ... the finer points of which the state system of dealing with drop outs from society, would completely miss.
The choice of subject matter and the in-depth understanding of the way alcoholics behave, gives the reader a reassuring feeling that the author knows what he is writing about.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Picked this book up after doing one of my usual 'Lancashire' searches and didn't know what to expect - the description is rather brief. What I got was a great story, with great satire on the charity sector, which I know well and know how it works! It's much more than that, though. The characterisation is excellent - Jane was the only one who didn't really come alive for me, but Barry, Alf and Stan do convince. Stan is great and adds much to the humour of the book. The book looks at the grim reality of 21st century life, but really gives a message of hope based on self-sufficiency and 'self-motivation', a term that the writer mocks to good effect at one point.

Although it is about a man trying to come up from the lower-echelons, its message is applicable to many: switch off you TV set and use your brain and your body instead. The only criticism I have is that it's a mite shorter than I would have liked, but it does finish at a logical point and there is very little 'padding' to the story. One of my better reads this year and the best fiction set in Lancashire for quite a while, thus the five stars.
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A Book with grit and humour, with an end that makes the world seem a better place.

I loved Stan. Talk abourt a rough diamond. This Book held me and taught me a lot, wish more people were as kind and warm hearted as Alf(red) and Stan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An endearing tale about how life can unceremoniously dump you on the seat of your pants - before an outstretched hand offers an escape route from the gutter - or skip.

Punctuated with humour, it's easy to warm, sympathise and, on occasion, empathise with the book's main characters - all striving to make the best of the hand life has dealt them.

A great read which cleverly encapsulates the battles, defeats and victories faced by many throughout their lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An Insightful Story

This inspiring tale of a middle aged man reaching out to help a down and out alcoholic is very touching indeed. It is a well written story that lets us see the different philosophies and motivations leading people to reach out to, or reject, others. It is a 'feel good' book which also provokes some deep thought about our place in this world. Well worth reading and there will hopefully be a sequel too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a heart-warming novella which is a delightful read. It is about how recovered alcoholic, Alfred, meets Barry, a younger alcoholic, and how Alfred takes him under his wing. Alfred feels that Barry is a cause well worth fighting for and he sets out to try and help Barry come off the drink and find himself a place to live and a job. Other friends tell Alfred that Barry is a lost cause as he has been in rehab on a number of occasions but has always returned to his drinking ways. But Alfred wants to give Barry a chance, a last chance; like a cat with nine lives Barry is on his eight life.
A well written book, the reader is drawn into the characters' quirky lives and I found myself thinking about Alfred and Barry between reads. There are moments in the story which made me laugh out loud and there is a gut-wrenching moment towards the end of the book when we are not sure what will happen next. All the way through I was gunning for Barry and hoping that Alfred would not be disappointed in his quest to rescue him.
This is a book I would heartily recommend.
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