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Becoming Nancy Paperback – 1 Mar 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; Reprint edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552162949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552162944
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Endorsed by the likes of the Minogue sisters and Gypsy Boy author Mickey Walsh, this semi-autobiographical novel... promises all manner of original characters, sharp observations about growing up, fast wisecracks and nostalgic musical references" (Attitude)

Book Description

A sweet, poignant, laugh-out-loud funny coming of age debut novel from a music industry insider.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As coming out stories go, this had everything in it. I chuckled my way through it - it's an easy read - and booed at the baddies, laughed at the romps and cheered when the main character overcame obstacles. The written style is accomplished and flows along nicely. It's been done before, but I really enjoyed it.
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By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 April 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Firstly, let me start by saying that Becoming Nancy is an adult novel about a young adult character. It's heavy on the swearing and has some sexual content, and I would say it's definitely for readers over 16 or 17 years of age; maybe higher. I don't usually review adult novels here, but I really, really loved this one and I wanted to talk about it. I think it's actually my favourite of all the coming-of-age stories I've read, YA or otherwise, and it now has a permanent and well-deserved place on my bookshelf.

I hadn't heard of Becoming Nancy until it randomly arrived for review, but immediately I was drawn to it. The cover is eye-catching (plus it looks very YA), and I like novels about LGBT teenagers. This particular story is set in South London in 1979, and centres around David, a 15-year-old music-obsessed boy growing up and coming to terms with his sexuality.

As I mentioned earlier, this book and it's narrative is realistic and truthful. Nothing is censored, so you get highly explicit language and scenes of a sexual nature. Rather than see this as an unnecessary attribute, I think it really helped set the scene and ensured that David's adolescence was of the accurate variety. I have no idea what South London was like in the 70s, but I imagine it was very much like author Ronald has depicted here. There's no sugarcoating to be found, and it was a refreshing change of pace from what I'm used to.

When David first met new boy Maxie, I instantly picked up on their connection. I could see that David was falling head over heels in love with him, but it wasn't until later that their relationship and its path became clear. Rather than spoil anything, I'll just say that things unravel slowly but surely, and I was rooting for these two the whole way through.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, it really brought the 1970's alive for me and I really felt for all the characters and the casual racism and homophobia that was apparent in those days. I cannot believe what people had to put up with just because of their skin colour or sexual orientation! Insane...

I read it in two days! I totally recommend it, it was a very enjoyable book. Well done to the author.

I will say though I am a bit bewildered by all the reviews on here (and Kylie Minogue's review on the cover of the book) saying that they "laughed out loud" when reading it. I know "LOL" is an overused phrase these days but I genuinely did not laugh once.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the book but I saw it as more of a character study of the issues surrounding young teenagers, particularly those struggling with prejudices in everyday life. I am not from London (I'm Scottish) so perhaps my humour is just different to Southern English humour?

I feel like I am missing something now since everyone else is saying on here that they found it "hilarious"!!! Hmmm...
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a very self assured debut novel by Terry Ronald based on his own experiences of growing up. The hero, David Starr, is a fifteen year old boy who is cast in the school production of Oliver as Nancy. The ructions this causes amongst his family and friends, and the fact that it is a catalyst for David's first love, and his eventual coming out is handled with humour and wit. The book, set at the dawn of Thatcherism, just as the Seventies become the Eighties is full of the music, the politics and the fashions of the time. Ronald captures perfectly the world of mods and skins, rude boys and ska, and the fading glamour of the last days of disco. There is sadness to offset the humour of the book, serious issues that sit alongside flippant observation and a good ear for dialogue coupled with a strong sense of character that makes the book incredibly readable.
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Format: Hardcover
I should declare my interests: I am lucky enough to have known Terry Ronald since I was a child, and I am very grateful for that. Not only to have experienced first-hand his amazing wit, which translates so perfectly onto the page, but it meant I was one of the first people in the world to read his remarkably enchanting debut novel. I may be accused of being biased, but that would not be a reason to read Becoming Nancy straight through in one sitting. Literally cover to cover; I couldn't put it down.

This is a delightful and entertaining read, with a well-constructed, considered plot, vivid and skilful characterisation, that will have you chuckling weeks after you have finished it.

Becoming Nancy is without doubt a coming of age tale; but is one full of optimism and expectation, not the usual square peg / round hole teenage trauma. Of wide appeal, Becoming Nancy will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever grown up. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers, I was bowled over by this remarkable book. It is very funny, has a wonderful cast of characters, vivid and memorable dialogue and, above all, insight into life and love that often tugs at your heartstrings. There are lots of coming out books. This one is a great example of the genre but also transcends it. A book that deserves huge success.
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