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Granny Was a Buffer Girl Paperback – 1 Apr 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Catnip Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (1 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846470242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846470240
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I re-read this in advance of an event on the subject of “a sense of place” in literature – with a specific focus on Sheffield – at which Berlie Doherty will be reading from Granny was a Buffer Girl.
Books can be set in Sheffield but fail to capture anything of the spirit or character of the city. Many of the books reviewed in this post are like that, and have sometimes been disappointing as a result. For many you could do a “find and replace” search on a word-processor and substitute ‘Sheffield’ for ‘Derby,’ ‘Darlington’ or even ‘Leeds,’ and nothing would be lost (Sunjeev Sahota’s, or Ben Cheetham’s books for example). Granny was a Buffer Girl, on the other hand, could only be set in Sheffield and the book could not be based anywhere else without a complete re-writing – there is a sense that the place shapes the characters and if you took the characters out of the place you would end up having to re-write the characters.
The title is a good one, iconic almost, but it doesn’t really tell you much about what to expect from the book. It is a coming-of age novel, in similar ways to Dear Nobody, aimed principally at teenagers. It is not a story about someone’s granny. Grandparents back-stories do feature in it, in so far as it is a story about family and how that shapes us, the meaning of love, and growing up. (As an aside on titles: the foreign language titles show an interesting dilemma: in Austria they went for something like “A Dove in Summer Light, ” in Sweden: “An Image of Danny” and in Finland: “Not a Prince, Not a Princess.”)
It is a proper read for any teenager who wants a rest from vampires, fantasy and dystopian books.

One of 36 Sheffield novels reviewed at:[...]
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Format: Paperback
I'd always meant to read this book as a young teenager - it was heavily promoted as my school - but somehow never got round to it. I spotted a copy in a charity shop last week and dived into it in a fit of homesick nostalgia.

This felt like a very personal read for me. It's set in Sheffield, where I grew up, which isn't a place I've often seen represented in fiction. And when I have, it's tended to be a grim vision of strikes and/or post-industrial malaise. This book portrays the city as somewhere with a proud industrial heritage and sense of community, but just as importantly, a place where the town segues into the dramatic countryside of the Peak District and that has beautiful views from its seven hills.

It wasn't just the setting that got to me either. My Grandma, a Yorkshirewoman born and bred, died last Christmas, and while I don't think she'd been a buffer girl per se, she did work in the steel factories from the age of fourteen, so I wanted to read about the titular Granny to remind me of her.

From the title, I was sort of expecting a fairly gritty tale of life in industrial Sheffield in the early half of the twentieth century, but (almost to my relief) that wasn't really what I got. Instead, this is a collection of ten chapters that to all extents and purposes are individual short stories. Each of them gives a snapshot from the life of one of Jess, the nominal main character's, relatives, and each deals with the broad theme of love, be it romantic, familial, or platonic. This structure reminded me of a teenage version of one of my all time favorite novels, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and if it never quite reached those heights, there were some really touching moments.
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Format: Paperback
When I picked up this book and read the blurb, I was immediately drawn to it. I really enjoy romance books, and the majority of the book is romance, so be prepared! It is quite different to any book I have read. Jess, 18, is going to leave home for the first time, but at her celebration party, all her grandparents, friends and parents tell her all their secrets, promises and romances of their past. From life as a buffer girl to romancing at a disco, this book is bursting with an assortment of stories through the lives of members of her family, that take the reader on a fascinating adventure through time. I read this book non-stop and finished it within two days, and it is one of my favourite books of all time. I recommend this to anyone who wants a great book for a long journey, one to read whilst relaxing on the beach, or one to snuggle up in bed to read, as you will not be able to put it down! Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a very good and interesting read
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All good
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