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As a child I read Stig of the Dump obsessively, over and over again. It was one of my favourite books and I still have such fond memories of it. I also liked The Town that Went South, but had never heard of Me and My Million until a few months ago when I saw a copy of it. I picked it up because it was written by Clive King. I didn't really know what to expect of it, and not having read Stig since I was a child, whether his writing style would have aged at all over the intervening years.

I have to say Me and My Million did not grip me in the same way as Stig. I suspect this is largely because the plot of this book is really flimsy and the ending is hugely unsatisfactory in terms of tying up plot holes etc. It almost seemed like a rush to the finish and I was cross because the premise was great and I really wanted the story to develop more, and then it finished.

There are certain things about it that have real charm. Ringo's adventures are fun, and I love the fact that he is dyslexic, so the ordinary world of London becomes extraordinary through his eyes. I loved the episode in the tube station and with the angels particularly. It reminded me a little of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, just without the magical elements.

I think that if I had read this when I was young, I wouldn't have noticed the plot holes and the abrupt ending and I would have found this an exciting, highly satisfying and hugely enjoyable book.
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on 2 March 2016
I read this some 20 years ago. Though I had forgotten the title and the author, I think the style influenced some of my own writing. More recently, I did a Google search and put in an query on Goodreads, which led me to this page.

Ringo is 11 years old, has learning difficulties, and lives with his older brother named Elvis, a professional burglar. The story opens with him tagging along with his brother as they view a old masterpiece hanging in an art museum. Elvis gives him his instructions. At the stated time, Ringo is to wait at the bus stop for Elvis and his partner to slip him the painting, then take the bus to another part of town where he'll find a laundromat. There, he's to turn over the bag of dirty laundry containing the painting to someone. As for the bus number, it contains a 4 and a 1. Both the 14 and the 41 stop there, so he gets on the first one, and gets totally lost.

Thus begins his hilarious adventure in which he spends the night locked in a London Underground station, meets all sorts of people that were typical of London of the late 70s, is nabbed by another gang of crooks, is sent to deliver the painting to another party again, gets it wrong again, and ends up on a houseboat belonging to a painter. Add to the mix a reproduction of the same painting, and an art expert who obviously can't tell the difference. In the end, justice and mercy are served in a most satisfying way.

It's told from a first person point of view, that of Ringo himself, in the language of an 11-year-old street kid. This lends that much more of an entertaining description of various aspects of London life of the 70s, the glitter scene, punkers, revolutionaries, etc.

In some of my other reviews, I've suggested that there should be a genre titled "street children" or "homeless children". I suggested works like Justin Early's Street Child: A Memoir, Donna Napoli's The King of Mulberry Street, Fr. Joe Maier's Welcome to the Bangkok Slaughterhouse, Dickens' Oliver Twist and my own Pepe (which was probably influenced by the style of Me and My Million). Of course, they'd necessarily be cross genre. This one would a cross genre with "Picaresque". According to Wikipedia, Picaresque, "is a genre of prose fiction which depicts the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society..." generally depicting the anti-hero wandering from situation to situation as a satirical comedy. Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was that sort of story. The Picaresque and the "Homeless Children" do particularly well together, as both Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Me and My Million show.

I heartily recommend this one...
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on 19 January 2015
Superb fast and as discribed
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on 24 March 2014
He liked it, but not as much as Stig of the Dump....What else can one write, so annoying the max words business
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