No Fixed Abode: A Journey Through Homelessness from Cornwall to London Paperback – 3 Jun 2013
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'Honouring the expeditions of Jack London and George Orwell into hidden zones of poverty and homelessness, Charlie Carroll contrives a startling narrative of a nightworld most of us would choose to avoid. He is perverse, obstinate, brave about his own strategic cowardice (or writerly self-preservation), He is driven and unyielding in the determination to return from darkness to light with a story worth the telling. That story grips and bites and blisters. Read it.'(Iain Sinclair)
'This was a fascinating concept and an immensely courageous assignment. The descriptions were powerful and evocative and throughout his journey I really did feel I was walking with him and experiencing his many feelings, including his isolation, trepidation and sense of exclusion and vulnerability. It should be required reading for all those who have difficulty in seeing behind the face of the destitute in our affluent society.'(David Bathurst)
'Charlie Carroll's unique journey from Cornwall to London provides a rare perspective on life as seen from the street; a glimpse into the fringes of society and the people who, for all manner of circumstance, inhabit a very different world. It's an honest, poignant and often courageous tale of homelessness and life on the move and raises many questions about the kind of society that we live in; about tolerance, prejudice and probably - most of all - about camaraderie and the affirming power of the human spirit.'(David Le Vay)
'Charlie's managed to poignantly capture the plight of our often forgotten homeless in a way that's sometimes scary, frequently surprising but always genuine and heartfelt. Eye opening - a true insight into a life many of us will never know.'(Phoebe Smith)
'Charlie Carroll's account of homelessness combines travel writing with current affairs.'(National Geographic Traveller (UK edition))
'Surprises, danger and some memorable characters await, along with a fresh perspective on homelessness.'(The Bookseller)
'he recounts his adventure, with experiences both good and bad, bringing new insights into some of the fellow homeless people he meets on the way.'(The Bookseller)
'This isn't a polemical book and we finished it no wiser as to what we should do with any charitable donation or urge or political lobbying. But it is a completely honest and open account of one man's brief time on London's streets, and totally absorbing.'(londonist.com)
'an interesting read and one which I recommend to those who think the homeless are best avoided or forgotten!!'(Walkit.com)
'Carroll offers a unique insight to a lifestyle many thought died out years ago.'(Best of British)
'His English students should consider themselves extremely lucky to be taught by such an inspiring individual'(The Western Morning News)
About the Author
Charlie Carroll is the author of The Friendship Highway (Summersdale, 2014), No Fixed Abode (Summersdale, 2013) and On the Edge (Monday Books, 2010). He has written for The Guardian, The Big Issue and the Daily Mail, been featured in National Geographic, The Telegraph and The Times, has discussed his work on BBC Radio 5Live and various local radio stations, and has appeared at a number of literary festivals across the UK.
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Top Customer Reviews
Charlie is trying his best to be tramp but the set up is wrong and the outcome necessarily artificial. Still, there are some interesting "interviews" of genuine tramps and homeless people and the book would certainly have benefited with more of those.
The author has some genuine human insights about homelessness and tries to give homelessness the genuine emotional dimention that it needs and deserves.
Nevertheless, the book remains a bit of a false start and a let down in so far as it seems to aim high but doesn't deliver.
It has opened my eyes to homelessness and changed my perception. His honesty is refreshing - it would have been so easy to have omitted his smuggled £100 and giving-in to nights on his friend's sofa, which makes the whole book more 'human', real and powerful. He also 'humanises' the homeless and made me question my own fear and previously negative perceptions (I'm ashamed to admit it!).
I think I may pick up Down and Out in Paris and London after this! Thank you for writing this excellent thought-provoking book.
Read it in a day. Minor niggle is that personally i think he spent too long in London when the other areas he covered seemed to promise more material than perhaps he afforded them.
Still, if you want part travel, social study and a testament to the joys of walking you need no longer reach for Orwells down and out. This surpasses that tome quite easilly in my opinion.
- leave his wife and safe home with no actual need
- walk from Sennen all the way to London with no money and just carrying a knapsack packed with a sleeping bag and a cooker
- sleep rough almost every night
- live as a tramp among the homeless on the way and a long time in London
He has a giant set of steel balls and a tremendously open mind!
Congratulation Charlie Caroll. You opened a parallel universe hidden from me - until now. Tremendous respect for what you have accomplished and how beautifully, rich and exciting you packed this experiences in words.
Please keep writing. I'll recommend "No Fixed Adobe" to anyone in a heartbeat.
Proper Job, cheers write!
I would have liked the end of the book to have had more on his reflections about his time on the road, but it left me with many questions which led me to seek answers through Google and beyond.
I would recommend this book, for anyone who is thinking that their lives might be better. Some people don't have that choice that Charlie had to dabble in homelessnes and yet know that he could go home to a wife and house and job at anytime if the going got too tough at any time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastically written account into "life on the streets". The detail and honesty portrayed here made fascinating reading and in all honesty, I will not look at a homeless... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Zoe
Not only is this book evocative and beautifully written, it provides the adventurous soul with ideas and solid gold advice. I couldn't put it down. Quickest I've ever read a book.Published 5 months ago by jaggedpill
I don't think this book explains about being homeless, I also think most of the book is made up one of the most interesting people mentioned in the book, Stan obviously never... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr G.
A really interesting account that stayed with me - a must read if you are a Londoner (or otherwise!)Published 7 months ago by Katherine
THE STREETS I DID CALL HOME
I sit here in the
gutter - thinking
of my life,
One day I was
single - then one
day I had a wife. Read more
An interesting & thought provoking look at homelessness, really makes you think about why some people are in this sad situation. Read it & gain an insight.Published 10 months ago by Running Girl