The Two Pound Tram Paperback – 1 Nov 2004
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'Newton is a wonderful find, its my book of the year and I shall give it to everyone for Christmas' -- Spectator
'Rather like Daisy Ashfords The Young Visiters this is a charming, miniature oddity, just right for a Christmas stocking' -- Sunday Telegraph
'The Two Pound Tram is a necklace of miracles, each more beautiful and unbelievable than the last.' -- Los Angeles Times
About the Author
William Newton is a retired doctor who lives in Oxfordshire. This is his first book.
Top Customer Reviews
Duncan and Wilfred live in a large old house in Sussex, only ever see their parents on Wednesdays for lunch, and spend the days catching butterflies and dreaming of adventure. Then their mother elopes and their already distant father takes up with other ladies. Deciding that enough is enough, the brothers run away from home. They already have a plan -- to go to London and buy a tram they have seen in an advertisement. It costs two pounds.
And so as the Second World War hits England, Duncan and Wilfred, along with their tram, embark on an adventure of a lifetime -- from scrapes with the law in Canterbury, to an encounter with a German war plane in Worthing, and even a magical meeting with the King and Queen of England.
Utterly droll and captivating, The Two Pound Tram is a bitter-sweet testament to youth, its dreams, and its triumphs over adversity.
Nevertheless, it lifted me too. After all, as they say, they can't take the memories away.
(Edited Dec 2006) - I have just re-read this book, and I would still give it five stars. The links between the humans and their animals is striking. This is a wonderful tale of how two boys from indifferent beginnings, made themselves heroes just by being honest and open to the world around them.
Conjures up days gone back and memories we yearn for. It made me laugh and it made me cry and it left me wanting more.
A must read to anyone who is thinking of buying it you wont have wasted your money. This one will stay with me for a long time.
This short whimsical book was written during his retirement and published in 2003. It is the literary equivalent of a naïve painting where the vitality and overall impression in the crafting overcomes limitations of dialogue, description, plot and authenticity. If, however, the reader suspends belief on almost every page then there is a freshness and innocence that is very refreshing.
The book is set in the years leading up to, and during WWII. The narrator, Wilfred Scrutton, and his elder brother, Duncan, live in a big house with their remote parents and the female staff. The boys are left on their own for long periods, collecting butterflies and stealing chickens; Duncan hunts small animals with his catapult and Wilfred cooks them, and so an inseparable closeness develops that survives Duncan’s severe illness and resulting dumbness.
Following their mother’s departure from the home, their relations with their father deteriorate and they decide to leave home taking their limited savings with them, spurred on by an advertisement selling old London trams for just £2. Their journey results in the purchase of a horse-drawn tram and an old horse along with whom comes a friendly mongrel.
The boys renovate the tram and carry passengers to and from Canterbury until they come to the attention of the police but are acquitted when a KC, related to one of their regular passengers, points out that horse-drawn trams do not come under the terms of the charge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A charming and most enjoyable read. I engaged with the characters from the first page and enjoyed the historical context.Published on 19 Aug. 2014 by happy reader
A nice read with some authentic historical feel. A feel-good sort of story and not too demanding. Would make a good film.Published on 8 Jun. 2014 by Amazon Customer
Having read the praise heaped on this book by other reviewers, I really wonder if we read the same book. Read morePublished on 13 Jan. 2014 by Autolycus
A good heartwarming story, perfect for a couple of winter night's reading.
It made an old cynic like me smile.