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The Two Pound Tram Paperback – 1 Nov 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (1 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747573336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747573333
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Newton is a wonderful find, it’s my book of the year and I shall give it to everyone for Christmas' -- Spectator

'Rather like Daisy Ashford’s 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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The year was 1937 and Hitler had just walked into Austria. It was also a marvellous year for clouded yellow butterflies.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this in a day and night after receiving it as a Christmas gift and felt rather sad when I had finished. It trasnported me back to kinder times when values were important, the pace of life was slower and violence was more or less unheard of.
Nevertheless, it lifted me too. After all, as they say, they can't take the memories away.
Lovely!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully written book. The plot moves at the leisurely pace one imagines of the horse-drawn tram that features at its centre. The characters both human and animal are well drawn and invite sympathy and interest. This is a warm tale of understated heroism, perseverence and courage. It reminds the reader of what decency can achieve.
(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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story of two brothers as it unfolds keep you rivited to the pages not knowing what to expect, but in a rather pleasant manner. Underneath, the two brothers exhibit an adventurous and fearless character for such youngsters that is reminiscent of the stoic temperament of the integrated adult. Their life events were a mixed blessing of mischievious fortune and ill-fated sad episodes, and overall a real light-hearted but fulfilling read. Truly enjoyable. I feel that the story seems to run parallel to some events in the author's own life experience. Well written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Story of two brothers who have terrible parents and the eldest after being very ill never recovers his speech. The two lead a very interesting and unusual life after they decide to leave home. I particularly liked the book because I know Worthing and Goring very well. I have given it to my husband to read.
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Format: Paperback
William Newton thank you! This is one of the nicest books I have ever read heart warming and it did keep me guessing in places as I wondered what would happen next.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up in Worthing and this story, part fiction I suspect, conjures up a time I remember. Newton was not a prolific writer but this book is a moving and well written account of two brothers and their renovation of a tram in Worthing. I have bought it for all my Worthing friends.
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Nov. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
The life of the author William Newton, the pen-name of Harley Street doctor Kenneth Newton, 1927-2010, would make a fascinating novel in its own right and his obituary is certainly worth reading.

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.
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