- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 146 KB
- Print Length: 35 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: HoAmPresst Publishing; 1st Edition edition (27 July 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008QACQQ2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,035,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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It Wisnae Me Kindle Edition
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The voice belongs to a young girl, who I presume to be the author herself. In consequence, the stories are intimate and personal. Matter-of-factly, with bags of humour, and in that all-important Scots tongue, they narrate escapades from the girl's life from when she was only six years old through to when she had just turned thirteen. Disclosed in the course of them are long-held secrets, together with glimpses of the girl's nomadic home life and mildly eccentric mother.
Two qualities in particular make this collection stand out from the fast-growing mass of similar memoir ebooks. The first is so subtle that perhaps even the writer didn't realise she was achieving it. It is the gradual maturing of the voice from naïve youngster in the opening tale to knowing, almost world-weary teenager by the close of the final tale, a feat that could only be accomplished by a highly skilled writer.
The second quality is much more obvious. It is the development of the narrator's character. Here we have the little girl who wanted to grow up to be a man; who eschewed the Brownies for the Cubs; who shunned the rules at school; who wouldn't be intimidated by the bullies; who didn't want to be part of the crowd; who knew by the time she reached her teens that she would be different. Here we have the emergence of a non-conformist, a rebel. Here we have, I'm certain, the origins of the spirit of Cally Phillips. For that reason alone, it is worth downloading this collection.
Then we lost touch for a while as Cally headed three hundred miles north into the howling wilderness only to reconnect via Twitter. She has been a massive help in guiding me through the daunting labyrinth of the online book world and wrote a review of Brief Encounter which I appreciated hugely.
Having got hooked up to the idea of the short book I decided to check out one of Cally's offerings. There is more than a little Irvine Welsh in `It Wisnae Me' as it is written in unrelenting Scots which can take a while for a white settler from south of the border to get used to. But once you catch onto the rhythm of the thing the pages turn easily. If you are someone like me who grew up in the half forgotten years of the 70's it is absolutely worth £1.56 of your money and a couple of hours of your time. It is easy to forget how kids were treated back then. The prevailing mood was that the harder we were treated, the better we would turn out. Getting caught by a copper when doing something stupid on a Friday night would lead to an inevitable trip down an alleyway for a quick kicking. Teachers must have spent many happy hours coming up with new and ever more imaginative ways to dish out corporal punishment. And parents wholeheartedly approved of their treasured offspring being generally knocked about and battered by a whole variety of authority figures. Such treatment was deemed to be properly character building. Sure there was a seriously dark side and some of this dark side weaves its way in and out of `It Wisnae Me'. For of course this was the era when Jimmy Savile and his ilk were able to go about their business without anyone noticing: the era of care homes from hell. Kids were seldom listened to back then. We were generally bashed up and taught to get on with it. Did it build our characters? Are we all better for it? Do we carry the scars to this day? I don't know. I'm not aware of any, but then again I never ended up out of sight and out of mind in a care home or borstal. Maybe I'm biased, but it seems to me that my generation is the last generation to have the ability to take things in our stride. The miseries we experienced in the dismal classrooms of our formative years make us able to deal with the crap when it rains down on our heads. These days kids are treasured and listened to and protected and when the cold, hard reality of real adult life kicks in they find themselves completely lost in the supermarket.
`It Wisnae Me' offers those of us who grew up in the 70's an E-Tardis back to those strangely threatening times. `It's a Knockout' and bombs in Belfast and footballers with perms and piles of garbage on the streets and nuclear weapons paraded through Red Square on May Day. Curly Wurlies and platform shoes and Morecambe and Wise.
Odd times and tough times. Times that shaped those of us who came to know the world through those harsh years when Britain learned the reality of its situation. They were the last times before Thatcher changed everything: forever.
Did `It Wisnae me' make me nostalgic? No. Those days were too hard to be hankered for. Did it make me realise how those strange days shaped the person I turned out to be? I guess it did.
Have a read. I think you might find that Cally's journey was a lot like your own.