- File Size: 3104 KB
- Print Length: 229 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: November 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00Q1P3NAW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,862 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Rumble on Clydesdale Street: Life and Times Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
That said, I have different standards for a self-published memoir than for a professionally written novel. I enjoyed this book in spite of its imperfections, but you know how much you're willing to put up with, so be warned.
I'm afraid that some prospective readers who use the "Look Inside" feature may go no further. The author makes the mistake of starting the book with a bunch of pictures and information about local schools that is of no possible interest to anyone but another local. The picture of him and his parents should stay and the rest should be eliminated or moved to the back of the book.
Once he gets into telling his stories, it's up and down, but mostly up. He reminds us that he's not a professional writer and warns us not to expect Hemingway or Dickens. Unfortunately, he starts out trying to channel those two sad souls by including lots of fancy description and ambiance. When he does that, the book drags. But when he gets caught up in his memories and forgets that he's writing a book, he tells his stories with simple gusto and they are delightful. He's a story-teller, not a writer, and being a good story-teller is all you need for a great memoir.
He has an impressive talent for capturing the mindset of a child, which is difficult for an adult to do. Children don't THINK like adults and few of us can express how we felt as children, even if we can remember. When this man tells his stories, he tells them from the point of view of a child to whom the adult world is a complete mystery and (basically) one not worth worrying about. No matter how involved parents are, the secret lives of little boys operate under the radar. This was especially true back in the days when there was no need for the term "free-range children." There were no other kind.
I was fascinated by the similarities of this author's childhood to mine and the differences. I don't remember the days when radio was King. Television was always in my life. His stories of life without a car, central heating, or electric appliances sound more like life in the 1920's and 1930's than the 1950's I remember. Perhaps it's simply that Canada was slower to recover from the economic hardships of WWII than the U.S. Or perhaps his father (a recent arrival from Croatia) and his mother (from a large farm family) didn't consider those things important or obtainable.
He was that rarest of all creatures for the time - an Only Child. Singletons were both pitied and envied by those of us who grew up in typically large Baby Boomer families. But males form into "gangs" as naturally as water forms into puddles. His stories of the unremitting, mindless warfare with boys from nearby neighborhoods will resonate with anyone who's ever been a boy or known one. Give a little girl a stick and she draws with it or stirs imaginary soup or cradles it like a baby. Give a little boy a stick and he aims and shoots. Human nature.
I wish he had fleshed out the parts about his parents and their relationship. He hints that there was violence, but leaves the reader uncertain as to what really happened. Was his father's happy-go-lucky persona only for the outside world? Did his mother suffer from depression that kept her from enjoying life and her son and husband? It's never made clear and I wonder why. His parents must be long-since dead and he has no siblings to offend.
There's repetition and some parts read as though they were written separately (for a local magazine?) and then stuck in the book. I think it would benefit from being more severely edited. It's still a fine read for those of us who love to peek into the lives of others. I don't agree with the author's view that everything was better when we were young. Things have changed - some for better and some for worse. But little boys never change and this book is a sweet, funny look at the childhood of a man who went on to forge a successful, adventurous adult life for himself. And the story of his father's disastrous attempt to master the automobile is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I wouldn't have missed that one for the world.
The flow of the plot is as authentic right as it was back in the 40's in Canada.
It's only when you feel it in your heart, you know you're holding a good one in your hands.
Reminisce of old and familiar whereabouts flood me due to the magnificent descriptive way of the author. I felt a real member of the community, hearing the stories first hand from the peddler in the market.
This one is a real gem, shining to me from top of the list of all other purchases I made here on Amazon.