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Where Did It All Go Right?: Growing Up Normal in the 70s

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Andrew Collins was born 37 years ago in Northampton. His parents never split up, in fact they rarely exchanged a cross word. No-one abused him. Nobody died. He got on well with his brother and sister and none of his friends drowned in a canal. He has never stayed overnight in a hospital and has no emotional scars from his upbringing, except a slight lingering resentment th Andrew Collins was born 37 years ago in Northampton. His parents never split up, in fact they rarely exchanged a cross word. No-one abused him. Nobody died. He got on well with his brother and sister and none of his friends drowned in a canal. He has never stayed overnight in a hospital and has no emotional scars from his upbringing, except a slight lingering resentment that Anita Barker once mocked the stabilisers on his bike. Where Did It All Go Right? is a jealous memoir written by someone who occasionally wishes life had dealt him a few more juicy marketable blows. The author delves back into his first 18 years in search of something - anything - that might have left him deeply and irreparably damaged. With tales of bikes, telly, sweets, good health, domestic harmony and happy holidays, Andrew aims to bring a little hope to all those out there living with the emotional after-effects of a really nice childhood. Andrew Collins kept a diary from the age of five, so he really can remember what he had for tea everyday and what he did at school, excerpts from his diary run throughout the book and it is this detail which makes his story so compelling.


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Andrew Collins was born 37 years ago in Northampton. His parents never split up, in fact they rarely exchanged a cross word. No-one abused him. Nobody died. He got on well with his brother and sister and none of his friends drowned in a canal. He has never stayed overnight in a hospital and has no emotional scars from his upbringing, except a slight lingering resentment th Andrew Collins was born 37 years ago in Northampton. His parents never split up, in fact they rarely exchanged a cross word. No-one abused him. Nobody died. He got on well with his brother and sister and none of his friends drowned in a canal. He has never stayed overnight in a hospital and has no emotional scars from his upbringing, except a slight lingering resentment that Anita Barker once mocked the stabilisers on his bike. Where Did It All Go Right? is a jealous memoir written by someone who occasionally wishes life had dealt him a few more juicy marketable blows. The author delves back into his first 18 years in search of something - anything - that might have left him deeply and irreparably damaged. With tales of bikes, telly, sweets, good health, domestic harmony and happy holidays, Andrew aims to bring a little hope to all those out there living with the emotional after-effects of a really nice childhood. Andrew Collins kept a diary from the age of five, so he really can remember what he had for tea everyday and what he did at school, excerpts from his diary run throughout the book and it is this detail which makes his story so compelling.

30 review for Where Did It All Go Right?: Growing Up Normal in the 70s

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I read this because neil h. reviewed it on his blog some years ago, describing it as the antidote to the popular memoirs of miserable childhoods a la Dave Peltzer. Neil pointed me to the audiobook version and I'm a little sorry I didn't get that because I would have enjoyed the author's voice. His British accent is much better and more authentic than the one in my head. But the book was a very entertaining and surprisingly nostalgic read. We grew up at the same time, in the late sixties and all I read this because neil h. reviewed it on his blog some years ago, describing it as the antidote to the popular memoirs of miserable childhoods a la Dave Peltzer. Neil pointed me to the audiobook version and I'm a little sorry I didn't get that because I would have enjoyed the author's voice. His British accent is much better and more authentic than the one in my head. But the book was a very entertaining and surprisingly nostalgic read. We grew up at the same time, in the late sixties and all of the seventies, in stable, happy families, in monocultural suburban neighborhoods, played outdoors unsupervised, watched tv, read lots of books, had artistic pursuits, and kept diaries. Reading excerpts from his diaries, until the teen years, was a lot like reading my own. Lots of material details were unfamiliar to me - the names of specific toys, tv shows, comic books, and snack foods, but I recognized the types. Almost like a parallel universe - what my life would have been like if I'd been born a continent away. And a boy. Close enough, though.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Really liked idea if this book. As around same age early stuff really nostalgic. Then he answered question he asked at start Why most books on childhood about bad experiences. The answer is normal is boring. This would score really low if I were 10 years older or younger

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I think my biggest take away from this nostalgia fest is that many of the modern anxieties we have about food, exercise, safety and children didn't exist back in the 70s and 80s. Kids ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, sausages for lunch, potato chip sandwiches for dinner and filled the gaps in between with additive enriched sweets and snacks. There were no helicopter parents organizing every moment of a child's life, from carefully calibrated diet to an education road map. And yet, in spite of t I think my biggest take away from this nostalgia fest is that many of the modern anxieties we have about food, exercise, safety and children didn't exist back in the 70s and 80s. Kids ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, sausages for lunch, potato chip sandwiches for dinner and filled the gaps in between with additive enriched sweets and snacks. There were no helicopter parents organizing every moment of a child's life, from carefully calibrated diet to an education road map. And yet, in spite of this, a successful generation of children grew up in relatively good health. Of course they had different anxieties back then: nuclear annihilation, keeping up appearances, oil embargoes, homosexuality. It seems that humans simply have a propensity to worry, and we'll always find something to fill the emptiness of a comfortable life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Where Did It All Go Right? - Growing up normal in the 70s. Andrew Collins' memoirs of his normal nontraumatic childhood and teenage years in Northampton, smallish East Midlands town. An answer to all the McCourts, Pelzers and co. with their miserable childhoods. And normal certainly doesn't mean boring. Before I started reading the book just thinking about it made me smile/laugh. Collins writes in a very funny/entertaining way, and I enjoyed every page of the book. My 70s were the (glorious) 90s Where Did It All Go Right? - Growing up normal in the 70s. Andrew Collins' memoirs of his normal nontraumatic childhood and teenage years in Northampton, smallish East Midlands town. An answer to all the McCourts, Pelzers and co. with their miserable childhoods. And normal certainly doesn't mean boring. Before I started reading the book just thinking about it made me smile/laugh. Collins writes in a very funny/entertaining way, and I enjoyed every page of the book. My 70s were the (glorious) 90s, but still I sometimes see my own childhood in this book. People who grew up in the same time, in the same country and are of the same gender as Collins are likely guaranteed to get loads more flashbacks of course. But I find also the differences interesting. The school system totally different to the Finnish one, the Action Man Games (in stead of the doll and Barbie ones), the 70s punk era... I hope somebody will write something like this about the 90s in about 10 years... Ace book! ;)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Redfox5

    I didn't grow up in the 70's but that didn't stop me enjoying this book. It had a lot of laugh out loud moments. And kids in the 70's did have some things in commen with kids in the 90's. Well me and my sisters at least. Like my nan knitting clothes for my Barbie dolls (Andrews nan did it for action men), making bases, climbing trees, the fear of getting dog muck on your shoes. Mainly all the outside stuff. Major differences would be Andrews getting less Christmas presents and instead of him ge I didn't grow up in the 70's but that didn't stop me enjoying this book. It had a lot of laugh out loud moments. And kids in the 70's did have some things in commen with kids in the 90's. Well me and my sisters at least. Like my nan knitting clothes for my Barbie dolls (Andrews nan did it for action men), making bases, climbing trees, the fear of getting dog muck on your shoes. Mainly all the outside stuff. Major differences would be Andrews getting less Christmas presents and instead of him getting the films on video he would just get the books. However he did get to go to the cinema much more than I ever did. I liked the long chapters best. Some of the diary extracts are funny but I think there should have been much less of them. Reading about what someone had for dinner is not that exciting. Oh and having all the explanations in small print at the bottom was a bit rubbish. I kept losing my place after reading them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Fisher

    I read the reviews before purchasing this book and was impressed. However, I have struggled to read it. Basically, I found it quite dull and disjointed. There are too many footnotes and it was not easy (to be fair, probably due to the small print of the book) to see the notations. This spoilt the flow of the book, with me constantly trying to link the footnote to the notation. Generally I think it wrong to use so many footnotes and in this case I feel the author could have simply added the conte I read the reviews before purchasing this book and was impressed. However, I have struggled to read it. Basically, I found it quite dull and disjointed. There are too many footnotes and it was not easy (to be fair, probably due to the small print of the book) to see the notations. This spoilt the flow of the book, with me constantly trying to link the footnote to the notation. Generally I think it wrong to use so many footnotes and in this case I feel the author could have simply added the contents of the footnote to the text of the passage. It did make the book harder to read. That all said I still found the book quite boring and for once I gave up reading it at about page 90. Maybe I stopped too soon and the meat of the book came later, but I am sorry I read for pleasure and this book became a task.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    As someone a mere few months younger than the author who also had to go to Solihull to fall over on ice this was a real nostalgia fest. While there were some fairly substantial differences in our personal circumstances, not least that of gender, this book evoked the culture and feel of a childhood and adolescence that I'd remembered with different (although no less happy) emphases and so was continually reminding me of things I'd not quite forgotten: food, television programmes, music, a child's As someone a mere few months younger than the author who also had to go to Solihull to fall over on ice this was a real nostalgia fest. While there were some fairly substantial differences in our personal circumstances, not least that of gender, this book evoked the culture and feel of a childhood and adolescence that I'd remembered with different (although no less happy) emphases and so was continually reminding me of things I'd not quite forgotten: food, television programmes, music, a child's view of events and so on. Who says biographies of ordinary people only become fascinating with the passage of hundreds of years? I think this book proves that everyone's tale has value if it is well and honestly told.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Godzilla

    I'm close to Andrew Collins age, if slightly behind him in years, and so could relate in many ways to this book. I was raised in an even more provincial town, with no opportunities for convenient travel to cities or even large towns. He put the trials and tribulations down on paper so well: it evoked many strong memories for me. This may not grab you if you are from a different generation, but it does express beautifully the adolescent angst that boys go through. I'm going to get my son to read it I'm close to Andrew Collins age, if slightly behind him in years, and so could relate in many ways to this book. I was raised in an even more provincial town, with no opportunities for convenient travel to cities or even large towns. He put the trials and tribulations down on paper so well: it evoked many strong memories for me. This may not grab you if you are from a different generation, but it does express beautifully the adolescent angst that boys go through. I'm going to get my son to read it before his teenage years, just so he can appreciate the importance of not overreacting too much to those perceived slights and injustices. I'm looking forward to the next installment: the student years, no doubt more painful/wonderful memories will be rekindled...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    Amusing autobiography, supplemented by diary entries, of a lower? middle class boy (born 1965) growing up normal in Northampton, where/when nothing very extraordinary happened. Good, but publishing a second volume (Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now) is probably milking the idea too much. It's interesting to compare this with two other memoir-ish books by relatively normal male Brits of the same generation: David Mitchell's Black Swan Green and best of the three, Nigel Slater's Toast Amusing autobiography, supplemented by diary entries, of a lower? middle class boy (born 1965) growing up normal in Northampton, where/when nothing very extraordinary happened. Good, but publishing a second volume (Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now) is probably milking the idea too much. It's interesting to compare this with two other memoir-ish books by relatively normal male Brits of the same generation: David Mitchell's Black Swan Green and best of the three, Nigel Slater's Toast

  10. 4 out of 5

    Juliana Graham

    Even though I'm a bit younger than Andrew and really grew up in the 80s rather than the 70s, I was still able to find quite a few familiar references in this book which I found quite amusing. I liked the fact that Andrew kept a diary from such a young age and so had a good basis to start from in his autobiography and I think he's captured the drama of life as a child or teenager quite well. I'll probably read Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now at some point as I think I'll be able to relate to that Even though I'm a bit younger than Andrew and really grew up in the 80s rather than the 70s, I was still able to find quite a few familiar references in this book which I found quite amusing. I liked the fact that Andrew kept a diary from such a young age and so had a good basis to start from in his autobiography and I think he's captured the drama of life as a child or teenager quite well. I'll probably read Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now at some point as I think I'll be able to relate to that even more AND That's Me In The Corner as I like his style of writing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    I absolutely bloody loved this book but I do have something of a weakness for male authors writing about their provincial upbringings. I particularly liked the premise that that not all books about growing up need to be 'Angela's Ashes'.It was also a relief that Andrew Collins' speaking voice did not echo in my ears as I read. I absolutely bloody loved this book but I do have something of a weakness for male authors writing about their provincial upbringings. I particularly liked the premise that that not all books about growing up need to be 'Angela's Ashes'.It was also a relief that Andrew Collins' speaking voice did not echo in my ears as I read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Nowadays Andrew Collins is a journalist who writes about films and music, but when he was growing up he wanted to be an artist. One of the vehicles for his artistic aspirations was a diary that he kept from the age of 6 to 20. This book is a memoir of a child growing up in a middle class family in the East Midlands, the eldest of three children. It sets out very deliberately to be an antidote to the 'Misery Memoirs' which have been inexplicably popular in the past. The back cover misquotes the Ph Nowadays Andrew Collins is a journalist who writes about films and music, but when he was growing up he wanted to be an artist. One of the vehicles for his artistic aspirations was a diary that he kept from the age of 6 to 20. This book is a memoir of a child growing up in a middle class family in the East Midlands, the eldest of three children. It sets out very deliberately to be an antidote to the 'Misery Memoirs' which have been inexplicably popular in the past. The back cover misquotes the Phillip Larkin poem: 'They tucked him up, his Mum and Dad' The stories of growing up, playing out in the fields and working through the school is gently nostalgic. I'm three years younger than the author and I grew up in a provincial town in the West Midlands, so I shared many of of the same formative experiences. Anyone of a similar age (probably from 40-60) who grew up in the UK would probably appreciate many of the stories told. The structure of the book is simple, fluctuating between extracts from diaries, each covering a year. Obviously the style changes as the years pass, initially simple and endearing, passing through breathless excitable prose, and then moving into a sometimes irritating teen angst. The rest of the book is a series of musings related to the diary. These include thoughts on the slight insanity of having most of the important exams that a child sits so that they coincide with the age when they are developing an interest in the opposite sex, learning to drive and discovering alcohol. This is a very enjoyable book, and it really is an enjoyable alternative to those memoirs that tell of abusive childhoods.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tim Worthington

    As you'll no doubt be aware if you've ever seen any clip show ever, Andrew Collins has a phenomenal recall of the 'seventies'. Not just for details like fads and theme songs, but the surrounding ambience - the sights, sounds and sometimes even smells that swirled around street parties, seaside jaunts and rainy Bank Holiday visits to MFI. It's hardly surprising that he had the mental capacity to take all of this in as, well, nothing much remarkable happened to him. Until a fox stole him through a As you'll no doubt be aware if you've ever seen any clip show ever, Andrew Collins has a phenomenal recall of the 'seventies'. Not just for details like fads and theme songs, but the surrounding ambience - the sights, sounds and sometimes even smells that swirled around street parties, seaside jaunts and rainy Bank Holiday visits to MFI. It's hardly surprising that he had the mental capacity to take all of this in as, well, nothing much remarkable happened to him. Until a fox stole him through a window, but that's another story. Drawn from Andrew's own real-life diaries, Where Did It All Go Right? is an hilarious account of a normal, mundane, day-to-day childhood in a decade that everyone else seems to want to depict as either a catalogue of horrors or a catalogue of Spangles. There are classmates with hilariously bland nicknames, unintentionally comic attempts at 'making your own entertainment', and an endless procession of all-consuming obsessions with the latest blockbusting films and, towards the end of the decade, TV series. It's also laudably upfront and undefensive about childhood flirtations with homophobia and what were at best racially dubious gags, accepting they were made in childhood innocence and ignorance but refusing to hide behind that, and the astonishingly confused diary entries about Roots ("ma favourite programme") are worth the price of admission alone. Especially if you Paid A Pound. Hang on, what was that in 'old money' again...?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I enjoyed this book at the beginning, as I also grew up in Northampton in the 70’s and it brought back many lovely memories, of places and products which I had completely forgotten about. Funny how we all had a field that we used to play in and how we could stay out all day without any one worrying about us! At the time Northampton was a sleepy, shoe making town where nothing much happened it suddenly became designated as an overflow town for a growing London population and all our fields and pl I enjoyed this book at the beginning, as I also grew up in Northampton in the 70’s and it brought back many lovely memories, of places and products which I had completely forgotten about. Funny how we all had a field that we used to play in and how we could stay out all day without any one worrying about us! At the time Northampton was a sleepy, shoe making town where nothing much happened it suddenly became designated as an overflow town for a growing London population and all our fields and play areas disappeared under housing sites, factories and other industries moved here along with a large amount of cockneys! I particularly identified with the beginning of the punk movement when we all spiked our hair and had multiple piercing and got our clothes from the Oxfam shop and thought we were the bee’s knees. Then it was out with Punk and we all became New Romantics ! The truth also that we had to travel to Birmingham and Leicester to see any decent groups, and going ice skating each week meant travelling either to silver blades in Birmingham or Solihull. The book then began to wear a bit as it just seemed to be the authors diary published day after day with copious foot notes to explain everything. It’s probably a book to dip in and out of rather then read in one go.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jemma

    As a fan of Collins and Maconie and having enjoyed Maconie's "Cider with Roadies", I looked forward to this book. Sadly, it is quite dull and repetitive. To be fair, this is flagged up by Collins' repeated admission that nothing really bad happened to him. He's not lying. The other reason this is weak is that Collins' has split his story into three volumes. Something which is done a lot in both the Victorian eras and now with e-books, but which seems a little mercenary in a book from the early n As a fan of Collins and Maconie and having enjoyed Maconie's "Cider with Roadies", I looked forward to this book. Sadly, it is quite dull and repetitive. To be fair, this is flagged up by Collins' repeated admission that nothing really bad happened to him. He's not lying. The other reason this is weak is that Collins' has split his story into three volumes. Something which is done a lot in both the Victorian eras and now with e-books, but which seems a little mercenary in a book from the early noughties. That is odd though, it doesn't fit with what is clearly a relaxed personality. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant enough read and could well be invaluable for social historians of this era. There is much to recognise in his assessments of contemporary culture, which you'll probably like if you're around his age and which the historian could find useful. There is, however, little really new here that you haven't encountered in other nostalgia programmes/books. What makes this different is his frankness, for instance about the casual racism of the playground. More of that kind of thing would be wonderful, it's the amount of inconsequential and repetitious detail that surrounds this worthwhile kernel which lets this memoir down.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    This book makes a lot of its ordinariness, its lack of pretention, its lack of 'obvious' drama (a slightly uncomfortable contrast with the likes of Dave Pelzer's 'A Child Called It' is made early on, unnecessarily) and at times it does read a little too comfortably and banal, but I enjoyed it. This autobiography of journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins's first nineteen years was warm and amusing, with plenty that would resonate with numerous British kids growing up in the 1970s (and even the This book makes a lot of its ordinariness, its lack of pretention, its lack of 'obvious' drama (a slightly uncomfortable contrast with the likes of Dave Pelzer's 'A Child Called It' is made early on, unnecessarily) and at times it does read a little too comfortably and banal, but I enjoyed it. This autobiography of journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins's first nineteen years was warm and amusing, with plenty that would resonate with numerous British kids growing up in the 1970s (and even the 1980s - I am thirteen years younger than him and was brought up a few hundred miles away from him, but still found a lot of common ground). Of the autobiographies I have read before, I generally enjoy the pre-adult reminisces more than the name-droppy grown-up stuff, so this book stopping when he left home was perfect for my tastes. Collins is not the most A-list of celebrities and I know him more for what he has been involved with in the media than the few 'talking heads' appearance he's made on clip shows, but he writes well and this was a witty and endearing memoir.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mancman

    Re-reading this has taken me down that nostalgia trip again. As interesting premise for a book: write about your non-eventful life and type out a few of your childhood diary entries. Andrew Colin's is a few years older than me, but I could relate to this very easily. I too grew up in a small town, with parents who didn't abuse me, or get divorced, and I coasted through academia. I'm not sure how exciting or relevant people who don't have this background will find the book. It could act as a social Re-reading this has taken me down that nostalgia trip again. As interesting premise for a book: write about your non-eventful life and type out a few of your childhood diary entries. Andrew Colin's is a few years older than me, but I could relate to this very easily. I too grew up in a small town, with parents who didn't abuse me, or get divorced, and I coasted through academia. I'm not sure how exciting or relevant people who don't have this background will find the book. It could act as a social summary for growing up in the 70s and 80s. I'm sure my kids would find it interesting to see what life was like for me back in those days. The book is very self deprecating and makes no attempt to glamourise the times. This is written factually with the benefit of a little hindsight, and provides a little view into the mindset of the British youth at the time. Well it resonated with me anyway.

  18. 5 out of 5

    CuteBadger

    I love this book and have read it a few times since it first came out in 2003. It's one I save for times when I need a lot of cheering up and it never fails to do the trick. I'm a couple of years older than Andrew Collins, but all the references to life in the 1970s really take me back to my own childhood - pop-a-point pencils anyone? What strikes me most when reading it now is the freedom we had as kids in the 70s, you could be out all day during the summer holidays, but as long as you were home I love this book and have read it a few times since it first came out in 2003. It's one I save for times when I need a lot of cheering up and it never fails to do the trick. I'm a couple of years older than Andrew Collins, but all the references to life in the 1970s really take me back to my own childhood - pop-a-point pencils anyone? What strikes me most when reading it now is the freedom we had as kids in the 70s, you could be out all day during the summer holidays, but as long as you were home in time for tea and not too filthy when you got back all was well. I've read both Andrew Collins' follow-ups to this book and quite enjoyed them, but this is the one I keep coming back to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Incredibly slight memoir about what it was to grow up in the Seventies in a warm and loving environment, where you sat with your folks and happily watched "Ask the Family" together and you played in a field with your mates after school. The author states he was motivated to write this as a backlash against the angst and abuse riddled autobiographies of Dave Peltzer and his ilk, which is to be applauded, but I was somewhat disappointed that a "normal" upbringing was portrayed as mind-numbingly no Incredibly slight memoir about what it was to grow up in the Seventies in a warm and loving environment, where you sat with your folks and happily watched "Ask the Family" together and you played in a field with your mates after school. The author states he was motivated to write this as a backlash against the angst and abuse riddled autobiographies of Dave Peltzer and his ilk, which is to be applauded, but I was somewhat disappointed that a "normal" upbringing was portrayed as mind-numbingly normal, really!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara VA

    Well when I saw this book for the first time I thought that it would be right for me, I think of myself as having grown up in the 70's but I guess I really am more of a 60's girl. Andrew starts then years after me and in England. I really enjoyed the writing even though there was so much I could not relate to! I should have read this a few months from now at my friend's house in Portishead, to translate so much. I cannot believe how all of his diaries survived as well as drawings to set down his Well when I saw this book for the first time I thought that it would be right for me, I think of myself as having grown up in the 70's but I guess I really am more of a 60's girl. Andrew starts then years after me and in England. I really enjoyed the writing even though there was so much I could not relate to! I should have read this a few months from now at my friend's house in Portishead, to translate so much. I cannot believe how all of his diaries survived as well as drawings to set down his life so well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I was told this book was exteremely funny, a witty look at a "normal" upbringing. I read the book because I listen to the Collings and Herrin podcast. In fact, I bought all three books in the series. Sadly, this just came across as very dull. The diary extracts went on for too long, and nothing really happened. I will read the other two - I expect that the next one will be much more interesting. I bloody hope so, anyway! I was told this book was exteremely funny, a witty look at a "normal" upbringing. I read the book because I listen to the Collings and Herrin podcast. In fact, I bought all three books in the series. Sadly, this just came across as very dull. The diary extracts went on for too long, and nothing really happened. I will read the other two - I expect that the next one will be much more interesting. I bloody hope so, anyway!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Other people's diary accounts are never really as interesting as they are to the writer; unless they happen to have had an extraordinary life. The case is definitely true for Mr. Collins. It was an interesting read in some ways as it prompted lots of memories and discussion about food eaten during the decade. However, I can completely understand other readers who found the book tedious and dull. Other people's diary accounts are never really as interesting as they are to the writer; unless they happen to have had an extraordinary life. The case is definitely true for Mr. Collins. It was an interesting read in some ways as it prompted lots of memories and discussion about food eaten during the decade. However, I can completely understand other readers who found the book tedious and dull.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Harry

    I'm 3 years older than Andrew Collins and also grew up in a provincial town so have a very similar background. This made the book a real nostalgia trip for me with the toys I grew up with, the films I watched at the cinema, the tv programmes, the music and most of all the Action Men (see my avatar). Not much of a read if you're not of a certain age though as the references will be meaningless. I however really enjoyed it. I'm 3 years older than Andrew Collins and also grew up in a provincial town so have a very similar background. This made the book a real nostalgia trip for me with the toys I grew up with, the films I watched at the cinema, the tv programmes, the music and most of all the Action Men (see my avatar). Not much of a read if you're not of a certain age though as the references will be meaningless. I however really enjoyed it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A pleasant and charming, if unremarkable, memoir. I vaguely recognised the guy from his appearances as a talking head on those Jimmy Carr-fronted nostalgia programmes - that figures. Not entirely sure how he got a book deal for this, though. Gastronomically obsessed as I am, however, I enjoyed the food-related passages. That also figures.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Started this book while on holiday - it's a book hubby he has been attempting to read for about a year. Mainly because is it about the area near where we live and about a time we remember. It was great reading about things that we also did as children (although the author is a little older than me!) The diary extracts are fun - all round a pleasent read! Started this book while on holiday - it's a book hubby he has been attempting to read for about a year. Mainly because is it about the area near where we live and about a time we remember. It was great reading about things that we also did as children (although the author is a little older than me!) The diary extracts are fun - all round a pleasent read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nigeyb

    It's my childhood - growing up in London, England in the 70s - amusingly retold. The era when kids spent all their time in the school holidays out on their bikes and just turned up back at home around tea time. Such a shame that modern kids don't have those freedoms. Magical times. Well worth reading. Like a 'Cider with Rosie' for the seventies generation. It's my childhood - growing up in London, England in the 70s - amusingly retold. The era when kids spent all their time in the school holidays out on their bikes and just turned up back at home around tea time. Such a shame that modern kids don't have those freedoms. Magical times. Well worth reading. Like a 'Cider with Rosie' for the seventies generation.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margaux

    I liked the idea behind this book: instead of writing about a terrible childhood, like most autobiographies, the author writes about how good, or at least normal, his childhood has been. Unfortunately, this also makes for a very boring book... I guess this book shows why autobiographies about terrible childhoods are so succesful...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Pattison

    Enjoyable read for anyone who grew up in the 70s Too many footnotes for me and not my usual genre ie the end of the chapter didn't leave me wanting more and I often struggled to get into the book but when I did I found myself chuckling away. Kept a diary myself so know exactly what it's like trying to fill a page when you've had a boring day .... Enjoyable read for anyone who grew up in the 70s Too many footnotes for me and not my usual genre ie the end of the chapter didn't leave me wanting more and I often struggled to get into the book but when I did I found myself chuckling away. Kept a diary myself so know exactly what it's like trying to fill a page when you've had a boring day ....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna Rodgers

    Nice bit of nostalgia here - Andrew is the same age as me - apart from his family having a bit more money than mine, we led almost parallel lives. Loved this book - if you were born in mid 60's Britain this is a must read! Nice bit of nostalgia here - Andrew is the same age as me - apart from his family having a bit more money than mine, we led almost parallel lives. Loved this book - if you were born in mid 60's Britain this is a must read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alan Hughes

    This is an antidote to the "tragic life" books and the opposite of "My Life up a Close". This is nostalgia.and nothing much else. While entertaining for a short while, if you are the target demographic, as little happens it does not hold one's attention through to the end This is an antidote to the "tragic life" books and the opposite of "My Life up a Close". This is nostalgia.and nothing much else. While entertaining for a short while, if you are the target demographic, as little happens it does not hold one's attention through to the end

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