It's a Long Way from Penny Apples

It's a Long Way from Penny Apples

3.79 (283 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 488 pages
  • AudioGO Limited
  • Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
  • Bath, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print edition
  • 0754019993
  • 9780754019992

Review Text

Anyone who has read Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and been thoroughly depressed by it should read this wonderful autobiography as an antidote. Admittedly, Dublin in the 1940s was a pretty bleak place for the working class, and Bill Cullen's economic status as one of ten children of a dock worker living in a condemned tenement block was not one that would engender much hope for his future - but the overwhelming impression of his childhood is one that was filled with love and laughter, rather than poverty and fear. These days, Cullen is better known as a successful businessman, chairman and owner of Renault Distributors in Ireland but he writes like a dream, with a lively style and ear for dialogue which many established writers would envy. His use of the third person to describe how young Liam (as he was known) managed to break away from his humble origins through hard graft and a real talent for entrepreneurship means that he is able to describe successes without sounding boastful, such as the time he transformed hundreds of ordinary penny dolls into miniature Judy Garlands with the help of his sisters and sold them on the street at a good profit. This business savvy ran in Cullen's blood. His father may have been a dock worker, but his mother was a street seller who had learnt her trade from her mother before her. Cullen speaks with real admiration of how the two women would be up before dawn, in all weathers, to choose their wares at the wholesale market, and of how they taught him the principles of getting a good deal without making enemies. He was especially close to his grandmother, fiercely proud of her country, who would tell him stories of Irish freedom fighters and imbue in him a real sense of pride. Above all, this wonderful book - unsurprisingly already a bestseller in Ireland - is a tribute to his parents, steadfast people who put their children above all else. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

283 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 26% (74)
4 39% (110)
3 25% (71)
2 8% (22)
1 2% (6)
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