Some Luck

Some Luck

3.83 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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John Bird has changed the lives of countless people, but first of all he had to change his own. Here he turns his attention to his own past and traces his life from the slums of Notting Hill, through crime, vagrancy and homelessness, to redemption when he launched "The Big Issue". This is an evocation of a life which could so easily have gone the other way, and also a great testament to the human ability to overcome adversity, when energy meets that rarer quality, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 110 x 178 x 30mm | 240.41g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0141006900
  • 9780141006901

Author information

In 1991 John Bird founded the BIG ISSUE which has become a social phenomenon helping thousands of homeless people. In 2000 he set up ABCtales, a website and magazine of stories and features by both established and aspiring writers. He lives in more

Review Text

John Anthony Bird didn't have a very good start in life. One of six children of an Irish Catholic mother and English Protestant labourer, he grew up in the London slums of the 1940s and '50s. Money was permanently short, and home life was often turbulent. John drifted into a life of petty crime, like his peers, and spent one or two short stretches in remand homes. Beneath the mental restlessness and easy boredom was a lurking conviction that he was capable of great things, and his frustrated teachers urged him to work harder to release his undoubted talents. But he expected instant results. When his first novel was rejected without comment he was outraged, and turned to drawing and painting which seemed easier and quicker. He took classes in drawing, and then a tangential interest in printing caught his imagination - and that led to the idea of publishing. He set up a magazine, Art Perspective, which he sold to the Royal Academy. Then came a chance meeting with a congenial stranger, Gordon Roddick. John had become interested in a New York publication called Street News sold by the homeless and workless. Gordon listened with interest, and suggested that John start something like that in Britain. He had no money of his own, but Gordon and his wife Anita were just about to launch their own venture, The Body Shop, and would sponsor him. The rest is history. The Big Issue and its homeless distributors have become a familiar sight on Britain's city streets - and The Body Shop a worldwide institution. This is a real story with a happy ending and hopeful future, told with effective simplicity. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

18 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 17% (3)
4 61% (11)
3 11% (2)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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