Read Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles by TonyMacaulay Online


It’s Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned twelve and he’s got a new job. He’s going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine – or bombs and mortar – he will deliver…Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. BoIt’s Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned twelve and he’s got a new job. He’s going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine – or bombs and mortar – he will deliver…Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. Bombings are on the evening news, rubble lies where buildings once stood, and rumours spread like wildfire about the IRA and the UDA.But Paperboy lives in a world of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and fish suppers. His battles are fought with all the passion of Ireland’s opposing sides – but against acne, the dentist and the ‘wee hoods’ who rob his paper money. On his rounds he hums songs by the Bay City Rollers, dreams about outer space and dreams even more about the beautiful Sharon Burgess.In this touching, funny and nostalgic memoir, Tony Macaulay recounts his days growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, the harrowing years which saw neighbour fighting neighbour and brother fighting brother. But in the midst of all this turmoil, Paperboy, a scrappy upstart with a wicked sense of humour and sky-high dreams, dutifully goes about his paper round. He is a good paperboy, so he is.Paperboy proves that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; it is a story that will charm your socks off, make you laugh out loud and brings to life the culture, stories and colourful characters of a very different – but very familiar – time....

Title : Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780007449231
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles Reviews

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-07-09 04:06

    I love books set in the Seventies, and Paperboy, a moving and exciting historical memoir, is definitely no exception. The author captures the scenery of Ireland and the atmosphere of the times as if he's playing an old home movie.

  • Nicola Mcfall
    2019-07-12 03:48

    I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although based in 1970’s during the Northern Irish troubles, which isn’t always the basis for the most uplifting of literature, this book is REALLY funny. I laughed out loud throughout. Although I grew up a decade or so later, and in Ballymena (which gets some stick from Tony in the book. lol) the atmosphere and feeling of growing up during the troubles felt very true to me and it transported me back to my own childhood. We were aware of what was going on, of the ‘us and them’ nature of society, and we occasionally felt it interrupt our own lives – but on the whole we had normal, happy childhoods and Tony has put this across fantastically. He has also expressed a childhood optimism that I believe existed at that time. Children where always far more willing to accept peace and to believe it was a possibility than the adults who had spent too long witnessing the horrors – this came across especially well in the chapter ‘Peace in the Papers’ which was so well written that it reduced me to tears. I sincerely hope that Tony plans to continue to write. I would love to get my hands on my books by him.

  • Lori
    2019-06-28 10:47

    This is a memoir by Tony Macaulay. It mostly takes place in 1975-about 1977. at this time he was 12.Tony lived in Belfast Ireland. his first job was a paperboy. this was during some of the worst of times on Belfast the troubles between the Catholic and protestant religions. while he was still a boy he witnessed the fights, the bombs going off the fight for and against the IRA. meanwhile he is growing up, managing his paper route. experiencing his first crush. playing the violin in the school orchestra, learning the guitar. i liked how he mentioned the bands and singers that were famous in 1975 such as the Bay City rollers. his excitement of going to a Bay City Rollers concert and the humorous encounter with one of the band's players. he witnessed a lot growing up during this trying scary time in Belfast Ireland. I remember back then I had a couple Bay City Roller records on 45s. S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Night!!a likable and honest memoir seen through a 12 year old boys eyes.

  • David Campton
    2019-06-28 03:54

    It's always strange reading something by someone you know well. particularly as I tend to hang all my thoughts out to dry on sites like this... Not reviewing a book I've just read would be tantamount to devastating criticism. Given that I previously trashed a theatre production that Tony was in to his face (without realising he had been in it... the production had been about 15 years before) I hope he will forgive any mild criticism of this book. And it will be mild, because I really enjoyed it. It's a slight volume, perhaps without a strong core narrative, and I did find myself wondering whether I would have found it so engaging had I not known Tony, but it was great to read his story and get an insight into what makes him tick... It could probably have done with a little more shaping with the help of an experienced editor... for example some of the colloquial ticks in his writing, particularly at the begining and/or ends of chapters, seemed a little forced "so they did." Also not too sure about some of the chronology, and whether certain things could actually have happened how and when they did, and some of the cultural backdrops, but if Tony's memory is anything like mine, your personal perception of history does get a little warped... Things didn't necessarily happen exactly in the order you remember... And as I heard one other speaker say recently "The older I get the clearer my memory of things that never happened." But all that is minor and actually adds to the verscity of the whole account, which offers me the perspective of a near contemporary growing up in the same city, but effectively half a world away. Both of us were from similar socio-economic backgrounds, but because I grew up in the politically monochrome world of outer east Belfast while he grew up in the contested ground of West Belfast, our experiences were radically different. We need to hear more of these stories. The ordinary stories of lives being shaped against the backdrop of the troubles. Thanks for your contribution to this Tony.

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-06-22 03:58

    "Paperboy" is the memoir of Tony Macaulay, a young boy who takes on a job as a paperboy in Belfast during the 1970s. If you know your history, you may recognize that the mid to late 1970s were the setting for the so-called "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, a tumultuous time to say the least. Tony is old enough to realize what is going on around him but is still busy growing up. Even in the face of really horrible things, Macaulay maintains his humor! I love memoirs so much. I always think it's really cool to be able to walk in someone else's shoes. I knew about the Troubles from a historical perspective but I don't believe that I've read anything about the Troubles other than straight history books on the matter so I found this memoir really refreshing. Even though this book takes place during a very serious time, Tony is still a kid so this book is filled with some of his funny 12-year-old antics. Some parts of this book made me laugh out loud. It was a good reminder that even when bad things are going on around you, there are still ways to make life a little bit more normal. I liked the writing in this book. You do need to know a little bit about the Troubles in order to understand some of the things that happen in the book. Overall,

  • J.P. Sexton
    2019-07-20 11:49

    I recently read Tony Macaulay's memoir about growing up In Belfast; "Paperboy." I grew up horizontally West of him in North Donegal. Derry was our weekly shopping place and like Belfast, it was being blown apart during at that time, so I could relate to his story.Tony's stories brought back memories..maybe different to his, since he seemed to have a great love for the Bay City Rollers, whereas myself and my school mates despised them! The BCR were huge when I was in secondary school. The girls went around in their tartan scarves, wrist bands and even sewed tartan on the bottom of their jeans and parallels. I did like Showaddywaddy though and I am sure many more English bands to which Tony listened.There is a lot of humor in "Paperboy." One of my favorite parts was when he does his "jimmie joe" in Brut aftershave! Readers who are not au fait with Irish vernacular, especially Northern Irish /Ulster slang, may not be sure of some words, but I think you will still get a good gist of the story. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next two books in the Trilogy!

  • Angeline King
    2019-07-21 10:07

    When I bought this book, I assumed that it was a novel, and it is testament to the technique of the writer that I still didn't know by the last page that it was a memoir. I felt that I'd made a true friend in this 'Upper' Shankill boy who went to the posh grammar school where the kids pronounced their 'ings.' The satire was so understated and clever that it was easy to escape into a non-political world of the adventures of a Paperboy in the cultural context of 1970s Belfast, while surfacing now and then to take in the political ironies. In terms of the language, the first line hit me in the face, so it did, and the pace and confidence of the story and the writing really started to build about a quarter of the way through. I laughed frequently and I shed a wee tear a couple of times when I least expected it. It's a beautiful piece of work. Thankfully there's a sequel!

  • Forever Young Adult
    2019-06-30 06:52

    Graded By: BrianCover Story: Oh, Mr. Wilson!Drinking Buddy: You Even Got to Ask?Testosterone Level: F**k You Lookin' At?Talky Talk: English Speaking Country, My AssBonus Factors: Rip-Off Comic Book Ads, Golden Age of TelevisionBromance Status: The Big Brother Who Constantly Beats the Shit Out of MeRead the full book report here.

  • Katie
    2019-07-13 05:57

    As a child that grew up in Belfast in the 70's and 80's I could just picture wee Tony on his paper round. It brought back lots of memories from my own childhood that I had forgotten about. You don't need to be from Belfast to enjoy this lovely book which should strike a chord with any child of the 70's.

  • SundayAtDusk
    2019-07-05 08:40

    This has got to be the funniest book ever written about growing up in Northern Ireland. It also was the first one I've read by a Protestant. I didn't even realize that until I would wonder why he said what he did in certain places at the beginning of the book; even though I knew he was a Protestant, it still didn't sink in for a while; I kept wondering why he said things that made him sound like he wasn't Catholic! Finally, his Protestant nature sank deep into my mind, and I could proceed unconfused with reading an incredibly humorous memoir.Tony Macaulay was born in 1963, and grew up on Shankill Road in Belfast. His father worked in a foundry, and his mother did sewing for "swanky" women, who obviously lived in better neighborhoods than he did. Young Tony did not feel poor, however. Just the opposite, he felt rich! He was a paperboy . . . the only pacifist paperboy in Belfast, mind you . . . and he could spend his wages how he wanted. One of his favorite ways was to order things from the back of Look-in magazine, such as a book about developing muscles like Charles Atlas, or those infamous Sea Monkeys that obviously disappointed kids in Ireland as much as they disappointed kids in the United States. Least you think Tony only thought about himself, that's totally untrue; he also sent money to save starving children in Africa. One day, a visiting minister to his church told them they should stop sending money for food to Africa. As the author describes what was said that day in church: "My pompous preacher friend next went on to explain that we should not waste money by sending food to Africans because we needed to send missionaries to get them saved first, as that was more important. I couldn't work out how you could give them salvation if they had already died of starvation."The book is filled with such wit. It's also filled with all the other things a boy back then was into--Dr. Who, ABBA, Donny Osmond, the Bay City Rollers, Lost In Space, family, school, vacations in the caravan, guitar lessons, violin lessons, dancing at the Westy Disco, girlfriends, pets, braces, and the Troubles. He does talk about the violence in Belfast--the close calls with bombs and guns, the "peace walls", the soldiers. But what Tony Macaulay so amazingly showed in Paperboy is that a child could grow up and have a very happy childhood, even when living in a city torn to pieces by discord and violence. He also so amazingly showed you could write a really, really funny book about such a childhood.(Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Vine.)

  • Jodi R.
    2019-07-21 12:04

    This was a lovely little book about being a teenager in Belfast during the Troubles. The author's recollections are hilarious, and the portraits he paints of his life and the people and places in it are rich and vibrant. I smiled throughout, despite appreciating the horrific circumstances they were facing every day. It's always amazing to see how resilient people can be - especially kids. Sure, there are cars and businesses being blown up when you're trying to make your way home from school, but you still have to undertake the serious business of growing up, chasing the girls, buying questionable mail order items (sea monkeys, anyone?), loving the BCR and getting your paper route (er - round) done on time and without incidence (thievery, bombs, etc.). Life does go on in the face of just about anything. And teenage life in the 70s - well, hilarity ensues. :-) I am not a history expert by any means, but I realized in reading this memoir that my limited knowledge of the Troubles always seemed to stem from the Catholic perspective. It was interesting to learn a bit about the Protestant side of things - although this book is not really political. It refers to the situation and the sides, but it doesn't "take sides" or hammer home any side's point of view. It just takes it all in and shows how it all pertains to a wee paperboy, who is just trying to make his way through teenage life. It's quite well done by the author. A special shout out to Tony's parents - what an amazing pair these two were. To running a pop-up disco for all the neighbourhood kids to hang out at every Saturday night (and thus stay safe and out of mischief), to building a float for the kids to go in a parade, to delivering the papers when Tony is indisposed - they weren't soft or easy people by any stretch, but they were clearly very special people and awesome parents. I am sure Tony realizes how very blessed he was to have them.

  • Mari
    2019-06-20 08:45

    I bought the book while visiting Belfast, in order to better understand everyday life during the Troubles, and this autobiography is really good because you discover Belfast through the eyes of a 12-years-old boy of the Upper Shankill (protestant quarter).There is a lot of humour and wit and emotion, and it is really lively! I recommend it!

  • Rob
    2019-07-16 06:06

    A fantastic story of a young boy living amongst the 'Troubles' and life in Belfast, but with a naivety that comes with age. Beautifully told. This is a book I will definitely go back to read again.

  • Robin Peake
    2019-06-22 11:41

    Terrific holiday read. Might have to get into the whole series now

  • Eileen
    2019-07-04 04:08

    I love all of Tony's books. I liked learning more about what it was like growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland

  • Megan
    2019-07-17 09:57

    Tony Macaulay spent his formative years growing up in the working class neighborhood of the Upper Shankill in Belfast during the Troubles of the 1970s. On the one hand, Macaulay's youth is typical. He's eager to follow his brother into an early career of delivering the nightly Belfast Telegraph, he wears the dreadful clothes that were all the rage during the 1970s, gets picked on by his brothers, lives to steal kisses from the lovely Sharon Burgess at the disco, and is in love with the Bay City Rollers, but in a totally "manly" way. On the other hand, Macaulay's youth is spent in a Belfast divided by Peace Walls, plagued by acts of terrorism afflicting everything from bus routes to phone booths, and is fiercely divided between Protestant loyalists to the British government and Catholic supporters of a united Irish Republic whose differences don't seem all that distinct to Macaulay or to us, for that matter.Okay, so the absolute best thing about Paperboy is that Macaulay is hilarious. I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud so often. For this reader, humor is hard to hit spot on in a book. Many authors, I find I don't quite get their sense of humor or their efforts seem forced. Not so in this case. Macaulay's humor easily encompasses both the laughable foibles of his young career as a paperboy as well as the decidedly more serious points of living in a dangerously divided Belfast during the seventies. The easy hilarity in the stories of young Tony jumping fences in his coin-stuffed platforms and parallels to achieve paperboy seniority, waiting for the last guitar lesson of the night behind a girl whose parents were hoping for her to be the next Tammy Wynette (thereafter referred to as "Pammy Wynette"), and kicking a member of the Bay City Rollers as the only "manly" way of expressing appreciation for the band is the stuff laughing out loud is made of. Still extra giggles are reserved for the low income things that shouldn't be funny but are - like all the home improvement projects completed by his dad with supplies he "borrowed" from the foundry where he works and the many would-be affordable things purchased for a weekly fee from the Great Universal Club Book.Paperboy is an appealing book that's more about Macaulay's youth and career as a paperboy than it is about the Troubles that plagued the city of his childhood. That it deals with the Troubles as more of a sideline ever-present reality in young Tony's life rather than as a focus is more a blessing than a curse. Macaulay does a fantastic job of capturing his own childlike perspective in that he's learned to live with being searched for weapons when entering a store, expecting that milk bottles will soon become petrol bombs, and not being able to get home because paramilitaries are bombing buses and have vandalized every phone booth for a couple miles. The downside to dealing with the Troubles on the side, of course, is that if readers go into the book mostly ignorant of the conflicts driving the Troubles, they might well emerge similarly ignorant. Macaulay scores some points for how he successfully immerses readers in his life in 1970s Northern Ireland, but doing so perhaps assumes that readers understand more about recent Irish history than they do, and the conflict, which is probably more or less bewildering to people in the know is mind-boggling to the more ignorant. Macauley's book definitely gave me incentive to dig into the historical background, but some of the book might be lost on people who aren't interested in doing a little extra legwork to set the scene, so to speak. Overall, Paperboy is a laugh-out-loud funny read about one pacifist paperboy's childhood in the scary streets of 1970s Belfast. It's a childhood that might well remind you of your own in spots but for the bombs and the barricades, one that might inspire you to discover more Irish history, and might also remind you that we wouldn't all be so different from each other if we weren't hiding behind the real and imagined walls of the uncompromising ideologies we've created.

  • Shellie (Layers of Thought)
    2019-07-03 04:56

    Original review posted at Layers of Thought.John’s quick take: An excellent, touching and hilarious coming-of-age story, set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Also a “must read” for any ex-paperboys out there.John’s description: In 1975, Macaulay was a twelve year old boy living in the Shankill Road in west Belfast. This was during the Troubles and the Shankill was a particular hotspot – a predominantly loyalist working class area, it was also the home of several loyalist paramilitary groups. Bombs were going off, mobs were clashing, shops and buses were being burnt out, paramilitaries were openly causing mayhem and an ever-expanding network of “peace walls” were going up to separate protestant and catholic communities. Against this backdrop, the young Macaulay gets a job delivering the local Belfast Telegraph newspaper each evening.The story tells of a two-year period of his young life during which he delivers the newspapers without fail, despite all of the barriers and problems. It is a funny and touching tale. He cannot for the life of him understand what the Troubles are all about and sees madness and hypocrisy on a daily basis, but he remains cheerful and focused on things that are really important to a near-teenage boy – girls, pop music, clothes and trying to fit in at school.We are introduced to a big cast of family, friends, adversaries, teachers and customers, most of them talking in a thick Belfast accent and many of them possessing slightly odd views of life. He becomes a star paperboy but remains fearful of his boss – Oul’ Mac. “Oul’ Mac smoked and said ‘f**k’ a lot. Of course, most men smoked and said ‘f**k’ a lot, but Oul’ Mac did both, simultaneously and ceaselessly ….. I never saw him smile, but sometimes his eyes twinkled and I couldn’t work out whether he was coughing or laughing”.Macaulay and his friends got into endless pranks and scrapes, but through it all he remains determined to deliver his newspapers, polish his reputation and remain “the only pacifist paperboy in Belfast”.John’s thoughts: This is a funny and a delightful book. It is also a clever read – while it remains light hearted it pulls no punches in skewering some of the idiocy (and idiots) of the Troubles. When Macaulay finally meets some catholic boys he surprisingly finds them just the same as his protestant neighbors and remains slightly bewildered at what the fuss is all about.The story also resonated with me a lot on a personal level. I too spent my pre-teen and teen years in the 1970s delivering newspapers each day, albeit in England and not Ireland, so a lot of the cultural and historical references really hit home – though I didn’t have to dodge “wee hoods” that were regularly trying to rob me and I certainly didn’t have to worry about bombs and blocked off streets.I found the Belfast humor hilarious, though I will warn that some readers might find the accents and some of the vernacular slightly tough to penetrate. I managed ok and actually found that rather than being a barrier it added to the enjoyment of the read.I’d thoroughly recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to those who were growing up in the 1970s, anyone who enjoys light-hearted coming of age stories and anyone who wants to learn more about the Troubles. And of course this should be a compulsory read for the paperboy fraternity! I’d rate this four stars.

  • The Travelling Book
    2019-06-21 08:46

    La mia recensione completa, in diretta da Belfast, online sul mio canale Youtube: La delicatezza di veder raccontato un periodo della storia inglese così difficile dalla prospettiva di un bambino.Lettura consigliatissima, se siete appassionati di storia o capitate da queste parti!

  • Kayla Beck
    2019-06-27 03:58

    Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please.Paperboy is Tony Macaulay's memoir that describes his experiences as a paperboy for the "Belly Telly" (Belfast Telegraph) in the 1970s during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Though it did not seem like a book that I would want to read initially, I decided that I wanted to give it a try after some thought. I had a very dear friend from Northern Ireland, and my fond memories of him tipped the tables in favor of Paperboy.My knowledge of the religious atmosphere in Northern Ireland prior to reading Paperboy was limited and a bit biased because of my aforementioned friend who was Catholic. My name was always "goddamn Proddy" when he was drunk (in the most loving way), and that should tell you something about the stories that he told. Paperboy gave an interesting contrast to those as Tony in the majority being a Protestant, but he was a bit put down at the Belfast Royal Academy (BRA) for being working class and from a bad neighborhood. However, none of that really has much to do with the book except for serving as a backdrop. Things were terrible, people were awful to one another, and the streets were tough. Tony shows us in Paperboy that despite all of this, he had a happy, mostly carefree adolescence and experience as a "pacifist paperboy".It was refreshing to read about a normal child having a happy time in the face of the dystopic gloom and doom that is so popular in literature right now, and Northern Ireland during that point in history was terrifying. My friend's brother-in-law watched his father get blown up in his car in front of their house as a child there, and Paperboy is a stark contrast to those horrors. Tony's story is a funny one, with tales of juvenile mishaps. (Never put Brut on your jimmy joe.) There is a lot of talk about Doctor Who, Top of the Pops, and the Bay City Rollers. It's good to have a book sometimes that reminds us that people are going to be people in the face of awfulness, and humanity does its very best to lead the most normal life possible.My only hangups with the book are the chronology skips around some, and there is a little drag in the pace from time to time. Other than that, I found the book to be an enjoyable read.If anything relating to (Northern) Ireland and history is your cup of tea, I recommend Paperboy. Readers of memoirs will also enjoy reading about Tony Macaulay's antics growing up. Though memoirs generally aren't my favorite form of non-fiction, I was pleased, and I will be on the lookout for more books by Macaulay.To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an digital copy of the book for reviewing purposes from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

  • Steve Smits
    2019-07-10 06:47

    This is the memoir of a young boy who lived in the Shankill area of Belfast in the mid-1970's at the height of the troubles. He describes his life as a pre-adolescent who experienced the culture of the times growing into his teenage years amidst the turmoil of that violent period. As a Protestant, Tony was aware of the presence of "paramilitaries" of the UVF and UDA and of the threats posed by the IRA. He certainly understood the sharp divide between the Protestant and Catholic communities. But, this is not a recollection of the political/social milieu of the times; it's more the world of family, school, neighborhoods and coming of age experiences as seen and understood by a boy on the cusp of his teenage years. The author captures the essence of the times, particularly of the pop culture that he and his peers related to. You get a real feeling for the working class world in which he lived, although it's plain that he's miles ahead of his peers in his intelligence and perspectives. I was interested in this book because I had lived in Northern Ireland in the early 70's (in Derry) and witnessed the violence that grew over the two years I was there. A frequent occurence was rioting with stone throwing and petrol bombs carried out by youth very close in age to Tony. I always wondered what were these kids really like and how much they were different from young people in America; how their lives were so different from the teenage years I had relatively recently gone through myself (I was then 22). One evening in a particularly violent span of time (the days right after the internment of suspected IRA terrorists by the British authorities) a bomb was placed outside the flat where my wife and I lived. It seemed clear that the bomb was not directed at us as the ground floor was a commercial establishment. It was reported that the bomb was placed by a very young boy although this was never shown to be actually so. The drift of these kids into violence (carried out methodically and much more viciously by adults) was appaling to contemplate. Although not a participant in the violence around him, Tony's life was shaped by needing to be cautious and living with the disruption to normal life that the violence brought.The book is full of pop culture references that would be familiar to anyone living in Northern Ireland in 1975, but are obscure to today's readers. Similarly, mentions of things like the "twelfth", the Maze and Provos would likely be unfamiliar to the general American reader.At times the recollections of a 12-year old boy seem somewhat refined by the insights of the adult who is writing them. Nonetheless, Macaulay certainly was an imaginative and perceptive child who had a more than typical vigor and enthusiasm for life.

  • Allan LEONARD
    2019-06-20 05:06

    Tony Macaulay is a respected professional community relations and youth worker based in Belfast. For example, he has written independently, "A discussion paper proposing a five phase process for the removal of 'peace walls' in Northern Ireland".This book is his story of being a 12-year-old paperboy, living in the Shankill area of West Belfast. I, too, was a 12-year-old paperboy, but that's where my shared experience starts and ends.Tony so well tells his story. It is actually difficult for adults to write in the prose of childhood. The retrospective voice is usually readily apparent. But here in Paperboy, you really do see the world from this boy's experiences.It's a world of not quite comprehending the sectarianism and violence around you, and doing your best to get on with what really matters to most 12-year-old boys -- your mates, your music, and earning some pocket money to spend on your girlfriend.And just like a youngster, there are key words that regularly reappear in the dialogue -- Sharon Burgess, "the only pacifist paperboy in Belfast", Bay City Rollers, "so I was".Indeed, Tony writes in the local vernacular so well that the only criticism could be that he didn't include a glossary! This Yank has lived here long enough to not need one for Paperboy (!), and some phrases like, "God love the wee dote" probably pass without translation, but me thinks Tony should provide one for the American edition ("Och, ballicks!"). And/or subtitles when the film comes out!Amidst all the humour, though, there is the reality of the environment that Paperboy grows up in. He notices more and more "peace walls" -- "... we were brilliant at walls in Belfast -- they were going up everywhere, higher and higher, all around me".It's actually his dad who says to a neighbour who is demanding an even more walls, "Did you never think that it might be our side that's bein' walled in?"And 35 years on, we have made little progress on dismantling our walls in Northern Ireland, whether physically or metaphorically. May Paperboy encourage more of us to put more effort into this.

  • Tonya
    2019-07-05 09:48

    It’s Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned twelve and he’s got a new job. He’s going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine – or bombs and mortar – he will deliver…Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. Bombings are on the evening news, rubble lies where buildings once stood, and rumours spread like wildfire about the IRA and the UDA.But Paperboy lives in a world of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and fish suppers. His battles are fought with all the passion of Ireland’s opposing sides – but against acne, the dentist and the ‘wee hoods’ who rob his paper money. On his rounds he hums songs by the Bay City Rollers, dreams about outer space and dreams even more about the beautiful Sharon Burgess.In this touching, funny and nostalgic memoir, Tony Macaulay recounts his days growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, the harrowing years which saw neighbour fighting neighbour and brother fighting brother. But in the midst of all this turmoil, Paperboy, a scrappy upstart with a wicked sense of humour and sky-high dreams, dutifully goes about his paper round. He is a good paperboy, so he is.Paperboy proves that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; it is a story that will charm your socks off, make you laugh out loud and brings to life the culture, stories and colourful characters of a very different – but very familiar – time.I loved this story! Truly heart warming and although we live in America, I think that Tony's entrepreneurship really was brilliant and that is how great ideas are born! If my son has to do a biography book for school this year, I think I might have him read this one. Kids these days just don't do anything thinking for themselves!

  • N.
    2019-07-20 07:50

    4.5/5I may add some excerpts to this, later (book is in another room) but I absolutely agree with the word "enchanting" in the subtitle. The memoir of a man who was a paperboy in Belfast during "the Troubles", Macaulay does an excellent job of speaking through the eyes of a youngster who didn't quite understand what was happening around him and longed for peace. He talks about how much he enjoyed delivering papers and earning money, how he dealt with ruffians who often robbed paperboys on the days they collected money, the difficulties of transportation in a time when buses were frequently hijacked or blown up, how the adults characterized the differences between sides and admired or frowned upon people above or below their income level, his long-term girlfriend and the adoration of the Bay City Rollers shared by quite a few of his contemporaries and much more. While I knew next to nothing about the dispute and thus lacked context, by the end of the book I had a decent understanding of who believed what about Irish Independence vs. Ireland as a part of Great Britain. A fascinating book. Please leave a comment if you're aware of any readable, informative nonfiction about the Troubles. I'd like to learn more.

  • Beth Strand
    2019-06-24 03:45

    “Paperboy” Will Steal Your HeartWhen I was growing up in Catholic school in the 70’s, I knew that Belfast was one of those places you never wanted to go. We heard stories of pubs being blown up and innocent people killed on both sides of the conflict. Belfast, the way we heard it, was nothing short of a war zone. For Tony Macaulay, Belfast was home and those streets were where he delivered the Belfast Telegraph from 1975-1977.In his memoir, “Paperboy” Tony takes us right into his world as young teen delivering papers in Belfast. From the thugs who would try to rob paperboys of their Friday collection money to the youth dances his parents and other volunteers held on the weekends, Macaulay makes his world come alive on the page. Packed with humor, insight and wry observations, the memories of “Belfast’s first pacifist paperboy” will steal your heart and delight you even as you wonder at the ability of the human spirit to triumph over difficult conditions. “Paperboy” is published by Harper Collins and is scheduled for release on August 24, 2013. This book was provided to me by Haper Collins for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

  • Krisz
    2019-06-25 09:58

    Somehow I expected more from this book: a more detailed description of actual events and how they happened, not just the exact memories of a boy. For example that customers were searched for bombs upon entering a shop only comes up right in the middle of the book.I think this book targeted those who lived these times and wanted to remember, and not those who didn't really knew how it was. It seems to want to prove that life was happening no matter what, kids were kids, people were working, eating etc and focuses on making life appear as if it wasn't different, and rather forgets to mention the differences.In the second half TM talks about the soldiers on the streets and the peace walls, and blocades - but I do not get a whole picture. For example what is it with the buses? TM mentions buses don't run regularly if they are burnt. So I guess these are also bombed - but how, by whom...? So while all in all the book is well thought-out and well-written and enjoyable and sweet, I wish it was more factual.

  • Charlotte
    2019-06-27 04:04

    A fantastic book. I am not sure how it would read if you aren't from Norn Iron, but I loved it! Being an eighties child, I found it fascinating to read what life was like in a 70's Belfast. I didn't find these references beyond me.....everyone should know about the huge popularity of parallels, tartan and the Rollers, but the lingo might confuse folk from different parts of the world. I was smiling throughout, with references to Tayto and Veda, but what got me the most was mention of Corrymeela, a place I have gone to throughout my childhood, and even into my adult life. I made some wonderful friendships there and in a roundabout way met my now husband, so I was amused to read about it from this perspective. Have already started the Breadboy, which continues in the same humorous style. All I can say to Tony is "go on ye boy ye"!

  • Sue
    2019-07-09 09:48

    Bought this book at a cool indie bookstore in Belfast last fall (No Alibis). It is a wonderful story of a young boy and his family and community as they try to live their lives in Belfast in the '70s during the Trouble. 12 year old Tony begins his career as a paperboy. It will remind you how disruptive and terrifying events were in Belfast (and other parts of Ireland and N Ireland) and how children, in particular, were affected. I got a few good chuckles over 12 year old antics in between the sighs and wonders about what makes people act the way they do.

  • Frances
    2019-07-05 03:42

    An excellent memoir of young boy growing up in the Shankill. Macauley refers to his young self as "the only pacifist paperboy in West Belfast". He passes his Eleven Plus, goes to BRA and is aware that people don't always fit into stereotypes. This book is very funny in parts, especially the chapter which describes the Bay City Rollers' concert in The Ulster Hall in the 1970's. A must-read for anyone who has ever lived in Belfast and who loves the City, pre or post The Troubles.

  • Anne Russell
    2019-07-12 11:06

    Having travelled to my parents' home country of Northern Ireland several times as a child in the 1970s and '80s, where I experienced being frisked entering department stores as a 7-year-old in case I was carrying explosives, and sitting in a hotel dining room that had previously been bombed, I have always been intrigued and saddened by The Troubles. This book, a man's look back at Belfast boyhood in the 1970s, captures the spirit of that era, bombs, Bay City Rollers, and all!

  • Mark
    2019-07-02 04:56

    Touching story of young Belfast paperboy growing up in Belfast in the 70's. Honest account of life at the time interspersed with personal and family stories. Macaulay has a dry wit and the cologne story made me laugh out loud on the subway. Looking forward to reading the author's second book - Breadboy.