In July 1969, while the Rolling Stones played a free concert in Hyde Park, Alan Johnson and his young family left West London to start a new life. The Britwell Estate in Slough, apparently notorious among the locals, in fact came as a blessed relief after the tensions of Notting Hill, and the local community welcomed them with open arms.
Alan had become a postman the previous year, and in order to support his growing family took on every bit of overtime he could, often working 12-hour shifts six days a week. It was hard work, but not without its compensations - the crafty fag snatched in a country lane, the farmer’s wife offering a hearty breakfast and even the mysterious lady on Glebe Road who appeared daily, topless, at her window as the postman passed by.…Please, Mister Postman paints a vivid picture of England in the 1970s, where no celebration was complete without a Party Seven of Watney’s Red Barrel, smoking was the norm rather than the exception, and Sunday lunchtime was about beer, bingo, and cribbage. But as Alan’s life appears to be settling down and his career in the Union of Postal Workers begins to take off, his close-knit family is struck once again by tragedy.… Moving, hilarious and unforgettable, Please, Mister Postman is another astonishing book from the award-winning author of This Boy.
Brilliant evocation of the 1970s in the post office and family life on a council estate.
Although Alan Johnson is not a top rate reader of his own moving story he is totally authentic so you warm to him. The story of industrial practices, union politics and the heart breaks of domestic life are wonderful told.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Just about. I was disappointed because of the glowing reviews and the favourable impression I had formed of AJ.
What did you like best about this story?
The life story is compelling; having said that it is being produced in relatively small episodes.
What didn’t you like about Alan Johnson’s performance?
To be honest, it was awful and it emphasised an unpolished writing style - just my opinion.
Do you think Please, Mister Postman needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I am sure that there will be at least one more, but I doubt whether I would listen to it.
Part 2 of, not only Alan Johnson's life, but of the social history of the era. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed this book because it is a personal account of a politicians life in the making. Whereas so many politicians have a privileged start in life, Alan Johnson didn't. He shows us that the power of strong family bonds and love can help someone to care about ordinary people. This is a good sequel to 'This Boy'.
The last sentence makes me want to read more about this amiable man and his future quest for inner contentment.
The follow on to "This Boy" is another compelling listen. I love the writing and Alan Johnson's narration. His artistic streak finally making it through to the public arena.
fanastic book by mr johnson,verydown to earth thorough gentleman,beautiful written.i will buy his next coming .
A human story of life, progression and triumphs. Particularly entertaining to a postman's wife of 13 years and counting, who started as one of the author's cadets.
I read the synopsis of this book, or perhaps I didn't read it well enough, before purchasing. It began, as I expected, telling about life as a postman but then seemed to veer away from that. I then received recommendations based on my Audible purchases and saw Alan Johnson's previous book. The synopsis of this book made me realise that he had been a cabinet minister in the last New Labour government.
Two things stick out in my mind about the book:
1. The author criticises a fellow MP for betraying the party, when it would seem that this MP was actually standing for the party's original principles, unlike the author who wanted to change those principles which seems a bit hypocritical
2. He names a 10 year old boy as being the cause of him receiving an accidental injury but then goes on to refer to him as a "little b******". I am sure this was not intended maliciously and this child is probably now an adult and may well have no problem it. I'm not averse to profanity being used but I do feel it was a very unfortunate turn of phrase on this occasion.
I am unable to critique the rest of this book as these 2 items cast a shadow over the rest. I would have liked to have come away with more memories.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful