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Editorial Reviews

It is always a pleasure when an author can effectively perform his or her own audiobook. No one knows the material in the memoir The Boy at the Gate better than the Irish musician Danny Ellis, who published this transfixing story of suffering and artistic evolution in 2012. Not only does Ellis perform his own lovely prose in his alluring Dublin accent, but he also sings and plays guitar to give life to the lyrics interspersed throughout the memoir. The autobiography gives the impression of being a long song penned by a sensitive and resilient artist. An orphan who found transcendent expression both though literature and in his album 800 Voices, Ellis is an inspiration.

Publisher's Summary

"This is an incredibly brave book: shocking, and sometimes, despite everything, shockingly hilarious."
–Sara Gruen, best-selling author of Water for Elephants

Danny Ellis is a survivor, strong and resilient. An acclaimed singer/songwriter, he is proud of the way he handled his difficult past: poverty in the 1950s Dublin slums and the brutality of the Artane Industrial School. He felt as though he had safely disposed of it all, until one night, while writing the powerful song that would launch his highly-praised album 800 Voices ("A searing testament." –Irish Times), Danny's past crept back to haunt him. Confronted by forgotten memories of betrayal and abandonment, he was stunned to discover that his eight-year-old self was still trapped in a world he thought he had left behind.

Although unnerved by his experience, Danny begins an arduous journey that leads him back to the streets of Dublin, the tenement slums, and, ultimately, the malice and mischief of the Artane playground. What he discovers with each twist and turn of his odyssey will forever change his life.

Elegantly written, this is a brutally honest, often harrowing, depiction of a young boy's struggle to survive orphanage life. It stands as an inspiring testament to the healing power of music and love.

©2013 Danny Ellis (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
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  • Laurie
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 10-16-13

Wonderful Masterpiece!

Danny's story is one of great courage, heartbreak, cunning, playful mischief, resilience, forgiveness and triumph of spirit. As he reads his own story, the words flow easily and truth rings in every sentence... Danny's kind intelligence, wit, honesty and sense of humor shine in his writing and in the gentle very appealing sound of his voice. This book does not sound like it's being read, but much more like a trusted friend is telling you his story.

And while The Boy at the Gate deals with subject matters that could be quite depressing, it's not a depressing book at all. Danny's uncanny ability to channel the child within and therefore convey the innocence, incredible resilience, fierce sense of justice, along with loads of playfulness and mischief gives the listener/reader a feeling of wholeness and true understanding of what really happened. I believe The Boy at the Gate will go down in history as one of the great stories of all time. In these times where "historical fiction" abounds, and needs embellishing to be compelling and "complete," here is a story that is fantastic, moving, heartfelt and quite funny - and it's ALL TRUE!

I have listened to dozens of audiobooks, and this one is very special and compares to nothing I have heard before. The story is kind of like a Dickens novel, but with a Twain sense of humor, and just add Danny's Irish wry humor and childlike innocence... Plus, during the reading he breaks into excerpts of songs from the cd of music that came before the book and sort of outlines The Boy at the Gate, entitled "800 Voices, My Childhood in an Irish Orphanage." It is a truly wonderful collection of songs.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it! I've listened to it 3 times

I enjoyed it immensely! I never realized or could imagine not being able to keep my kids with me! When you have the rather to feel sorry for your situation, just reflect on this book and the people that this happened to and lived through. I feel blessed for having the opportunity to walk a day in this mans shoes! I love the accent too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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AMAZING!!!

Would you listen to The Boy at the Gate again? Why?

Yes! This book is so beautifully written and so full of meaningful content that I would listen again in hopes of catching anything missed the first time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Danny himself. He is a GREAT storyteller and has quite a story to tell!

Any additional comments?

If you liked Angela's Ashes, then The Boy At The Gate is an absolute MUST read!! I am a HUGE fan of Frank McCourt and never thought anyone would be able to come close to being compared to him. Then I met Danny. Danny's story is heart wrenching and heart warming all at the same time. What an extraordinary man and an extraordinary storyteller! Hearing him tell the story in his own voice is absolutely priceless. I literally laughed and cried at the same time on multiple occasions. I cannot sing the praises of this book high enough. I have suggested it to everyone I know!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sad, overwrought, over produced -

What would have made The Boy at the Gate better?

Music is sad and distracting, story is ridiculously morose. Couldn't get thru first chapter. Really terrible experience.

Would you ever listen to anything by Danny Ellis again?

No.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Danny Ellis?

No one,

What character would you cut from The Boy at the Gate?

Couldn't get thru first chapter - histrionics were impossible to listen to.

Any additional comments?

AVOID unless you are want to be depressed

0 of 3 people found this review helpful