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Working Class Boy - Jimmy Barnes

Hardcover

Published: 19th September 2016
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Published: 1st October 2016
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A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of Ozrock - there isn't an accolade or cliche that doesn't apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan - a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.

Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that would define, but almost destroy, the rock'n'roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes. It is a memoir burning with the frustration and frenetic energy of teenage sex, drugs, violence and ambition for more than what you have.

Raw, gritty, compassionate, surprising and darkly funny - Jimmy Barnes's childhood memoir is at once the story of migrant dreams fulfilled and dashed. Arriving in Australia in the Summer of 1962, things went from bad to worse for the Swan family - Dot, Jim and their six kids. The scramble to manage in the tough northern suburbs of Adelaide in the 60s would take its toll on the Swans as dwindling money, too much alcohol, and fraying tempers gave way to violence and despair. This is the story a family's collapse, but also a young boy's dream to escape the misery of the suburbs with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join a rock'n'roll band and get out of town for good.

About the Author

Jimmy Barnes is a Scottish-born rock singer/songwriter who grew up in Adelaide. His career, both as a solo performer and as the lead vocalist of the legendary band Cold Chisel, has made him one of the most successful and distinctive artists in Australian music history. A prolific songwriter and performer, Jimmy has been a storyteller for more than forty years; sharing his life and passions with Australians of all ages at over ten thousand gigs throughout his adopted homeland. He has amassed more #1 albums in Australia than the Beatles.

Jimmy has sold over 12 million albums and he has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame twice.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 34 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to read (26)
  • Well written (25)
  • Informative (22)
  • Deserves multiple readings (20)
  • Page-turner (19)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (25)
  • Older readers (14)
  • Travel reading (4)
  • Younger readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (13), Casual reader (10), Bookworm (8), Rarely read (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Yes

Very entertaining you laugh out loud and you cry inside for this god foresaken family

Very entertaining you laugh out loud and you cry inside for this god foresaken family

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

As his song says,working class,now see where Jimmy comes fro

As mum of 2 teens everyday readeris optimum.

As mum of 2 teens everyday readeris optimum.

Reviewed by 34 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Congratulations and Thank You for your courage.

By 

from Wondai, Qld

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift

    Heartbreaking life, even though I grew up in Adelaide I never knew there were families like his out there. We were not well off, i.e. cardboard in the shoe trick but our parents were loving to us and each other. Felt sad he and his siblings had to live in such fear and just hope all who read it will question their treatment of others. Well done Jimmy Barnes, it would have been very difficult for you writing this novel and I can only send you many congratulations and as an old fan Thank You, you have given us many great times with your music.

     
    4.0

    Very fast turn around and received in excellent condition.

    By 

    from drouin vic Au

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Read
    • Informative

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      very good gift

       
      3.0

      As his song says,working class,now see where Jimmy comes fro

      By 

      from victoria australia

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • been there, done that, really related.
      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Engaging characters
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • offered 19 year old, not interested,more for 45-
        • Travel Reading

        As mum of 2 teens everyday readeris optimum.

         
        5.0

        Jimmie's early years

        By 

        from F.T.G Victoria Australia

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        I purchased jimmie's book hoping that it would be a signed copy, but alas no, only to find out that signed copies are now available again, very disappointed!

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A great read.

        By 

        from South Australia

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Read
        • Informative
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers

          A very interesting look into life in the Migrant hpstel andNorthern suburbs of Adelaide in the 60's and 70's.

           
          5.0

          I would recommend this book to all.

          By 

          from West Aust.

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Read
          • Engaging characters
          • Informative
          • Page-Turner
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers

            A true story of a family doing it tough, Alcohol induced violence. Migration to Australia did not change the situation. Harsh to read at times but well worth a read.

             
            5.0

            Jimmy Barnes -Life of a legend

            By 

            from Sudmeu

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Read
            • Engaging characters
            • Informative
            • Page-Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers
              • Reference

              An amazing book about an amazing journey taken by an amazing man.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Best autobiography ever

              By 

              from Perth

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

                As a life long fan I knew a lot about Jimmy but I was memorised by his story. It is a very real and honest memoir. He is an exceptionally good writer especially when you consider his schooling, and I have always found him to be very intelligent and sharp witted. I think this book will surprise a lot of people. Can't wait for the next one.

                 
                5.0

                Couldn't wait for it to arrive

                By 

                from Ravensthorpe Western Australia

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Read
                • Engaging characters
                • Informative
                • Page-Turner
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Can't wait to sit down whenever possible and read this

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Jimmy Barnes

                    By 

                    from Tumut Australia

                    About Me Everyday Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Read
                    • Informative

                    Cons

                    • A Bit Slow

                    Best Uses

                    • Older Readers

                    A very hard childhood but came good

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                    Nothing will prepare you for the power of Jimmy's memoir. A fierce, graphic, bawdy account of his working class childhood - truly harrowing , and yet often tender and funny. I couldn't put it down because, above all, it is also a story of resilience and bravery. - Sam Neill

                    Visceral, brave, honest: it is like Angela's Ashes meets Trainspotting - only more brutal. A deep, guttural howl of a book, it speaks of the pain and hurt that haunt so many men. And it may just save lives. - Magda Szubanski

                    ISBN: 9781460752135
                    ISBN-10: 1460752139
                    Audience: General
                    Format: Hardcover
                    Language: English
                    Number Of Pages: 416
                    Published: 19th September 2016
                    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
                    Country of Publication: AU
                    Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.3  x 3.6
                    Weight (kg): 0.68