Bageye at the Wheel: A 1970s Childhood in Suburbia

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There aren't very many black men in Luton in and most of them gather there: Summer Wear, Pioneer, Anxious, Tidy Boots - each has his nickname. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors, but now his wife Blossom has set her heart on her sons going to private school and she will not settle for anything less. This is the story of a feckless father seen through the eyes of his ten-year-old son.

It's a wry and gentle comedy about unfulfilling day jobs and late night poker games, of illegal mini-cabs and small-scale drug-dealing. And it is also about a family struggling to belong in post-Windrush Britain and growing up in a vanished world of s suburbia. Read more Read less.

No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors To his fellow West Indians who assemble every weekend for the all-night poker game at Mrs Knight's, he is always known as Bageye. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors, but now his wife Blossom has set her heart on her sons going to private school. In this wonderful memoir Colin Grant looks at his father through the eyes of his ten-year-old self.

Colin is Bageye's favourite 'pickney', and often his reluctant companion in his latest attempt to placate Blossom with another DIY project, or a little cash.

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When he acquires a less than roadworthy old car, Bageye sets himself up as an unofficial minicab service, lack of a driving licence notwithstanding. More profitable are his marijuana deals, until the day he mistakenly entrusts Colin with choosing a hiding place for a huge bag of ganja Get A Copy.


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Hardcover , pages. Published April 5th by Jonathan Cape first published More Details Ackerley Prize for Autobiography Nominee Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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  8. One the one hand, literate and well written; But on the other, with the airs of an anecdote that ultimately overstays its welcome. The story doesn't really lift itself beyond being of curiosity value, and the claustrophobic intensity of the narrator's perspective denies this memoir really informative value. All this aside, whilst reading this I couldn't help but think of East is East, and the thin line that meanders between laughing with someone and laughing at someone.

    I'm possibly the only pe One the one hand, literate and well written; But on the other, with the airs of an anecdote that ultimately overstays its welcome. I'm possibly the only person in the Western Hemisphere who loathes E is E, btw. View all 3 comments.


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    May 16, Emily rated it it was ok Shelves: england-blog. It tells the story of a black Jamaican family — or, rather, a feckless Jamaican husband nicknamed Bageye and exasperated Jamaican wife called Blossom and their England-born children — as they try to stay afloat in the racist world of s suburbia. I think it probably should have stayed that way. Oct 10, Naomi Foyle rated it it was amazing. Vivid with insights into Jamaican immigrant culture in s Luton, this dryly hilarious book paints a wincing yet ultimately poignant portrait of the charismatic but unpredictable Bageye - so named for his sleepless visage.

    Despite neglecting the family for weekend gambling sessions, losing the money for new shoes many times over, and actively working to undermine his wife's back-breaking efforts to take care of their pickneys, Bageye somehow decides to help fund his children's private educations - giving the author a key to advancement and a complex emotional history to unravel. Like the best memoirs, the book reads like a novel - a lively and dramatic one, with a full cast of vibrant local characters and long-suffering family members.

    Bageye at the Wheel

    I would read it again for the dialogue, humour and wry cultural observations, but while I can't give away the ending it shifts the book into yet another dimension, foregrounding the father-son relationship at the heart of this remarkable book and suggesting that Grant hasn't yet finished with this story. I fell in love with Bageye and son when I read the short excerpt 'Lino' in Granta magazine and this book hasn't disappointed.

    Anybody growing up in a working class neighbourhood in the 70's will enjoy this book and relate to much of it, no matter where they come from. It is told with such humour and affection that I couldn't put the book down towards the end, I was desperate to know how things would turn out for the Grant family. I haven't done this book justice at all. Google a few reviews, then I fell in love with Bageye and son when I read the short excerpt 'Lino' in Granta magazine and this book hasn't disappointed.

    Google a few reviews, then get hold of a copy and read it. You won't be disappointed either. Mar 29, ! Dec 25, Elsie rated it really liked it.

    Bageye at the Wheel: A s Childhood in Suburbia - Colin Grant - Google книги

    You need to know or be in a Jamaican family to understand this book. The ending was emotional for me as it completely reminded me of my father. Thanks Colin. Enjoyed references to Luton and Farley Hill.