What an utterly engrossing account of so many different aspects of the first chunk of Robert’s life. Written with panache but never overdone, it strikes just the right note. (Carolyn Thomas-Coxhead)
My Dad’s a Policeman is an astounding book! I am enjoying it so much that I have to ration myself to a few pages per day as I don’t want to get to the end too soon! (Dick Spall)
It amazes me that writing of such high calibre should have been difficult to get published, given the amount of dross on the market.
It’s brilliantly written and bears out Robert’s delight in language. The images and expressions sparkle off the page and bring the subject alive in every line.
On top of this, Robert is so honest about himself; his failings and doubts are presented with naked candour, but one also admires his strength of character and his determination to endure the most gruelling situations, many of which he sought out voluntarily.
Having been a Secondary school teacher myself, his experiences of teacher training, probation, inspection and so on, ring sharply true.
Although he was born only 14 years before me, less than a generation’s difference, his experiences were so much harsher than my own. Life was so much harder then but I enjoyed the same range of childhood freedoms as Robert, freedoms denied today’s kids. (Richard Crawley)
I recently spotted My Dad’s a Policeman in the window of my local bookshop, so picked one up without any fuss – a lot of book for £9! When I looked into it at home, I didn’t put it down for several hours – transported back into the hard world of my first memories. The book really covers a lot of ground and is an excellent record of growing up in those different times. (Martin Parrish)
….totally absorbing. (David Hinkin)
I was staggered at the clarity of Robert’s memory……he has a unique turn of phrase that is very engaging and gives life to his work.
It brought back to me just how much freedom children had back then. Today parents would be terrified of there being a paedophile around the next corner and never allow a child such an opportunity to get up to mischief.
It was an excellent recollection of the time and very worth reading. (George Dyson)
An amazing book. (David Moss)
……..beautifully written. – A remarkably detailed recall of boyish hopes, dreams and fears and a very relevant portrayal of the difficult and disillusioning social world of 1945. I simply could not put down some passages remembering the clash between the high hopes of schooldays and the reality of a world that was itself in transition after the war. (Ron Clements)
As a description of school life during WWII, the book could hardly be bettered…… a compelling read and quite heart-rending in not hiding the truth. (Terence Atkins)
It is much more than a personal memoir. It is more like a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel, although it begins with fascinating details of very young childhood… (James Pankhurst)
….a right riveting read (Malcolm Glass)
….a wonderful piece of literature. It is searingly honest as it matures in perspective from the kaleidoscope of impressions during the pre-11-plus years; the dawning of disillusionment with adults during adolescence; the further acquaintance with the absurdity of the National Service experience, university and teacher training experience, when one sees, teaching from the other side; the dawning of sexual awakening, the obsessiveness and possessive nature of first love and its consequent fragility and bewilderment at its cancellation, and the stumbling into a first marriage in the knowledge that it is not quite the same thing. (Peter Oliver)
What impressed me most about this book was its basic honesty about things religious, social and sexual which sometimes we might talk about after several glasses of wine, but don’t usually write about! It’s a very good example of this little bit of Essex social history of the period, and the key role that parents play in education. (Ted Cocking)