Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A MINGER’S TALE: BEGINNINGS by @rbnbookmark #Memoir

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Minger’s Tale: Beginnings by R.B.N Bookmark



There are many reasons why someone writes a book and for this author it was the death of his father that was the trigger for him to start telling his story which is in the form of a memoir, and this, as the subtitle promises, covers the early days of his life, from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.

I was a little behind on some of things this writer experienced for two reasons. Firstly, I am a few years younger so my terms of reference are a little off, and secondly, we grew up in very different worlds. Ribban, for that is what everyone calls him, was born to strict, hardworking Irish immigrants and was brought up on the harsh council house streets of Manchester, while I was not.

I really enjoyed the reminiscences of his family and of a childhood growing up among the regeneration (or as he calls it disintegration) schemes that gave the local children an unusual playground of empty houses awaiting demolition to play in. Ribban was a naughty child who struggled to settle into school, and later into work, and he was in and out of hospital which set back his education. He talks candidly about the corporal punishment he endured (something seen as perfectly normal at the time) and about being rubbish at maths and with women, although that became more apparent later on. I have to add that I absolutely loved his mother – her defence of him when he started at St Iggy’s was priceless and the time when she went to get a job – I could picture her perfectly.

The things I did not enjoy so much was the author putting himself down all the time by using the term minger. As we are told at the beginning of this book the British slang definition of this term is someone who fell out of the ugly tree at birth and hit every branch on the way down. I suspect some readers will also find some of the one liners a little cheesy. But you know what this is an honest book, telling things like they are so I guess these are pretty true to life.

There is so much to comment on as you read this book, unemployment, riots, the effect the Thatcher era had on the North that it’s well worth a read if only to compare lives and experiences during this time.

Find a copy here from or

5 thoughts on “Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A MINGER’S TALE: BEGINNINGS by @rbnbookmark #Memoir

  1. Rarely have I seen such an ill-advised title – I get why it’s used, but it’s an offensive slang term… would put me off, certainly. A bit like a chick lit book I saw called ‘Pregnancy and Piles’!!!

    Very good and balanced review; interesting for me as it sounds like we’re the same age, and I do like gritty real life type memoirs, but your diplomatic reference to ‘cheesy one-liners’ is the thing that made this go from ‘TBR list – possibles’ to a ‘probably not’ – that’s just me and cliches, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • #Bookmark

      First let me say a big thank you to Georgia for a thoroughly well thought out and balanced review. I would also like to thank her for the 4 star rating she gave it.
      I know it was not a genre she would usually read, so it was very brave of her to jump in at the deep end and yet still find something she felt worthy of awarding so highly.

      I also would like to thank Rosie Amber and the Book Review Team for devoting precious time and resources to reviewing self published authors. Their efforts and committment are invaluable and I for one wish them good luck in the future and hope they continue to go from strength to strength.

      Thank you aswell for the constructive comments that have since been posted. Georgia`s review is so good one could be forgiven for believing there is scant need to read the book at all?

      As this is the first of three books, it was important to make the main character Ribban Bookmark as believable as I could. He is a flawed child who does not fit in with the general population. He is born into that part of society that dictates he is an outsider and neither the education system nor the environment he lives in contradict that assumption.

      When I wrote the book many of the experiences I injected into Ribban reminded me of the Ken Loach film Kes. Both stories are based on difficult childhoods in a working class environment of the 1960`s.

      But whereas Kes had his falcon, Ribban had his dog which was destined to wind up in the Chinese Takeaway down the road (orso he thought).

      Humor I realise is very subjective and wry humor is not necessarilly meant to be funny .
      But rather, I hope, it is a way of getting the point one is making across the finishing line. Needless to say, it is also a way of preventing oneself being too self indulgent and carried away with ones own point of view.
      Unfortunately some jokes never quite make the race but surely that is where subjective perception of the individual comes into play?

      #You see, one has to peel a spud to make mashed potatoes.
      In Ribbans world he is handed a packet of Smash and a potato peeler and then told to get cracking…..

      Thank you one and all it has been a pleasure.

      rbn bookmark

      Liked by 3 people

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