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It's Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned twelve and he's got a new job. He's going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine - or bombs and mortar - he will deliver...
Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. Bombings are on the evening news, rubble lies where buildings once stood, and rumours spread like wildfire about the IRA and the UDA.
But Paperboy lives in a world of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and fish suppers. His battles are fought with all the passion of Ireland's opposing sides - but against acne, the dentist and the 'wee hoods' who rob his paper money. On his rounds he hums songs by the Bay City Rollers, dreams about outer space and dreams even more about the beautiful Sharon Burgess.
In this touching, funny and nostalgic memoir, Tony Macaulay recounts his days growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, the harrowing years which saw neighbour fighting neighbour and brother fighting brother. But in the midst of all this turmoil, Paperboy, a scrappy upstart with a wicked sense of humour and sky-high dreams, dutifully goes about his paper round. He is a good paperboy, so he is.
Paperboy proves that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; it is a story that will charm your socks off, make you laugh out loud and brings to life the culture, stories and colourful characters of a very different - but very familiar - time.
Tony Macaulay grew up in the 1970s at the top of the Shankill Road in Belfast, an experience that has shaped his life and inspired his writing. Following a successful career as a paperboy, he has gone on to spend over 25 years working for peace and reconciliation both in Northern Ireland and abroad. He is Managing Director of Macaulay Associates, specialising in community development and conflict resolution. Tony is also a writer and broadcaster and has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio Ulster for 10 years. He lives in Portstewart with his wife, Lesley, and their two daughters.