"This memoir is astonishing! A young man growing up, witnessing and experiencing so many varied aspects of life and offering deep insight into them all. From early hospitalisation to childhood exploits to war in seventies Northern Ireland and out the other end to a life amongst the hierarchy of the classical music world. All given a heartfelt but fun account, at times absolutely hilarious.
by L. Tunney
"What a book!!! A real page-turner.
My wife and I were fighting over it...neither of us wanting to put it down.
It reads more like a gripping novel than a memoir. Really lived up to the hype. It's laugh-out-loud funny whilst being informative, sad and inspiring.
can't believe it's his only book. Get writing!!"
by Bill Drewe
"Had me gripped from the very beginning. From early life in Northern Ireland and paths that could have lead to a very different ending. To finding that passion and drive to follow your dreams, this book is very difficult to put down. A sometimes brutally honest account of a life, so far, lived to the full. Had me in tears one minute and laughing out loud the next.
One word sums it up for me. Bravo."
by J Cook
"COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!
The atmosphere created through words in this epic novel is one I have never come across before. The authors language makes one feel like they're 'with' this character from start to finish; hearing, feeling, experiencing every emotion so beautifully described.
It's like a juicier, more complex Billy Elliot! This wee boy overcomes so many more challenges, and the notable topics covered are endless, meaning most audiences could relate to the story at one point or another.
I've been recommending it to anyone I happen to strike up a conversation with and am so pleased to have chanced upon this stunning piece of literary art. Just buy it and thank me later."
by Hally Brown
""Derry Girls" meets "Composer of the Week" by way of "Young Werther" in this candid, funny, inspiring story. Give your Netflix and Prime a rest for a few hours - get a vibrant slice of life in this memoir of one enterprising, open-eyed man's youthful adventures on the way to a lifetime in music ... you'll not regret the investment."
by Dermot McCauley
"This book got me hooked because of its passion, openness and clarity. This alone seems to be already a merit, but one has to consider this within the history of Northern Ireland, with its burden of oppression, religion, hypocrisy and violence! This ‘medieval’ history which had infected the whole society did not just surround the young Paul Cassidy, it still lingers on, under the surface of nowadays.
What thrilled me was the little boy Paul: his awareness of the surrounding „evils“, the lack or distortion of ethics, whether in the education system, religious institutions or in families, where children's „healthy“ development depends on.
This book shows so clearly what a little soul needs for escape: the inner strength of his own conviction. His awareness of what was right or wrong, this was his only guideline as well as his core! And with a bit of luck, he takes any chance to meet the people who might support him further on a way along his own conviction like respect, fairness and love and joy - without fear!
Furthermore this burning passion the little boy found in music - which led him into an incredible career - was nothing else but the hook not to be hindered by trivialities :
the deep engagement with music fulfilled him endlessly; and the price of hardship within somehow was part of it going forward. The lifelong strife to improve inherited the reward: satisfaction in pursuit of his own goal.
This book should be read at every school in Northern Ireland as it is a history book kids won’t reject. This is a book, like Salinger's „the catcher in the rye“, which will catch kid’s attention as it speaks their language. The anger of youngsters is brilliantly addressed.
It does not end in destruction or boredom, rather shows ways out of the trap of social conformity by brave decision making. Decisions which might have several consequences but can create freedom - fearless: back to love and joy, respect and fairness, dignity!
Well done, Paul Cassidy! Hope you will find time to read the book in public. The public should hear your words!"
by K. Kobermann
"Fascinating on so many levels. Very funny & a tribute to achievement in face of a life of challenges.. Brilliant read & had me in stitches. Thankyou x"