Ing about now A great writer Perhaps not but one worth reading or a little local colour who catches a moment in time to perfection I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who can get hold of a copy of it I was Gray Bishop fortunate enough to be lent a copy by my dearriend Diane Leishman Would love to get other people s comments and opinions I have read this book about 20 years ago and now I am re reading It s rom a long dead local author rom Walsall just outside Birmingham UK where I live I have a pic of the cover too so could add that. Hat Petty became determined to succeed as a writer using his own experiences as inspirationBefore Five Fags A Day’ was published in 1956 he had suffered many setbacks and had several works rejected This book his irst success sold only 1400 copies and his royalties amounted to only £80 However Petty seems to have met his wife Ethel as a result of ‘Five Fags A Day’ and the couple married shortly after it was publishedIn 1958 ‘Flame In My Heart’ was published ‘The Last Refuge ollowed in 1966 Petty also wrote a number of newspaper articles during this period In 1967
Great title Loving this book especially the act that it was written about Walsall the land that time Noir forgot There is an amazing poetry and energy in the writing desolate and beautiful a reminder that austerity and depression are part of societal cycles I guess we re defined by how we suare up to these things and Pettyor all that he never Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are found a massive reading publicinds a kind of transcendance in his writing Searing honesty and hard to believe this was written in 1956 In some ways it Gaffer feels ancient in other ways he could be writ. John Petty was born in about 1919 and lived in Kent Street Walsallor many years By the time he left school at 14 his considerable literary talent had already been recognised by his English teacher Petty drifted through many jobs before joining the army at the age of 17 he later deserted and was imprisoned or a time In 1939 he rejoined the army only to be discharged upon medical grounds twelve months later Poor health was to blight the rest of his life The years spent gleaning scrap rom local rubbish tips could only have aggravated his tuberculosis It was during this period
If I knew how I did add the blurb details etc ah just managed to do that Am so proud of myselfIt s about the life of a scrap picker a tatter one who makes a living picking scrap metal Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers from slagheaps and such a hand to mouth existence and set in the mid 50s I remember it as hard as nails but with an affecting love story but i must re read before ratingstill reading am learning a lot about the value of scrap metal in the 50s The love story aspect is a bit worrying the girl is 14 and this bloke s no Nabokov Umm let s seewell I don t know. E was awarded an Arts Council bursary which he used to purchase a cottage in lronbridge but within months the property was condemned The local council eventually provided him with a little cottage in DawleyBy now Petty was a well known personality but he received no recognition of his literary statusrom his hometown Understandably Petty resented this in act he disowned Walsall on the dust cover of his autobiographical work ‘The Face’ claiming that he came rom the Potteries ‘The Face’ published in 1972 was Petty’s last work or he died in Dawley in 1973 aged only 54.