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Working Class Boy Audiobook

Working Class Boy

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Publisher's Summary

Raw, gritty, compassionate, surprising and darkly funny - Australian legend Jimmy Barnes' unforgettable childhood memoir.

The time I have spent writing this book has caused me a lot of pain. Sometimes because of what I have remembered about my childhood and sometimes because of what I couldn't remember. It is funny how your mind blocks things out when those things can hurt you. There are a lot of things I wish I didn't remember....

A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of OzPubRock - there isn't an accolade or cliché that doesn't apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan - a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.

Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood that fuelled the excess and recklessness which would define but almost destroy the rock 'n' roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes. It is a memoir burning with the frustration and frenetic energy of teenage sex, drugs, violence and ambition for more than what you have.

Raw, gritty, compassionate, surprising and darkly funny - Jimmy Barnes' childhood memoir is at once the story of migrant dreams fulfilled and dashed. Arriving in Australia in the summer of 1962, things went from bad to worse for the Swan family - Dot, Jim and their six kids. The scramble to manage in the tough northern suburbs of Adelaide in the '60s would take its toll on the Swans as dwindling money, too much alcohol and fraying tempers gave way to violence and despair.

This is the story of a family's collapse, but it is also the story of a young boy's dream to escape the misery of the suburbs with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join a rock 'n' roll band and get out of town for good.

©2016 Jimmy Barnes (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A stunning piece of work - relentless, earnest, shockingly vivid." (The Australian)

"Jimmy Barnes' 'memoir of running away' is a tale of sheer survival, the horror of a violent upbringing snapping at his heels 'like it was yesterday'." (The Sydney Morning Herald)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (225 )
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4.8 (210 )
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4.7 (209 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Vicky Kendall 30/11/2017
    Vicky Kendall 30/11/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "interesting"

    i grew up listening to cold chisel. there are so many things here that i never knew about jimmy barnes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. O'Brien united states 27/09/2017
    M. O'Brien united states 27/09/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Raw & honest autobiography"

    Everyone has a story, but not many are as horrific as this. An inspiring story of survival & I guess we'll have to wait for the next book to read about his success.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Shaw 15/11/2017
    Jamie Shaw 15/11/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Heartfelt, raw and honest"

    Without a doubt the best biography I have ever read. Rather than focus on Jimmys conquests and make excuses for the way he was bought up, he embraces it and tells relatable and real life stories in the purest form. Rarely does this book focus on music. Rather it focuses on emotions and humanity and it is brutally honest at times. Couldn’t recommend it more highly and I can’t wait for the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan 15/01/2018
    Brendan 15/01/2018 Member Since 2016
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    "Harrowing sad story with a silver lining"

    God what a life - it’s amazing Jimmy has made it through in one piece. I wonder how many souls like him never did though? I guess the majority

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 11/01/2018
    11/01/2018
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    "Drawn to this story "

    What a struggle to survive and thrive. Cried, laughed surprised and admired. Bring on number 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 06/01/2018
    Paul 06/01/2018 Member Since 2016
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    "Good Show. honest and believable "

    A good story from a real working frontman. against all odds you can do it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 22/12/2017
    22/12/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "School of Hard Knocks "

    Wow what a tough begining l felt like l was there with you Jim.
    Every hard lesson and beautiful experience made you the amazing man you are today, thanks for sharing l cant wait for your next instalment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09/12/2017
    09/12/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Nothing but Wow!"

    Thank you Jimmy for telling your story in such an honest and straight up manner.
    As an Adelaide girl, although not from Elizabeth, I know the places you speak of and connected in my minds eye as I was listening.
    It simply would not have been the same had it not been narrated by you with your accent and true emotion.
    You had me hooked.
    Cheers, Louise Bagger

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08/12/2017
    08/12/2017
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    "Poor Wee Fella"

    Growing up listening to one of Australia’s most well known “adopted” iconic artists, I never knew the hardships the man had survived.
    A new found respect for a man that has beaten back everything ever thrown at him in a very tough world for young lad.
    At times I felt it was repetitive in the tough tales, but in hindsight that highlights the achievement Jimmy has accomplished. The book took a few hours, but Jimmy’ childhood struggle took years of pure hell and hardship.
    It’s time to dust off the old albums and have another listen and feel the truth and meaning behind all those lyrics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Haydn Till 04/12/2017
    Haydn Till 04/12/2017
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    "Challenging mostly, entertaining as well"

    This is a challenge. Like most, I grew up enamoured with Cold Chisel’s style of rock. I also grew up in a household where stepping out of the lines resulted in catastrophic emotional manipulation. I still did it, and buried the regrets so deeply they may as well have been bedrock. This story was like an earthquake, shaking it all apart. I found myself sympathising and hating JB simultaneously, and the hating my past 10 times more. Thanks For That. Still any book that can produce a visceral reaction in someone must be good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Matt Lockwood
    South Australia
    30/10/17
    Overall
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    "Bloody Brilliant. "

    I binge listened in one sitting. Couldn't stop. There are dark tales of hard post War Scotland and redneck towns in South Australia- but the laughs and yarns throughout just had me hooked. Jimmy Barnes is one of Australia's favourite rock stars. This is a brave story, read by the man himself. Well done Jimmy Barnes- I'll see you at a book signing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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