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The Six Loves of Billy Binns

Narrated by: Richard Lumsden
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Six Loves of Billy Binns is a deeply moving debut set in London against the backdrop of the changing 20th century.

Perfect for those who loved the quirky pathos of Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and the warmth and humour of Rachel Joyce's The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

At 117 years old, Billy Binns is the oldest man in Europe, and he knows his time is almost up. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have shaped his life - and the events that shaped the century - he recalls a life full of hope, heartbreak and, above all, love.

©2019 Richard Lumsden (P)2019 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about The Six Loves of Billy Binns

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top read

Beautiful tragi-comic story. Expect the unexpected. Themes include love, war, regrets, kindness, forgivemess, heartbreak and hope.

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  • Sigrin
  • 26-08-2020

Up there in my top 20 books.

Dearest Billy, I miss you already after just reading the last few lines of this remarkable book. This is an exemplary piece and I implore you to listen to it you will not be disappointed. I love the way the twentieth century was a back drop to this and it was the small things from this period that stood out. The animals in WW1 they suffered, war horses but also farm animals near the battle grounds. The feelings of the young during these times. The feel and smell of London changing over the century. How WW2 crept up on a nation thinking they had done with war. The change in morals and expectations of the youth. The commonwealth countries helping in the war, Jamaican RAF pilots, and then the racism they faced after the war. (Listen to small Island by Andrea Levy) Loved the 50/60s and the arrival of many people to the UK and the new colourful ethnic cosmopolitan life. The start of the NHS and council housing. The swinging sixties and I could go on..... But a lone figure travelling through the book is our hero of the hour Billy Binns. The book takes you from his nursing home and the residents and staff there to dropping back in time to Billy’s life. Billy made some wrong decisions like we all do but love is so important to him and we seek and find, live and love and I now feel utterly bereft that you are gone my Billy. (This book is in a similar vein to Any human heart by William Boyd”) My only criticism of this book is that the author chose to narrate. It is a certain style as another reviewer said. It feels like he is reading poetry and puts the emphasis on different words in the sentence that I don’t personally feel need it. However this is his book so maybe that’s what he wants. Despite that I thoroughly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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  • lynnect
  • 04-03-2019

The most touching book I’ve read in years

I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a book where I can visualise the characters with such clarity. I laughed, I cried and felt a warmth for Billy, just like I would a real person. I really loved this and will be recommending it to everyone I know. Such a touching story and the narration could not have been more suited.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Griffiths
  • 16-12-2019

Life lessons for us all in this one...

I didn't know what to expect...and I got a rare treat. It's a gently story of a life that could be lived by anyone of us...the joys, the sorrow, the inevitable milestones and reflections on the 'fork in the road' type of decisions. It's a very easy book to listen to, and the narrator is a truly excellent voice for the character, may be being the author helped as he certainly did a great job. Highly recommend, the time went fast, the characters are engaging, and I would suggest not reading this in public if you're prone to being a 'ugly crier' (...in my experience :) )

1 person found this helpful

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  • MRS
  • 24-11-2019

oh Billy Boy!!

oh my, what a beautiful book. only a few books in my life have made me cry. This is one of them. an amazing insight into social history and Love. beautiful!

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  • debbie smith
  • 30-07-2020

Loved it

Read on a recommendation and not my usual choice but absolutely loved it from the first chapter. Cried at the ending . Loved the narration. Would highly recommend.

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  • Day Tripper
  • 12-06-2020

Wonderful actually and very moving

Wasn't sure about narrator at first, but he grew on me as Billy became more familiar. Sweeping and gentle and very moving.

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  • Anita L.
  • 06-05-2020

Stick with it!

Slow to get started but I was buoyed along by the rave reviews. Glad I stuck with it, the writer seemed to grow in confidence. Was a good story, if predictable, though two twists I didn't see coming. Yes it was a good story but I wouldn't be rushing out to buy his next one.

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  • Rebecca C
  • 07-03-2020

Charming story

Nicely written and full of character. The narrator's style wasn't for me but perfectly fine.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-2020

A beautiful story

I listened to this book with a growing compassion and sense of sadness. It is such a sad but beautiful story and I’m sure is very true of many people from both the time it is set and today. The parts about Billy Binns sleeping rough were so heartbreaking in the acceptance that it was just how it was going to be for the time being. I never knew my grandfathers but it broke my heart to think it could have been one of them sitting in the old folks home just waiting. I loved the description of the powdery blood, it really gave the sense of someone drying up getting ready to leave their body, knowing and accepting the inevitable. I thought I was going to weep at the end but there was such a feeling of joy, release and hope that although it was very sad it was too beautiful to be cry over.

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  • S Marshall
  • 10-02-2020

Incredibly touching

A wonderful story full of hope, sadness, kindness and humour. So worth a listen to; highly recommend