Book reviews

*****  A ‘Must Read’   by  Jeanette Millard on 17 October 2016
Format:  Kindle Edition
This little gem of a read made me smile from start to finish!
I loved the stories & reading about the escapades Eric & John got up to.

Having been born in Birmingham, it brought back memories of places I
fondly remember. Overall, a thoroughly good read & beautifully illustrated.
A highly recommended book!

***** Highly Recommended  by Molly Flanders on 7 May 2016

Format: Kindle Edition 

A beautiful childhood memoir with the Best of British qualities: humour and good story-telling.
Delightful and heart-warming this book will touch your soul and charm you. Two brothers live through World War 2 in Birmingham, some of that time even without their parents, which makes the bond between the brothers naturally even stronger.
Historically this is more than fascinating with plenty of remarkable details about the ins and outs of war-time life. The characters are likeable – two mischievous kids with great spirit… This is an all-round winner.

***** I Laughed till I Cried  by John Reed on 11 Mar. 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

This short book was a cracking good read and even put me at risk of a heart attack through choking with laughter!
I was born at the end of the War but used to devour the Lion, Tiger and Eagle comics that continued tales of that period on through the 50s.
Some of these escapades almost beggar belief, except that I really felt drawn into the characters involved and could easily picture them getting into these crazy, sometimes very self-destructive, scrapes.
My parents too had a pretty strict regime (though nothing like that endured by Eric and John) so slipper whackings and the occasional caned hand played a part in dissuading me from some of these wild excesses – even though I did crack all the tiles around my home fireplace when melting lead in an old syrup tin on the fire, and experimenting with odd chemicals from neighbouring farms (doing this in the front room was particularly stupid!!).
I was disappointed that this was a short book as I just wanted to keep on reading and laughing all evening – but I can recommend it with gusto.
I can’t see who could fail to enjoy it…..

*****  Great Warmth and Intimacy  by ee John on 4 Oct. 2015

Format: Paperback

I have never reviewed a book before as I worry my opinion may sway someone the wrong way, after all it is just an opinion.
I loved the warmth and intimacy I felt throughout the book. Yes, there were tales of young boys getting into mischief, but there was also a great depth of compassion for each other that was such an important pivotal part of the book for me.
I had the great pleasure to know Eric on a professional basis. How I wish I could quiz him now and ask him to indulge me with more antics of his life.
As someone who had a troubled childhood albeit during a different generation, I realised through reading this story that it is far better too recap with humour and positivity than dwell on the sadness of some situations.
A truly moving, humorous, gentle review of a time too often forgotten

*****  A Little Gem  by Gerdibee on 4 Dec. 2015

Nickle Eck………Nickle Eck……I just can’t get the name out of my mind, along with angelic little face of Eric – even when I wake up in the middle of the night.
This story of two devoted brothers up to age 11 years, revealing realities and hardships of the early thirties and the war years, is astonishingly told with keen humorous wit, hilarity and bravery. Despite the poverty of the times, which my age range can realistically recall, I found myself laughing helplessly with incredulity at the multitude of escapades, scrapes, pranks and survival tactics which Eric’s genius “big bro” engineered. My adult mind was astonished.
This book ended too soon for me, but the heartfelt bonding of the two brothers made up for that!. It’s a real ‘find’ for a perfect Christmas present to friends in my-age peer group. So am ordering a few more, but in the meantime, I have put my copy in my handbag to dip into at random moments for some more trips into the past as told by Nickle Eck!!

****  Eric Yates’ Character Lives on in this Book  by AlanSumo123 on 20 Aug. 2015

Format: Kindle Edition 

I loved this little book, it gave a great insight into life during the war as a child refugee. The main characters had an amazing imagination and acted upon some very bold ideas. Having known the man whose childhood this book outlines probably made it even better for me, but I would highly recommend it to anybody. I have given it four stars rather than five just because some areas I felt were written a little sporadically but I have been informed that the physical book (I read the Kindle book) has had issues rectified.

For a light hearted look at the extremely hard times of war from a child’s point of view, buy this book! It is fairly short but very good value for money.

*****  Thank Goodness for these Tales  by moleysmum on 31 Aug. 2015

Format: Paperback

As someone from the location in which this book is set, reading it evoked so many memories of people and places but you don’t need that connection to thoroughly enjoy this collection of episodes of lives and times never to be seen again. Read it on whatever level you choose – social history, comedy with pathos, how to survive despite of.,  you will laugh, cry, reflect, but above all ENJOY. The world may have been harsh in WW2 especially for the Nickle Eck’s but we are the poorer without him. Thank goodness we have these tales!

  ***** Brilliant – such a page turner  by Mrs J D Gould on 23 January 2015
Format: Paperback
Brilliant – such a page turner, so very funny but also moving. I was helpless with laughter at some of the images so beautifully and wittily described but others were heartrending. A wonderful insight to a forgotten England. I highly recommend this all too short a book.

  *****  Very entertaining glimpse into a by-gone era  by Amazon Customer on 6 January 2015

 Format: Kindle Edition
A very enjoyable read, at turns funny, poignant and touching. Recommended without hesitation. 

****  A good read  by Lizzylong on 4 January 2015

Format: Kindle edition

I didn’t want it to end.  The two poems at the end were very touching and leave you realising blood is definitely thicker than water.

*****  A Great Tale  by H. G. Lyle-Meller on 18 Dec. 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

This is a great tale of two naughty little boys in wartime Britain. How they survived is a mystery – and how their mother survived their escapades even more of one! The final chapter describes their evacuation to the country and how they somehow got through this heart rending time. The only omission from the book is girls! Weren’t there any around on their council estate!

*****  Just William with knobs on  By Mrs S.I.Ridley  on 13 Dec. 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

A book that evokes the lives of two very clever and very mischievous little boys, their mad cap adventures whilst evacuated ‘up north’ is poignant and heart-warming. How they both managed to survive to adulthood is down to sheer dumb luck with a bucket load of ingenuity thrown in for good measure. You will laugh your socks off when you read of their amazing escapades.

 *****  Well worth reading by Michael Fletcher on 28 July 2016

 The book brought home how hard it must have been in the war. With children having to be evacuated. Amazing how people survived. Very funny in places.

***** Memories of growing up  by Raymond Smith on 11 March 2016

Format: Paperback

Like the author we both grew up in wartime Birmingham. We found much to laugh about in the stories and found memories of the city coming back to us.

*****  Brought back Memories  by Edward Wells on 1 November 2015

I was a neighbour of “Nickle Eck” in fact I was his brother Fred’s best mate so as you can imagine this book has brought back some memories. I have laughed a lot reading the book and it has brought back some great and happy memories, as you have no fear when you’re a kid.  “Well done” Eric, wish I could shake your hand.

***** Wonderful  by Mr A Axtell on 6th July 2015

Format: Paperback

Ideal reading for the tedium of the airport and flight. Made me chuckle all the way.
Bless you Eric.

***** Five Stars  by Amazon Customer on 23 March 2015

Format: Kindle edition

Very funny, had me laughing

**** Well written account of childhood  by Elizabeth Parkes on 10 February 2015

Well written account of a childhood that many of us remember but an alien world to today’s children. A world of excitement and risk that these over cautious times has eliminated.