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REVIEW Memoirs of a Dipper

Anything to cross the line' Gary is a dipper a burglar a thief He is still at junior school when his father first takes him out on the rob and proves a fast learner not much than a child the first time he gets caught he is a career criminal as soon as he is out a. I ve given this four stars because I think it s really really well written but I have to be honest I skim read a lot of the second halfI found the first half engrossing Gary jumps off the page at you There s a lot of humour as well as sadness watching his dysfunctional family However there came a point about halfway through where Leyshon lost me I turned the page and felt bewildered I actually went back a few pages because I thought I must have missed something but I hadn t I can t recall the details now but there was a distinct shift in where Gary was and in how he behaved with no explanation I wonder if I was supposed to read some sort of subtext but I must ve missed itAnyway that hiccup booted me out of the story and I never uite got back into it again though I kept reading because I wanted to know how Gary got to his happy ending

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Memoirs of a Dipper

'Leyshon is a master of domestic suspense' Observer 'There's different ways to do it I can slowly move closer step by step or I can do it in one movement and bump into them Easiest is in a pub then I can put my drink too close to theirs Move my stool near theirs. What elevates this tale of an abusive childhood that begets a dysfunctional criminal is the unusual structure and the first person narrative Gary the titular dipper is an unusual narrator and his narration grabs the reader by the labels and never lets go until the final page Gary is a mass of contradictions one minute during a period of self reflection he s trying to turn his life around the next he s in the throes of addiction or making the kind of move that is only ever going to result in bad things for him and those around him Despite Gary signalling some kind of redemption at the book s outset Memoirs of a Dipper is very unpredictable and it rattles along at a terrific pace My only two criticisms of an otherwise excellent read are there were just too many ups and downs to be credible and whilst Gary is a memorable character some of the other characters feel underwritten However these are minor criticisms and Memoirs of a Dipper is a visceral memorable tale I look forward to reading by Nell Leyshon

Nell Leyshon ½ 1 READ

Gain But Gary is also fiercely intelligent he often knows about the antiue furniture he is stealing than the people who own it and is confident in his ability to trick his way out of any situation always one step ahead But all that changes when he falls for Mandy. The poor uality of the writing especially of speech intruded right through the book preventing full engagement and belief despite some skill with plotting There was not enough thinking to balance out with the nastiness of the material and there was an element of sentimentality The ending was too short and not really believable it was referred to through the book but not led up to in any developmental way It was interesting to learn about methods of stealing and some cultural details but there was something uncomfortable about the author s relationship to those shows writing about Her explanation of a male character managed to be both worryingly identified with sexism and also unconvincing


10 thoughts on “Memoirs of a Dipper

  1. says:

    What elevates this tale of an abusive childhood that begets a dysfunctional criminal is the unusual structure and the first person narrative Gary the titular “dipper” is an unusual narrator and his narration grabs the reader by the labels and never lets go until the final page Gary is a mass of contradictions one minute during a period of self reflection he’s trying to turn his life around the next he’s in the

  2. says:

    This lean novel there's fat on a butcher's pencil chronicles the life of Gary a dipper dips into purses dips into pockets dips in silver paper when his pint goes flat It's a story of childhood of dreams of hell and disappointment and lessons and redemption Leyshon's gift is not only her ability to create a very real character but also her ability to ease her reader into the character's head and masterfully control how the reade

  3. says:

    loved it very clever nell leyshon is turning into one of my favourite authors at the minute

  4. says:

    I read this book in one go It sucked me in I just couldn't put it down So true to real life I had remind myself it was fiction Fantastic book Definitely going to read of this author

  5. says:

    Leyshon gives a uniue voice to Gary a career petty criminal who tells us his story of his family life interwoven with his criminal activities It's like reading a 300 odd page monologue delivered to us by an untrustworthy character an unreliable narrator with hardly any redeeming featuresYou can see by his circumstances as for the reason Gary turns to a life of crime but I was wondering throughout the book why his broth

  6. says:

    I've given this four stars because I think it's really really well written but I have to be honest I skim read a lot of the second halfI found the first half engrossing Gary jumps off the page at you There's a lot of humour as well as sadnes

  7. says:

    The poor uality of the writing especially of speech intruded right through the book preventing full engagement and belief despite some skill with plotting There was not enough thinking to balance out with the nastiness of the material and there was an element of sentimentality The ending was too short and not really believable; it was referred to through the book but not led up to in any developmental way It wa

  8. says:

    Kudos to Leyshon for this unblinking look at the world of petty criminals where following in one's thief of a father's footsteps is as natural as Don Jr running the family hotel chain Oh maybe they are the same thing Gary is no fool but he falls for one addiction after another The author who has worked in prisons

  9. says:

    Deceptively clever writing propels the reader through the book However I am not sure that the reader's journey is especially worthwhile and I do rather wonder at the variations in the narrator's tone Overall a decent fast read with some nice stylistic touches to admire on the way

  10. says:

    This is a first person novel that puts you inside the head of Gary a petty criminal and drug addict That's not a comfortable place to

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