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Working Class Boy
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
11 posts | 8 read | 1 reading | 5 to read
Long before Cold Chisel, long before 'Barnesy', there was the true story of James Dixon Swan A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of Ozrock - there isn't an accolade or cliche 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, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that 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's childhood memoir is at once the story of migrant dreams fulfilled and dashed. After 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 also 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. Nothing will prepare you for the power of Jimmy's memoir. A fierce, graphic, bawdy account of his working class childhood - truly harrowing , and yet often tender and funny. I couldn't put it down because, above all, it is also a story of resilience and bravery. - Sam Neill Visceral, brave, honest: it is like Angela's Ashes meets Trainspotting - only more brutal. A deep, guttural howl of a book, it speaks of the pain and hurt that haunt so many men. And it may just save lives. - Magda Szubanski
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review
Joanne1
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
Pickpick

It‘s a miracle Jimmy Barnes ever made it out of his so-called childhood but I‘m glad he did. I‘m looking forward to the next instalment.

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Joanne1
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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I‘ve been meaning to read this a while so reserved it on my library audiobook app. It‘s read by Jimmy and he does a great job with his very distinctive voice.

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MrsMalaprop
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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Pickpick

A readable memoir by the Scottish born Australian rock icon.
I picked up his second memoir Working Class Man cheaply at a book sale earlier this year, which prompted me to get hold of this one to read it first.
My mum and sister, who like me are not Barnes fans, raved about this book. I don‘t feel quite the same level of enthusiasm, but it‘s worth a read.
Definitely another book that reminds me how lucky I am to have had the childhood I did. 🙏

JennyM Such beautiful scenery! 1y
46 likes1 comment
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MrsMalaprop
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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The family that reads together.
#booknerdsunite
📚😍😁

Cathythoughts 😍😍😍 1y
saresmoore ♥️ 1y
Rissreads 💙💚💛 1y
43 likes3 comments
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MrsMalaprop
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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At my happy place in Balingup, Western Australia. A few days of blissful relaxation before Term 4 starts next week.
#Currentlyreading this memoir. Jimmy Barnes is an Australian rock icon. (I wonder whether any of you outside Australia have heard of him?). I‘m not personally a big fan, although I have seen him live supporting Bruce Springsteen.
I keep hearing great reports about this book from all sorts of people, so I am giving it a go.

CarolynM I am a fan, which is why I haven't read it. Sometimes I think it's better not to know too much about people who's work you enjoy. I'll be interested in what you think about it, though. 1y
JennyM Enjoy the last few days before term 4. This holiday has gone so quickly, and we have the shortest term coming up...it‘ll all be done with for another year before we know it! 1y
Rissreads I‘m looking forward to your review. 1y
37 likes1 stack add3 comments
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TheDoubleLetterThief
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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Current audiobook and loving it. There is nothing quite like listening to a memoir read by the person whose story it is. Brilliant. Also not a book I would have picked up had it not been for the bookclub at my work. Gotta love the power of bookclub.

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4ravens
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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Pickpick

Jimmy Barnes says this is the book he had to write first. It tells of his life as a child up until the time he joins Cold Chisel. These are the events and relationships that shaped his life. At times a dark and harrowing read, it gives an insight into his self-destructive behaviour. I'm looking forward to reading the next volume of his memoir.

4 likes1 stack add
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4ravens
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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prompted to finish this, as I received Working Class Man for Christmas. Hope everyone had a wonderful day!

CarolynM I'm a fan but can't decide if I want to read the books. I'll be really interested to see your reviews. 2y
4ravens @CarolynM I'm a fan and have found the first book to be very dark and harrowing, I'd put it aside for a few months. Now I'm hoping to get through it. (edited) 2y
1 like1 stack add2 comments
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McFarchie
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this on audio. The author reading their own work lifts it an extra notch 🤘🏽 It gave great insight into one of Oz Rock‘s greats.

MrsMalaprop I‘ve heard such good things about this one. 2y
71 likes1 stack add1 comment
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McFarchie
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
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Started this on audio 🤘🏽

49 likes1 stack add
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cooperrileymolly
Working Class Boy | Jimmy Barnes
Pickpick

Love love love Jimmy Barnes was a great book cannot wait for the next one legend of Aussie rock