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Growing up in Hornsey Rise, North London, in the sixties and seventies was a challenge. It was hard for a boy marginalised at school - and not even liking football! - to find anything of interest to do. And then the light dawned: history. And, specifically, military history. Soon a world of model soldiers and ancient battles spills over into real life with a job at a boy's dream-of-a-shop on Piccadilly.
But horizons expand, and innocent childhood pranks can give way to more serious adolescent scrapes. Love at home is contradicted by violence on the streets, and the 'firms' are a force to be reckoned with. Drugs and alcohol can claim your friends. Knowing how to fight is a way of life.
Yet despite life's tragedies, Dave's humour and intelligence shines through. He draws you into his youth like a spell-weaver and you're there right alongside him. You'll still be holding your breath when he finally escapes. No word of a lie!