book reviews

Survival: From a broken childhood to PhD by John Fahey


Got to start by saying I don’t usually read or particularly enjoy autobiographies but when the author asked me to review this I said I would. I’m glad I did as this is the story of a child who survived adversity, survived rejection and survived being ostracised by a prejudiced society.
John Fahey was routinely beaten by his alcoholic father, beaten because he wanted the money from his paper round, beaten because he wanted to get an education and beaten just for the sake of it. Rather than letting this constant abuse get him down, John escaped into the world of books, reading novels and non-fiction books with equal fervour. This, along with his natural intelligence, started John on his road to getting an education. He was employed by ICI at the age of seventeen and thrived in the laboratories there, taking night school and day release to further his learning. It was then he learned he had been offered a place to study for his BSc at St. Andrews university.
Although not a unique story, this is an incredibly well written and heart warming account of an individual’s desire to better himself, ridding himself of the stigma associated with his father. Frank and forthright, John writes from the heart, telling the stories of the many people who have affected him in a positive way.
I spotted a few little mistakes but overall the editing and proofreading is good and the language is accessible with very few of the confusing chemical names and processes he could have packed this with. Definitely worth reading, especially if you enjoy uplifting autobiographies. I downloaded this book for free and received no financial compensation for this review.

Grab your copy here.


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