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y separately published work icon Working Class Boy single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Working Class Boy
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The time I have spent writing this book has caused me a lot of pain. Sometimes because of what I have remembered about my childhood and sometimes because of what I couldn't remember. It is funny how your mind blocks things out when those things can hurt you. There are a lot of things I wish I didn't remember... A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of OzPubRock - 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. 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 a family's collapse, but also 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.' (Publication summary)

Adaptations

form y separately published work icon Working Class Boy ( dir. Mark Joffe ) Australia : CJZ Empress Road Productions , 2018 15376709 2018 single work film/TV

Documentary based on the Jimmy Barnes autobiography.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: HarperCollins Australia , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 7544856753747178840.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 384p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 19 September 2016
      ISBN: 9781460752135

Other Formats

  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

‘First the Misery, Then the Trauma’ : The Australian Trauma Memoir Donna Lee Brien , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , no. 42 2017;

'This article focuses on the trauma memoir as an identifiable type of creative writing. It begins by tracing its popularity, especially in the 1990s, in the process recognising what can be proposed as key works internationally, many of which—but not all—are American, as well as how these texts were received by critics and readers, in order to place the Australian trauma memoir in this broader context. The so-called ‘misery memoir’ is also discussed. As little investigation has focused on the Australian trauma memoir as a form of memoir, this article will profile some (mostly recent) examples of Australian trauma memoir in order to begin to investigate what these texts contribute to our understanding of the trauma memoir as a form of creative writing. This recognises debates over the literary and social value of memoirs.'  (Publication abstract)

Jimmy Barnes : Biography of the Year Winner Says Writing Makes Sense of Life Steph Harmon , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 26 May 2017;

'Jimmy Barnes: biography of the year winner says writing makes sense of life.'

Jimmy Hits the Books Antimo Iannella , Anna Vlach , Matt Gilbertson , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 March 2016; (p. 23)
Barnsey Digs Soul Deep for His Life Story 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 3 March 2016; (p. 9)
'Jimmy Barnes was halfway through writing his autobiography two decades ago when a burglar stole his laptop.He attempted another draft at the turn of the millennium as he battled drug addiction but aborted the book because he wasn’t being candid about his demons.Barnes (pictured) has finally finished the first instalment of his life story, Working Class Boy, ...'
Sad Songs David Free , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 12-13 November 2016; (p. 16)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
Barnesy's Must-Read Book on Blokes, Booze and Violence Alan Stokes , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 September 2016; (p. 18)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
Working-class Boy Barnesy Bares Soul as Flame Trees Traps Our Youth in Amber Caroline Overington , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 24-25 September 2016; (p. 17)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
In from the Cold Iain Shedden , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 24-25 September 2016; (p. 4)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
With High Hopes Michael Dwyer , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15-16 October 2016; (p. 30)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
Sad Songs David Free , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 12-13 November 2016; (p. 16)

— Review of Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes , 2016 single work autobiography
Barnsey Digs Soul Deep for His Life Story 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 3 March 2016; (p. 9)
'Jimmy Barnes was halfway through writing his autobiography two decades ago when a burglar stole his laptop.He attempted another draft at the turn of the millennium as he battled drug addiction but aborted the book because he wasn’t being candid about his demons.Barnes (pictured) has finally finished the first instalment of his life story, Working Class Boy, ...'
Jimmy Hits the Books Antimo Iannella , Anna Vlach , Matt Gilbertson , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 March 2016; (p. 23)
Barnesy's Mea Culpa for a Life on the Run Rod Moran , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 September 2016; (p. 7)
Jimmy Barnes Says Rosie Batty Inspired Ugly Truths in His New Memoir Working Class Boy Rob Moran , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 19 September 2016;
'"He doesn't look a day older than he did when I saw him play Wollongong in '93," a roving courier tells a shop assistant, nodding towards Jimmy Barnes, who was seated, fittingly enough, between the Australian Fiction and True Crime aisles, as he launched his new memoir Working Class Boy in a Sydney Dymocks today. ...'
Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes Outsells Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen Susan Wyndham , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 7 October 2016;
'Working Class Boy went straight to No.1 on the BookScan bestseller list and HarperCollins publishing director, Shona Martyn, says the book sold "a massive 16,266 in its first week – the sort of number that you would expect of a top 10 bestseller in Christmas week". ...'
Last amended 1 Aug 2019 12:21:03
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