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  • Hodder Paperbacks

It's A Long Way From Penny Apples

Bill Cullen

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

A very warm, funny, affectionate tale of growing up in Dublin in the 50s and 60s - a true-life rags to riches with all the appeal of a family saga.

Born and bred in the tough inner city slums of Summerhill in Dublin, Bill Cullen was one of fourteen children. A street seller from the age of six, Bill left school at thirteen to make a living. Dublin in the '40s and '50s was a harsh place, rife with unemployment and poverty, but the Cullens were blessed with the qualities of determination, good humour and an abundance of love. The lessons Bill learnt from his grandmother stood him in good stead as he progressed from selling dolls and cinema tickets on street corners to a job in a Ford card dealership and eventually to head a company with a turnover of more than 250 million.

The Bill Cullen story is an account of incredible poverty and deprivation in the Dublin slums. It highlights the frustration of a father and mother feeling their relationship crumble as they fight to give their children a better life. It's a story of courage, joy and happiness.

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Praise for It's A Long Way From Penny Apples

  • one of the freshest voices in Irish writing for years - Essex Magazine (Aug)

  • This life-enhancing journey from poverty-stricken hardship to opulence is full of humour, resilience and generosity. A genuine feel-good read. - Daily Express

  • This is a racy portrait of Catholic community solidarity and a family that refused to be ground down by poverty. - The Sunday Times

  • a joy to read . . . he captures the living language of Dublin - Skytext

  • Refreshing, unsentimental, honest, optimistic and wise; and funny, too. This voice out of Ireland is the best one for years. - Libby Purves

  • The story of a Dubliner reflecting with stunning honesty on his city and his past. With characters that leap off the page, it combines blunt realism with the everyday humour of Northside Dublin life. An incredible book that will soon rank as a best-seller. - An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD

  • Unashamedly feel-good . . . Cullen's story is an impressive one. - Publishing News

  • . . . the perfect antidote to ANGELA'S ASHES . . . He captures the spirit of the place with a sharp eye for detail and a quick ear for dialogue - Home & Country

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Bill Cullen

Bill Cullen was born in Dublin in 1942 and grew up in the inner city slums of Dublin's Summerhill tenements. A street seller from the age of six, Bill left school at thirteen to make a living. In 1956 he got a job in a Dublin Ford car dealership and by 1964, as a twenty-two-year-old, he was appointed director general of the dealership. In 1986 he took over the troubled Renault car distribution franchise and turned it into a success. Bill Cullen is a director of the Irish Youth Foundation and in 1998 was a recipient of the Lord Mayor's Award for his work with the disadvantaged young people of Dublin and the inaugural Princess Grace Kelly Humanitarian Award in 2004 for his work with children.

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