Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Boy with No Shoes” as Want to Read:
The Boy with No Shoes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Boy with No Shoes

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Five-year-old Jimmy Rova is the unwanted child of a mother who rejects him, and whose other children bully him. The one thing he can call his own is a pair of shoes, a present from the only person he feels has ever loved him. When they are cruelly taken away, Jimmy spirals down into a state of loneliness and terrible loss from which there seems no recovery. This triumphant...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published 2005 by Headline Review
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Boy with No Shoes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Boy with No Shoes

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 279)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lance Greenfield
Brilliantly narrated

Reading my way through this book was like walking through a hall of mirrors at a fairground. Every turn revealed a new reflection of an aspect of my own childhood. Some were distorted more than others, but the story of the life of Jimmy Rova, told in the first person singular, evoked many poignant memories.

Jimmy tells the story of his difficult early life, and the interactions with those around him. When he progresses, against the odds, into grammar school, life gets even tou...more
Sarah Potter
This is the most moving book I've read in years. I'm not someone who normally enjoys memoirs but one of my friends insisted on lending me her treasured copy of "The Boy with No Shoes" and I fell in love with it from page one. All the way through this story of William Horwood's childhood, written in the most breathtaking prose, I thought how can a boy with such a harrowing start in life, end up achieving so much in adulthood? It seems that despite his dysfunctional family and bumpy ride education...more
Andy Lane
One of the most poignant and moving books I have ever read for a while; one that has helped me put my own childhood into context and given me fresh hope that I might not have been quite as bad or stupid as I was made to feel I was all those years ago. But would I have tried so hard to prove them all wrong if I hadn't had those experiences, who knows?
Iain
Fantastic. This memoir highlights the fragility of the human mind, while demonstrating how strength of spirit can win through. A very moving book. Should be on the national curriculum.
Glynn
Simply Brilliant!

What a story! Probably one of the best I've ever read. When I was reading it, I couldn't put it down and now I've finished it, I can't stop thinking about it.

The book follows a boy from first memory to adulthood. It's all so real and evocative of life in a small coastal town in fifties England. While we've all met characters like the ones encountered in the story, they are so credible, so finely drawn, so easy to relate to and yet they are all so individual.

The adventures that...more
Norhan Zaher
i realized how much i hate autobiographies
Paula
I don't generally read misery memoirs but I was familiar with the author's fictional work, so I thought that I'd give this a try. I found it to be a haunting book, the skill of the writer comes through with every turn of phrase. I also found that amongst the misery that he included 2 incidents which restored my faith in humanity- those moments shine out in the book. Not sure that enjoyable is the word to use but certainly a goodread
Carol
It was a very good book. It was a different type of book than I normally read. It was written like a biography. In some places it was dark and sad but still well written. It takes place in England.
Faith
A childhood memoir by English author William Horwood. A touching, beautifully sad story. Very well told. The book seems more like a novel than like a memoir. Wonderful.
Holly
I really liked this in a sad, depressing way. It is a touching story (again, in England...) of a boy's childhood and the hardships and simple joys he encounters.
Pam
Excellent until it descended into tawdry, explicit writing. So the four stars are for the first part of the book. I would give nil for the latter part.
Hilary


A beautifully written memoir from William Horwood.
Just like his novels, the writing is almost poetry.
A really moving life story.
Really enjoyable
Brenda
This was a very thought provoking book which really got into the little boys feelings, you may need tissues for this one as sad in places.
Anna
Jan 18, 2012 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
Breathe taking, a beautiful and important book. Every brutal punch is softened by a pillow of subtle kindness.
Claire
An excellent read. Based in a town where my family used to live, it adds to the interest. This author is incredible.
Diana
In weniger als 24 Stunden durchgelesen - das spricht für sich, finde ich!
Julie
This book really tugged at my heartstrings. Beautifully written
Amy Plum
Heart-wrenching fictionalized memoir. What a great read!
Irene
A very moving, but also depressing book.
Linda Gowing
Linda Gowing marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
Sandra
Sandra marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2014
David Rose
David Rose marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Lianne
Lianne added it
Aug 23, 2014
Katharine Samuel
Katharine Samuel marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Duncton Wood (Duncton Chronicles, #1) The Willows in Winter Duncton Quest (Duncton Chronicles, #2) Duncton Found (Duncton Chronicles, #3) Skallagrigg

Share This Book