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Please Mr Postman

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  829 ratings  ·  88 reviews
In July 1969, while the Rolling Stones played a free concert in Hyde Park, Alan Johnson and his young family left West London to start a new life. The Britwell Estate in Slough, apparently notorious among the locals, in fact came as a blessed relief after the tensions of Notting Hill, and the local community welcomed them with open arms. Alan had become a postman the previ ...more
Published September 17th 2014 by BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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Alan Johnson is a UK Labour politician - in 2009/10 he was Home Secretary in Gordon Brown's government.

He had a very tough childhood, described brilliantly in his earlier biography This Boy . In this second part of his biography he describes his marriage and family, his life as a postman and his rise through the ranks of post office union, as a union rep. I found his description of the post office union, the friends he made there, and the politics of the union, interesting. I also liked his des
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting book but as others have commented, not as good as This Boy... it does get a bit slow in parts and feels rather rushed at the end, but Alan Johnson always seems to write openly and honestly about his life. I'm looking forward to reading the final book of the three...
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie Craig
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan Johnson has always come across to me as one of the few politicians who understand what life is really like for ordinary people. This second volume of his memoirs begins with him and his family leaving working-class west London to head for the Britwell council estate in Slough, 30 miles away. He was a very young husband and father, only nineteen years old. He and his wife Judy brought up their three children in Slough on his not very lavish pay as a postman.

I found the book a little dry in p
interesting autobiography detailing his years starting as postman until his split with his wife, where they move from west London to Slough and begin their new life together and turmoil of his sister.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this up in the library because an elderly card-carrying Labour party member Brexiteer of my acquaintance has long been insistent that Alan Johnson was the answer to the question which the membership chose instead to answer with Jeremy Corbyn. And because I'd heard that he was a cut above the usual political memoirist in terms of the quality of his writing.

What I didn't realise until I was some way into the book was that it is actually the second of three memoirs he has written and that
Matthew Purvis
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read. Warm, affectionate, honest and authentic. I enjoyed this very much. In an age where politicians are perceived to have had no real life experience, Alan Johnson reminds us this is not so. Putting on record his working class background is a welcome additional to political memoir
Wendy Greenberg
Really enjoyed volume 2 of Johnson's biography. Liked it less than first volume only because it covers different period of life and as a result is more industrial relations with a personal backdrop. Fascinating time politically and a great reminder of trade union movement. Also a reminder of council housing pre Thatcher.
I love the writing style which has a brilliantly storytelling style on the original timeline tracks rather than laying emphasis on events that were only significant with benefit
Hannah Polley
Well this will teach me to look at books properly before I pick them up at the station exchange box. I only looked at the title of this book and I thought it would be mildly interesting and I didn't clock the author until later on.

The best way to describe this book is that it would be great for the post office enthusiast. This is just 300 pages of how the post office works and trade unions in the 60s & 70s.

Very dull and doesn't even cover his time as a politician so I expect he has or will
BBC Book of the Week

In July 1969, while the Rolling Stones played a free concert in Hyde Park, future Cabinet Minister Alan Johnson and his young family left West London to start a new life. The Britwell Estate in Slough, notorious among the locals, came as a blessed relief after the tensions of London's troubled Notting Hill, and the local community welcomed them with open arms.

Alan Johnson had become a postman the previous year and, in order to support his growing family, took on every bit of
Frank Callaghan
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Having finished the earlier Alan Johnson book, about his childhood in London, this was a natural follow on, to explore the next part of his life: starting work, marriage and his journey through work in the Post Office. This took place mostly in Slough, and then after that, his excursion through the work of the Post Office and Communications Trade Union.
The book was interesting, containing as it does, mentions of many people with whom he worked and met that were names I recall from my younger yea
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rating. I read this as soon as I could after reading Alan Johnson's first memoir (This Boy - which is one of the best memoirs I've had the pleasure to read.) unfortunately I didn't find this second offering as good as the first. It still had some humour, but it wasn't as funny as This Boy had been. Possibly my disappointment could also have something to do with my expectations being too high.
This was less about the people and more about the job - sometimes in a little too much detail for me
I very much enjoyed the first part of Alan Johnson's memoirs - 'This Boy'. 'Please Mister Postman' takes over from where the first book leaves off, and details his long career in the Post Office, first as a postman, and latterly as an increasingly politicised union official. Perhaps that was the problem for me. On the whole, the book was about Johnson's developing career. He touched on the lives of his sister and family, and on his own home life, but barely. He may have written the book he wante ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Really interesting commentary on life in the early 70's, would have preferred more of that and less of the detailed union politics and processes. Style of writing was too surface, felt more like a list of chronological facts facts than a flowing autobiography. Given the personal experiences touched on throughout, this felt like a big miss to me - resulting in the book having an overall sterile feel.
Helen Smith
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Not as good as This Boy, but still an unusual and moving memoir
Sep 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
The former home secretary Alan Johnson's memoir, read by the author.
Fabrice Conchon
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second part of the story of the life of (Labour politician)Alan Johnson. After the destitute childhood in the slums of north Kensington in the 50ies / 60ies, here is the life as a young adult, married man, father and postman during the 70ies and 80ies.

The book is less terrifying than the first part (called This boy, each book has a title of the song of the Beatles) but still remain excellent. This is a fascinating piece of social history that depicts incredibly vividly the life and p
Andy Turner
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a good time for me to read this book as a professional in an industrial dispute and engaging more with my trade union than I have previously. It is the sort of book I found easy to read a bit of here and there, easy to pick up and put down. It is an interesting life story and something from a bygone era, one that helped me understand the times around when I was born and the political struggles of my youth. I was brought up in Doncaster in the 1980s and the miners strikes had a major influ ...more
Claire Loneragan
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this second instalment of Alan Johnson's autobiography. It's not packed full of surprises and is very much less shocking than the first instalment (which is a fabulous social history of its time), but in many ways is simply the tale of the doings of ordinary folks. However, I had to keep reminding myself of his extreme youth throughout, because the things he did in his late teens, twenties and early thirties are what most people spend their entire adult life doing, and placed ...more
Niall Anderson
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I was recommended this book as a means of exploring politics, from someone who has engaged in it from a grass roots level. It was a very interesting journey, completely detached from my experiences of life as a middle class millenial. I enjoyed taking a trip back in time, and learning a thing or two about the unions; so influential in 70's and 80's politics. Plenty of personal interest as well. An honest and nicely written autobiography. Maybe a little bit two much about the postal service for m ...more
Shiva Patel
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
chlorinda naish
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Postman pat

I was a bit dubious about this book! Thinking it was going to be political, well, it was but not overly.
The story of Alan',s life was so good nicely written, from the heart, he obviously was well involved with the unions, as being away destroyed his marriage and yet they had been married for a long time, despite the age difference, surprised he did follow his sister to Australia, good book .
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable sequel to Alan Johnson's first autobiography. This one was less interesting to me because of the focus on his rise through the various union posts, I lost track of the various people. The family aspects were excellent though, and very moving
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A good insight into life in the UK in the 1970's and 1980's from a political point of view and also what home/family life was like.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, I'm not a fan of obscure memoirs. Its about unions and postal workers. I read this as it was a chosen book club book.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as good as This Boy but still very well written and some great anecdotes included.
Ingrid Ashton
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well written, engaging and interesting.
Emma Dargue
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting look into the life of one of Labour's long standing MP's. Enjoyed this book but I didn't enjoy this as much as his first book. I am looking forward to reading his third book.
Charlotte Latham
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and interesting. Alan Johnson's warmth and integrity shines through.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointing follow up to a brilliant first book.
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