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Velocity: A Memoir
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Velocity: A Memoir

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
VELOCITY tells the moving, painful but often hilarious story of Mandy Sayer's childhood and adolescence, a life lived on the edges - of society, of poverty, of certainty, of love.

Filled with beautifully realised descriptions of life seen through a child's eyes - a child who gradually comes to realise her adored parents are all too tragically flawed and broken. Mandy is imm
Paperback, 303 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Vintage Books USA
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I'm not surprised that Mandy Sayer has written Australian Gypsies: Their Secret History because her childhood was certainly one where she moved around into and out of various refuges, public housing, squats, couches, and the occasional rental. Her life leading to adulthood was full of challenges but she tells her story openly, with humour but mostly with love and respect for her troubled mother and talented but childish-musician father.
She stuck with her mother when the rest of the family gradua
A.J. Llewellyn
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
This book affected me tremendously. I grew up in Australia and thought I had it tough until I read this book. My heart breaks for the author's terrible start. Astonished that her father has publicly admitted it's all true. As broken as her beginnings were, Sayer is a gifted, glorious storyteller.
I am simply in awe.
Jane Routley
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Terrific book funny sad always a page turner but how one earth did Sayer survive her childhood? One insight I did gain from this book is that perhaps the reason a lot of artists may come from difficult and rootless childhoods is that they learn in this way to get used to the uncertainty, poverty and need for resilience of life as an artist. Discuss.
Olwyn Conrau
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this one. I've just reread it again and the simplicity and power in Mandy Sayer's writing is superb. It's probably one of the best memoirs I've read in the past ten years. The child's perspective, which could have easily been gimmicky, is skilfully integrated. An impressive work and well-deserving of its awards.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Dreamtime Alice when it first came out in the 1990s. That book focused on Mandy's time with her father travelling and performing in the US. I don't have a strong recollection of that book from the time, other than to say I enjoyed the bohemian tale. Velocity is Mandy's childhood and how she got to the point of travelling with her father. Disrupted schooling, her parent's marital chaos, family disintegration, her mother's drinking and years spent living with her mother and her mother's vio ...more
Sherry Mackay
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book fairly gallops along with its story. It is very readable, well-written and you can can read it in great gulps. I think the author's resilience after such a traumatic childhood is amazing. I did find some of it a wee bit hard to swallow tho; can a small child really be so self-aware and also so aware of what the adults around her are feeling and doing? She seemed to have very grown up ideas, and I wasn't sure how accurate a representation of her as a child this could be. Apart from that ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
As another reader mentioned, i'm unsure of how a young girl can recall so much of her childhood thoughts and feelings. Put that aside I was thoroughly entertained and interested in how Mandy's life would turn out.

I was raised in a middle class family in the UK, and have lived in Australia since the early 80's. I thought every other family lived like us so it was quite an eye opener to have an insight of the live of others less fortunate.

Karen (^ v ^)
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
I read this book for my Life Writing study at school and it was an engaging, supremely sad and fantastic read for it's genre. Whenever I picked it up it would submerge me into the story which was at times devastatingly difficult to read.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
True story of a Sydney girl's childhood.. Great
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
has something for everybody to relate to...
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