Book Review: ‘Annie’s Boy’

Annie’s Boy
Gary Todd
New Holland Publishers
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Annie's Boy front cover

A WELL-KNOWN name in the boxing world, Gary Todd lets the reader get up close and personal, not dodging any blows in his new memoir, Annie’s Boy. Telling the story of his earlier days, over a span of 15 years, he focuses on his late mother, with whom the book shares its name.

This boxing expert, now living in Australia, is already an international bestseller, with his previous work being centred around the workouts and routines behind the successes of sporting legends like Muhammad Ali. Yet, perhaps it is this compelling depiction of growing up in the 1970 and 80s while living in Dundee that actually is the real proof of true perseverance and a testament to the strength found in never giving up.

Captivating the reader with its simplistic and concise language, there is undoubtedly still a deep and utterly emotional complexity shown throughout the book. Through his retelling of the struggles of a life in the “multis” – high-rise blocks of flats – Todd shines a light on the golden moments he experienced and the love he felt.

An ode to a mother’s affection for her children, you can feel the warmth of Annie’s heart radiating off the pages and bringing softness to the harsh lives they faced. Also showing us a private insight to the hardships faced by many Scots in the nation’s more industrial areas, this is a story not just proving the grit with which this family survived many years, but equally that of the generations that came long before.

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