Paperboy by Tony Macaulay

Release dates: UK & Canada 2011; Australia 2012; US 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 978-0-00-744923-1

“This is a wholly delightful book, shedding a new and kindly light on the Shankill and those who live there” (Irish Independent)

‘In a strange way, for all its nostalgia, humour and whimsical charm, Paperboy is a book with deeper significance,’ (Ulster Tatler)

‎’Paperboy is an enchantingly written story of a young boy coming to terms with the world around him; a very readable romp that will appeal to nostalgic and curious readers alike.’ (Review in Verbal Magazine)

‘The great thing about Tony Macaulay’s delightful memoir is that it gets behind stereotypes and shows life as it was for a youngster growing up on the Shankill in the 1960s and 1970s…’ (Belfast Telegraph)

‘A fantastic foray into 1970s Belfast…’Paperboy’ delivers a humorous and touching account of life as seen through the eyes of a young boy living within a working class Protestant community.’ (Coleraine Chronicle)


It’s Belfast, 1975. The city lies under the dark cloud of the Troubles, and hatred fills the air like smoke. But Tony Macaulay has just turned twelve and he’s got a new job. He’s going to be a paperboy. And come rain or shine – or bombs and mortar – he will deliver…

Paperboy lives in Upper Shankill, Belfast, in the heart of the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans. Bombings are on the evening news, rubble lies where buildings once stood, and rumours spread like wildfire about the IRA and the UDA.

But Paperboy lives in a world of Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and fish suppers. His battles are fought with all the passion of Ireland’s opposing sides – but against acne, the dentist and the ‘wee hoods’ who rob his paper money. On his rounds he hums songs by the Bay City Rollers, dreams about outer space and dreams even more about the beautiful Sharon Burgess.

In this touching, funny and nostalgic memoir, Tony Macaulay recounts his days growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, the harrowing years which saw neighbour fighting neighbour and brother fighting brother. But in the midst of all this turmoil, Paperboy, a scrappy upstart with a wicked sense of humour and sky-high dreams, dutifully goes about his paper round. He is a good paperboy, so he is.

Paperboy proves that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; it is a story that will charm your socks off, make you laugh out loud and brings to life the culture, stories and colourful characters of a very different – but very familiar – time. 

Paperboy: The Audiobook narrated by the author (published February 2017)

Paperboy: The Musical with music by platinum selling artist, Duke Special, will premiere in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast from 27th-29th July 2018.


Breadboy by Tony Macaulay

Release date: March 14, 2013

Publisher: Blackstaff Press

ISBN: 978-0-85640-910-3

‘The adventures of a Belfast breadboy prove to be an uplifting tale…Breadboy offers something to diverse audiences; excruciating romantic disasters will entertain a younger age group; wry observations of loyalist Elvis worshippers and sectarian grannies will resonate with older readers. As a Lagan-side language lesson, a radio adaptation could be a treat.’ (Sunday Times)

‘Macaulay has succeeded in shining a powerful light into the lives of ordinary people and how they coped with circumstances of extraordinary brutality’ (Belfast Telegraph)

‘Tony Macaulay (whose first memoir Paperboy was a great success) has done it again…It is a tale full of courage and optimism, and simple niceness.’ (Irish Independent)

‘Underneath the laugh out loud humour and nostalgia for a Belfast thankfully long past, if we lean in and read closely, we find a challenging social commentary on class difference as well as the peculiar political problems of our wee bread loving city.’ (Steve Stockman)

Breadboy is the laugh-out-loud sequel to Tony Macaulay’s critically acclaimed bestselling memoir Paperboy. The book tells the warm, funny and nostalgic story of Tony’s years as the breadboy in the Ormo Mini Shop in Belfast from 1977-1979.
It’s Belfast, 1977. The King is dead and a 14-year-old boy wearing Denim aftershave has just been appointed breadboy in the last Ormo Mini-Shop in the world, delivering bread to the residents of the Upper Shankill on Saturday mornings. He’s all grown up now, so he is, and nearly shaving.The Bee Gees fill the airwaves, everyone is in love with Princess Leia, and Breadboy s love of peace and pets is soon rivalled by his interest in parallel universes and punk . . . and girls, especially Judy Carlton who sits opposite him in chemistry. Sooner or later, Breadboy is sure they’ll become a proper couple like Paul and Linda, and Judy will be his girl.There are rivals at school and dangers on the streets, but Breadboy is hopeful, so he is. He is a good Breadboy. He delivers. As does Tony Macaulay, in this delightful sequel to the critically acclaimed Paperboy.

The cover of 'All Growed Up," the third and final book in Macaulay's trilogy.

All Growed Up by Tony Macaulay

Release date : September 2014

Publisher: Blackstaff Press

ISBN-13: 978-0856409349

‘This is a lovely, charming story of self discovery, self awareness, and throwing up in your girlfriend’s mum’s beige bidet.’ (‘All Growed Up’ Book of the Week in The Irish News)

 ‘Tony dons boots, leg warmers, and a buffed-up New Romantic hairstyle, taking us on a frightening trip through gaudy eighties culture, tackling The University of Ulster’s intellectual elite. His attempts to establish his intellectual and musical identity are side-splittingly funny. Returning to the family nest, he tackles ma on feminism and granny on the philosophical underpinnings of Coronation Street. The book takes on a more serious note as Tony explores his spirituality and his first ventures into love, with the quirky narrative resuming as he sets off on his quest for work. All in all, the book is a funny heart-warming tale of a journey from boyhood to manhood, nostalgically reflecting a time of stronger community and a less secular world.. (Review in Culture Hub Magazine)

It’s Belfast, 1982, and a seventeen-year-old boy wearing Hai Karate aftershave has an appointment with destiny. He is a real man now, so he is, and shaving twice a week. To follow his successful career as a breadboy, he aims to go where few people from the upper Shankill have boldly gone before: to university.

All Growed Up is the funny and heart-warming sequel to Tony Macaulay’s memoirs Paperboy and Breadboy. It follows Tony as he leaves the Shankill for life as a student in Coleraine, where he discovers true love, sex, socialism and screen tests.

Touching, funny and nostalgic, All Growed Up will delight Tony’s many fans. It’s the book in which the retired paperboy finally grows up.


 Little House on the Peace Line by Tony Macaulay

Release date : June 2017

Publisher: Blackstaff Press

ISBN-13: 978-0856409929

‘In 1985, I went to live on the other side of the peace line. Everyone said my head was cut.’

Driven by the conviction that things can change and that he can change them, Tony Macaulay takes up a job running a youth club in the staunchly nationalist New Lodge, in an area known as Murder Mile, with youth unemployment at 90 per cent.
Challenge enough you might think, but it’s also a requirement of the job that Tony, a Protestant from the Shankill Road, and his wife Lesley live in the local community.

As the realities of life in a working-class republican community start to hit home, Tony’s idealism and faith are pushed to the limit. Inspiring, heart-breaking and often laugh-out-loud funny, this is the story of how one couple kept the faith in a little house on the peace line.

What shines through from the broadcaster and veteran peace campaigner’s writing is the quick, dark humour of the ‘lads’ from the Saltshaker and his own eternally and naive optimism that everything was going to be alright – despite the routine thievery and the odd bit of destruction. (Irish News)

One young man, following his faith no matter the cost, getting married, setting up home, losing his father in tragic circumstances and somehow in the midst of it all being a particle of God’s light across a dark part of a city in shadows. This is as much of a challenge and inspiration now as it was then.’ (Steve Stockman)


Talking to the Wall by Tony Macaulay

Poem published by Broadside Publishing, Goshen, Indiana  (October 2014)

3 thoughts on “Books

  1. Pingback: ‘Little House on the Peace Line’ Looks at Life During The Troubles in Belfast

  2. Pingback: ‘Little House on the Peace Line’ Looks at Life During The Troubles in Belfast – CHB Blog

  3. Pingback: Stories From Uganda: From the trauma of the 1970s to a better future for the children of Uganda | Tony Macaulay

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