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Country: Europe, GB, United Kingdom

  • GAL "GAL" - it's a miracle workerI bought this for my adolescent daughter because she suffers from PMS about a week before, then 3 more days into it she starts to feel human again. I'd looked into Premsyn and other products before and it just seemed like a whole lot of ibuprofen and some had caffeine, which is the LAST thing you need when you're feeling like crap. I totally agree with the other reviewers that this Premsyn is the original, the real deal - containing the ingredients that work. I use it too as I'm menopausal and could use all the help I can get. It has been a little miracle worker for my daughter and I'm SO grateful for the 3 Pack because we're going to run out pretty soon.
  • James N Simpson - One of the Most Well Written Books of the Quick Reads Short Stories SeriesPerhaps it's the title which has resulted in this book not getting the success of less good short stories in the Quick Reads series. I have to admit, I read over 40 other Quick Read titles before I even picked this up, simply because I initially assumed it was a non fiction book about some little kid's account of what his dad does for a living and maybe how this affects him in some small town or London suburb. Of course the actual story is nothing like that, and it's a fictional tale, not non fiction as I wrongly assumed. And what a great fictional tale it is, one of the best through the eyes of a young child fiction stories I've ever read, in either short story or novel length.

    My Dad's a Policeman is part of the Quick Reads series of stand alone published short stories. If you're unfamiliar with the Quick Reads initiative, they are books published to increase literacy levels by encouraging those who don't like to read beyond magazines and comic books, to try fiction through cheap priced (current Quick Reads all sell of the rack for under two pounds in the UK) short story length fiction and non fiction. This book definitely achieves the goals of the initiative, anyone reading this book would be eager to check out other Quick Reads short stories or even try full length novels.

    There are some other short stories in the Quick Reads series which are written through fictional kids eye's dealing with life as as a result of either a deadbeat alcoholic parent or a parent that puts their own needs first over the child. They are Jack and Jill by Lucy Cavendish, The Dare by John Boyne, and The Tannery by Sherrie Hewson.

    Anyway the basic plot of My Dad's a Policeman picks up with 12 year old Ryan defending the father he's never met in a fist fight, after another council estate child ridiculed his claim that his dad is a policeman and maintained he was just like him, a boy without a father. No one knows who Ryan's dad is, his mother was too drunk and out of it on drugs when he was conceived to even know what he looks like. Ryan doesn't even really have a mother, he does but she's just a woman who lives in the same government funded house as him and his five year old brother. She's an alcoholic, and is pretty much only alive because Ryan looks after her and saves her from herself. Which is what he did when she set herself on fire from her lit cigarette after passing out drunk. Social services have finally decided to act. He and his 5 year old brother have been placed in separate foster homes (to protect his brother from his influence, as he gets into a fair amount of fights and trouble with the police which he wrongfully assumes is why he's been taken from his mother). Ryan is having none of this, he loves his mother and can't see why he they can't stay with her, after all if he's not there who will look after her and what incentive will she have not to drink. He's determined to escape from his Foster home, rescue his brother and start a new life with him in mainland Europe while his mum gets back on her feet and they can sneak back and live with her.

    The story works because you as a reader know Ryan doesn't have the ability to turn his fantasy into reality. With aspects such as he sees McDonalds as the cheapest way to get food with a supermarket never entering his mind, you are hoping he won't be successful in even the beginning of his plans. You of course know the dangers that he and his brother might run into, which he of course doesn't know the full extent of. The author Cathy Glass is a real life Foster mother bringing authenticity to the foster carer house scenes, as well as social services chapters. Glass is usually a non fiction author of similar tales, this is her second work of fiction following The Girl in the Mirror. This short story was so well written, I'll definitely be checking that one out.

    At the back of the book Glass also provides a link to her website where she provides an encore couple of paragraphs update follow on to this story where you learn of what happens to Ryan up to the age of 22. It is worth checking out and is good because it is realistic and not a fairytale happily ever after type ending.