Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

tudor queens series debuts of the month
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

The Necessary Aptitude : A Memoir by Pam Ayres
  

The Necessary Aptitude : A Memoir

Biography / Autobiography   Books of the Month   

Sue Baker's view...

September 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

Not being a particular fan, I was rather dubious when The Necessary Aptitude was sent to me for review – but – Pam Ayres had me captivated. As I write, the book trade is busy predicting the top books for Christmas and under biographies, there was no mention of Pam Ayres. After having read it, all I can say is I’m very surprised, all the humour and observation you’d expect but being one of the last generation who can truly say they were a country child, her memoirs of childhood, village life and the country side are especially well-worth reading. She doesn’t gloss over the dark side, the animal cruelty, the treatment of mental and physical disability, the harshness of life lived with little spare cash but this is tempered by a strong and loving family life. Another striking theme is the difficulty of a girl in her position trying to break free and make something of herself; a feat that Pam Ayres has managed in spades.

Like for Like Reading
Things I Couldn’t Tell my Mother, Sue Johnston
A Spectacle of Dust: The Autobiography, Pete Postlethwaite

Who is Sue Baker

Synopsis

The Necessary Aptitude : A Memoir by Pam Ayres

"Next, I applied to work in the accounts department, a sealed room where women operated clattering machines like enormous typewriters. After I had catastrophically and erroneously applied all the wrong information to several trolley loads of documents and lumbered the staff with weeks of corrective work, I was shown the door by a tight-lipped manageress. I knew what was coming.

Over the relentless, furious din of machinery, I lip-read the familiar words: "Lacks the necessary aptitude."' Pam Ayres' early childhood in Stanford in the Vale was idyllic in many ways, and typical of that experienced by a great swathe of children born in rural areas in the immediate post-war years. Though her parents' generation was harrowed by war, better times were coming. Everything the family needed was within walking distance in the village, and life with four older brothers and a sister in their crowded council house was exceedingly lively.

In her late teens, Pam grew dissatisfied with her life as a Civil Service clerk with only the local 'hop' for scintillating excitement. Having seen three of her brothers called up for National Service and sent off to exciting destinations, Pam felt desperate for travel and adventure. She joined the WRAF and soon found herself in the Far East.


Browse inside this book

About the Author

Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres, our much-loved comedienne and broadcaster, has entertained us for almost 40 years since winning Opportunity Knocks in 1975. Her series on BBC Radio 4 is Ayres on the Air, and she has also appeared as a guest on Just A Minute, Loose Ends and Saturday Live. She is one of the UK’s top-selling comediennes with her theatre shows. Pam’s poetry collections include The Works, With These Hands and Surgically Enhanced, and The Necessary Aptitude is her memoir of growing up in Berkshire during the post-war years. Pam has appeared three times for HM Queen Elizabeth, and was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2004. Pam and her husband have lived in Gloucestershire for over 25 years, where they have a smallholding with cattle, sheep, bees, chickens and guinea fowl.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

15th September 2011

Author

Pam Ayres

More books by Pam Ayres
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.pamayres.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

BBC Books an imprint of Ebury Press

Format

Hardback

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month


ISBN

9780091940485

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools