Minervashobo Kyoto 1997

AUDIOBOOK read by Sam Kelly. Audible Audio Book

An omnibus combining THE ROAD TO NAB END and BEYOND NAB END.

Beyond Nab End

“A wonderful evocation of a vanished age.”

-- Mail on Sunday


“Woodruff is fast becoming a national treasure … [he] is one of the last survivors of an age which has almost vanished from memory.”
--The Times

“A terrific story with an archetypal rags-to riches dimension. It is nostalgic, vivid and charming.”

“Edifying and well written … Woodruff’s writing is fresh, vivid, honest and intelligent.”
--Sunday Times


The year is 1933, the depth of the Great Depression. William Woodruff, sixteen years old and passionately idealistic, arrives in East London hoping to get a job in an iron foundry. In a run-down house in Bow he finds lodgings with a Cockney family, sharing a single bed (head to toe) with the son – a simpleton of a stonebreaker.

Life in the foundry is grim but William is indomitable. The grueling work on the foundry floor sharpens his political ideas. He decides to 'get some larnin', pursuing his studies at night school. Finally he wins a scholarship to Oxford University.

Instead of a promising academic career and a happy married life, the Second World War intervenes, consuming six years of his life.

The concluding description of returning from war to meet the son he's never seen - is deeply moving.

Major Books

This wide-ranging analysis offers meaning rather than minutiae.
A fabulous portrait of working class life of the period - widely praised and reviewed.
The sequel to the No. 1 bestselling The Road to Nab End
"One of the most sensitive and moving books of the war, both authentic and poetic" A.L.Rowse, Times Literary Supplement
A wonderful, strongly autobiographical war novel: engaging, evocative and grippingly readable.
A whimsical quest for a Happy Land.

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