It’s a funny and touching memoir of what it was like to be a university student in Coleraine in the 1980s - and it’s set to be another best seller for author Tony Macaulay.
‘All Growed Up’ tells the story of how Tony passed his A levels and went on to complete a media studies degree at the University of Ulster in Coleraine.
The book is the sequel to Macaulay’s memoirs Paperboy and Breadboy which were published to huge critical acclaim.
It’s Belfast, 1982, and an eighteen-year-old boy wearing Hai Karate aftershave has a date with destiny.
He’s a real man now, shaving twice a week.
Following his successful career as a breadboy, the young Macaulay is going where few people from the upper Shankill have boldly gone before: to university.
He trades the comforts of home for a life of Yellow Pack beans, student digs and late-night intellectual debates on sex, socialism and The Smiths, but this former paperboy doesn’t forget his roots and he dreams of making a difference in the world by becoming a famous journalist like Woodward or Bernstein – or even Terry Wogan.
But to do that, he’ll have to keep his mind off girls (including Bo Derek), pass all his exams, and maybe even finish reading War and Peace .
The author says: “‘Belfast in the eighties was like an episode of Dallas; lovely to look at and plenty of drama but basically the same sad, sorry story repeated week after week.
“I escaped to the New University of Ulster in Coleraine to become an intellectual, a socialist and a New Romantic.
“I was full of aspirations – like a futuristic car rolling off the production line in the DeLorean Motor factory.
“I yearned for peace in a time of Troubles. I dreamt of a bright future in a country convulsed by the past.
“I was more naïve than you could possibly imagine.”
He adds: “The new book is set during the years 1982-1985 when I go to university and the things that happen when I move away from Belfast for the first time in my life.
“I become a student and also try to become an intellectual and a socialist.”
Macaulay has been launching his third book in bookshops across the country and will visit Waterstones in Coleraine in the near future.
‘All Growed Up’, published by Blackstaff Press, is currently available from all good book shops including Waterstones and Easons.