Details from Audible:
- Written by: Alan Doyle
- Narrated by: Alan Doyle
- Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
- 4.9 out of 5 stars4.9 (199 ratings)
From the lead singer of the band Great Big Sea comes a lyrical and captivating musical memoir about growing up in the tiny fishing village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and then taking to the world stage.
Singer-songwriter and frontman of the great Canadian band Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle is also a lyrical storyteller and a creative force. In Where I Belong, Alan paints a vivid, raucous, and heartwarming portrait of a curious young lad born into the small coastal fishing community of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and destined to become a renowned musician who carried the musical tradition of generations before him and brought his signature sound to the world. He tells of a childhood surrounded by larger-than-life characters who made an indelible impression on his music and work; of his first job on the wharf, cutting out cod tongues for fishermen; of growing up in a family of five in a two-bedroom house with a beef-bucket as a toilet, yet lacking nothing; of learning at his father’s knee how to sing the story of a song and learning from his mother how to simply “be good”; and, finally, of how everything he ever learned as a kid prepared him for that pivotal moment when he became part of Great Big Sea and sailed away on what would be the greatest musical adventure of his life.
Filled with the lore and traditions of the East Coast and told in a voice that is at once captivating and refreshingly candid, this is a narrative journey about small-town life, curiosity, and creative fulfillment and, finally, about leaving everything you know behind only to learn that no matter where you go, home will always be with you.
©2015 Alan Doyle (P)2015 Random House Audio
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
I’ve been on quite the Newfoundland kick lately. I’ve listened to 2 of Rick Mercer’s books, 2 of Mark Critch’s, all 3 of Alan Doyle’s. When I find an author I like I will keep coming back and I’ve got to say I really enjoy Doyle’s writing. He is funny, an excellent storyteller, has a nice speaking voice and shares a lot of his personal life/family/friends and feelings with the reader. Out of the 3 I would pick this one as the best, I really hope he does more writing. I listened to this audiobook through “Libby” as I have been doing for several years now.
The book goes all the way from his childhood to the start of Great Big Sea (1992, so he was 23) and I learned a lot about Alan Doyle that I never knew before. His childhood in Petty Harbour is unique as it was (and most likely still is) a small fishing community that is right next to St. John’s. He went to a multi-grade school (something I find hard to imagine and I’m only 7 years younger than him), had a life very connected to the community/the sea/the fishery/the music and is in some ways a very traditional Newfoundlander but only to a point.
The book is full of very funny stories of what he got up to a child/teenager/adult and has a lot of great characters in Petty Harbour/Goulds/St. John’s. One of the things I really loved how he will just talk about music or singing and then demonstrate, singing part of a song or even just a few scales (he talks about guitar chords too). You get to hear his mom give her recipe for bread and there is some trivia on Great Big Sea and two of their biggest hits “Ordinary Day” and “Sea of no Cares”.
Things are not all happy and joyous, however, he talks about the effects of the cod moratorium in 1990 and a particularly nasty teacher he had in Petty Harbour. I also loved it when he talked about religion. I agree that people have faith in many things and yet not be religious per say, I would consider myself Agnostic but I do have belief in Karma and am starting to feel things happen for a reason and that somehow we and everything we do in our lives is somehow connected to the world/universe.
Any book that can make me laugh, think and tell other people how much I enjoyed it is a sure sign of how much I enjoyed it. I could really see this book being made into a movie or TV show. It is very easy to picture with great descriptions and larger than life characters along with funny/strange/exciting situations. I give it a very solid 9 out of 10. I LOVED this book, I really hope I get to see Alan in person someday so I can tell him how much I enjoyed his writing. I am like him (not in musical ability of course!) in that I also have a love of Newfoundland but also have a STRONG desire to travel and see the world. There are some adult situations here, so I would say ages 13+. A very high recommendation from me, if you know Alan Doyle you’ll love this book even more but even if you don’t, this is a great listen all the same. If you’ve never been to Newfoundland and Labrador this is a GREAT way to get to know how the place was and how it is now, either way do yourself a favour and give it a listen, you’ll be glad you did!