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David Blunkett was born in 1947 in the slums near Sheffield Wednesday football ground. Currently a member of the Shadow Cabinet and born blind, David Blunkett's struggle to the top has been one of determination. The optic nerve behind each eyeball had failed to develop owing to the incompatibility of his parents' genes - a one in a million chance. It was only when Blunkett went to university that he decided to take a guide dog. Ruby was the first of four retrievers to help him with the "inconvenience" of his blindness, and subsequently became the first dog allowed in the Palace of Westminster. When the House began to be televized, it was his guide dog, Offa, who won over the British public. Now Lucy, a black retriever, sits by him in the House of Commons and travels back to his constituency in Sheffield. This book is an account of beating the system by a man and his dog.
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David Blunkett's charming autobiography describes his remarkable rise from a blind, underprivileged child to a member of the British Shadow Cabinet. Stephen Thorne captures Blunkett's positive attitude by injecting upbeat humor and sarcasm into his descriptions of Blunkett's most difficult and embarrassing childhood and adult experiences. Thorne's zestful story telling appropriately describes an ambitious and compassionate politician focused on helping the downtrodden. Especially enjoyable are his depictions of Blunkett's early experiences in a boarding school for blind children, where sledding, baseball and bicycling were encouraged. Thorne's performance is as entertaining as Blunkett's climb to fame is remarkable. This is a winning combination of author and reader! B.J.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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