Chris Applegate shows several shelves of Tragic Life Stories in W. H. Smith in Chancery Lane.
The titles vary from the enigmatic – “Alone”, “Damaged” – to the downright exploitative – “Please Daddy, No”, “Ma, He Sold Me For a Few Cigarettes”. Regardless of how suggestive they are, they are all deliberate so. Incidentally, while most are autobiographies, one person, Torey Hayden (third shelf), seems to do a remarkable trade, making a living telling a series of accounts about other people’s blighted childhoods.
I seem to have missed out on reading these – I couldn’t manage Angela’s Ashes, and that even predated Dave Pelzer. But on the other hand I am attracted to books on mountain climbing accidents and ballet dancers – the couch potato’s relaxation?
Found via a comment under Ben Hammersley’s article on what has changed in London in the past five years.