This summer, I read pretty much every memoir (at least, every still-in-print one I could find) by anyone who had grown up in St. John’s during the 1930s, 40s, 50s and/0r 60s. While I skimmed some of them quickly, looking for details that were relevant to my research, some of them demanded a slower read, and Greg Malone’s You Better Watch Out was one of these.
Malone is, of course, best known as an actor and comedian, but he is a multitalented man and this memoir shows off his writing skill as well. He’s a decade or so older than I am and grew up in an area of St. John’s I know well, and his memoir is rich not just with the detail of day-to-day life but with the poignancy of family life. There’s a lot of humour here, but there’s also wistfulness, and none of the cheap or easy nostalgia for the “good old days” that permeates many such memoirs. I found this an engaging and thoughtful book.