Book Review “Small Town Kid” (memoir/poetry), Frank Prem

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” John Banville

From the dark, cold and tangled branches emerges a butterfly… called Ray. Where he’d go with a new set of wings? Haha

To the book of inspiration, memories, radiating energy, harmony, joy of childhood, humour, change, ache and truth – “Small Town Kid” by Frank Prem. The book overflows with warm descriptions of mcalpine’s cherries, the laws of football, the dangerous mystery of night, the ideal spots to hide, the tears of first love in high school. 

He kissed her
Till it made our eyes pop
With wonder
And whispers.

The smell of factories, the sound of broken english, the touch of darkness and first intoxication, the power of lost and unsaid – all that is called HOME. The good and the bad in a perfect balance. The memories that time does not erase… 

We can only gaze
Upwards (…)
Breathless in excitement.

Our memories are tricky things, they are changing with perception over time. They shift, they affect and force us to forgive, understand and grow. 

“What you remember saves you.” W. S. Merwin

Frank Prem has a truly unique and dynamic writing style. His poetic memoir is soulful, witty and lyrical. He vividly captures people, who have meant most in his childhood. And all of them come to life as if they are walking into the room where you are sitting and reading the book.
It is not a typical show bis – commercial tale. It is honest, unusually intimate voyage of the small-town-heart travelling back in the past.

“Do you remember how you felt at seventeen? I do and I don’t. Imagine you came from outer space and someone showed you a butterfly and a caterpillar. Would you ever put the two of them together? That’s me and my memories.” Douglas Coupland

In the centre of the giant redwood forest… a tiny plant once stood. Its roots are grounded. Troubles, laugh, loss, rejection, worry is around, but that tiny plant sits in stillness, harnessing the power: from family, friends, voice within, local secrets, mysterious food, intuition and dreams. 

Secrets revealed
And promises made
for tomorrow.


  • A very soulful read. Interesting, different, and somewhat traditional.
  • Could be a material of discussions in classrooms. I see it more as ‘classics’.
  • You can feel the authors emotions come right out of the words you read, and sometimes, I felt a little bit of myself in them too. That exactly what poetry is… right?
  • A work of art.

Growing without mirrors
Our young eyes never noticed
The fleeting glimpses
Of mental barricades.


  • Very personal memoir. Sometimes hard to get what the author is talking about. I think you have to be born or grow up in that area = the territory is #matter.
  • Might be difficult ‘read’ for younger generations (perception about life Then & Now).

It is magnetic. It is alive. You may feel as though the light of author radiates outward, and that makes you shine too.
Grab the book and experience sensations like this with an open and joyful heart!

“The only real treasure is in your head. Memories are better than diamonds and nobody can steal them from you” Rodman Philbrick

x x x

About the author:

Frank Prem has been writing poetry as a serious pursuit for in excess of 30 years, and has been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies, both in Australia and in a number of other countries, including America, England, India and Europe. He has won and placed in a number of writing competitions over the journey, and has performed his work in various spoken word venues around Victoria (Australia) and occasionally recorded it.

Small Town Kid which was originally self published in 2009, has just been republished (December 2018) and is now available in both e-book and paperback editions at all the major online booksellers.

Small Town Kid on Amazon: Kindle Edition

NEW BOOK on Amazon: Devil in The Wind

BLOG of the author – Frank Prem Poetry


Next post – Book Review “In the Calyx”, Libre Paley 


You may also like...

39 Responses

  1. Jina Bazzar says:

    great review. i liked Doublas Coupland’s quote too.

  2. George F. says:

    Sounds poetic and lyrical. Thanks.

  3. I do and I don’t. I wouldn’t like to be 17 again, that’s for sure (though I had fun, loads of…)

    Long time no see. Everything ok?

  4. Excellent review, Victoria Ray

  5. Sounds like a keeper. I may even buy this one 🧐👍 (probably will) Thanks for the review and recommendation.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      It’s different from what we usually see online nowadays. I mean it isn’t “sweet-&-sad-almost-dying-sexy-touchy-bullshit”, but real “look back/in the past”, memories.
      You have to check blog & poems of author (the style). If you’ll like it – then this book is for you.

    • Frank Prem says:

      Hi Jerry.

      Hope you enjoy the collection. It’s a little unusual in the style I use, so it may have stylistic as well as content interest.

      I’d be delighted to know, either way.



  6. alexraphael says:

    Cool post. Love the quotes especially.

  7. Tom Darby says:

    I got a little excited about the ‘growing up in the Redwoods,’ part. That was my childhood. Do they have Redwoods down under?

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      I’m not sure… that was the biggest trouble for me – names/dishes/places. Because it is very personal memoir & of course I could relate to the feelings (I grew up in small town too), but sometimes I couldn’t get what the author mean…and what is so special about that particular place/name & so on.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Redwood forest part is written by me, I mean it is allegory with the book. And author (as a boy) = plant.

      • Tom Darby says:

        Ah-ha! Wouldn’t work for me — tho stock, I’m too short to be confused with a Redwood. LOL

        • Victoria Ray NB says:

          🙂 Ha! We all are way too short. I remember I had a book about different trees 🌳 (when I was 6-7yo) & it was one of my fav books. Sequoia was there too. But I never seen it in real life. Not yet 🧐😱

          • Tom Darby says:

            When you do — you’ll be amazed. My little hometown of Klamath, California is in the heart of the forest and is home to the ‘Trees of Mystery.’ Look it up. I was Paul Bunyan’s voice for four years.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      I probably heard it somewhere, the phrase about Redwood forest. So I just used it 🙂 with my own interpretation – I think it’s perfect for this book :))

    • Frank Prem says:

      Hi Tom.

      No redwood forests in my part of the world, but many ‘botanical gardens’ planted 150 + years ago in the heyday of our gold rush. Some lovely specimens still around.

      I see below the puzzlement of place names and I appreciate that can take the work away from a reader unfamiliar with them. I have often had occasion to stop and think about how familiar some names (especially from the US) are in our culture and literature over here, whereas our own little places don’t get much mention.

      I feel that, in memoir in particular, it needs to be both personal and accessible to all, so it’s a tricky balance.

      regardless, I’m enjoying following the discussion.



      • Tom Darby says:

        It is a tricky balance and though I’ve not read your memior yet, I love the idea of such writing. So many people have a story to tell, and they never share it. Whadda shame.

  8. Frank Prem says:

    Victoria Ray, thank you so much for your lovely review of Small Town Kid. I very much appreciate it, and it’s been a pleasure to catch your conversation with readers of the post.


  9. iScriblr says:

    Great review!👍👍

  10. Jenny-Lynn says:

    Love the review and all the juicy quotes. Thanks!

  1. April 10, 2019

    […] Victoria Ray has posted a lovely review of Small Town Kid. […]