I Dream of Carnegie || Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

You dream of Carnegie? You what, mate? Learn more here!

MillionsSynopsis from Goodreads
It was a one-in-a-million chance. A bag crammed with cash comes tumbling out of the air and lands right at Damian’s feet. Suddenly the Cunningham brothers are rich. Very rich. They can buy anything they want. There’s just one problem — they have only seventeen days to spend all the money before it becomes worthless. And the crooks who stole the cash in the first place are closing in — fast.

A funny, brilliantly clever and utterly thrilling debut novel that is, quite simply, unforgettable.


This book was such a delight to read. There aren’t many books that I describe as “delightful”, which is a shame because I love that word. But this book was delightful.

I bought this for my ‘I Dream of Carnegie’ challengette but I’ve wanted to read it for a while. Partly because Mr Cottrell Boyce is a fellow Northerner and also because I know that Danny Boyle directed the film adaptation. And anything that’s good enough for Danny Boyle is good enough for me.

This story was really sweet and so charming, a nice and refreshing twist to the ‘kid somehow gets lots of money’ story. Damian was such a little sweetheart and a fantastic, if only a little unusual, narrator. He’s very matter-of-fact in a way that only a ten year old boy can be. He had this brilliant way of saying things without thinking them through, and this lack of filter provided me with a lot of sleuthy chuckles while I was on the train.

He also says things like “I need to ponder things in my heart” and he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the Patron Saints.
I think what I enjoyed the most about this book was that I could tell that Mr Cottrell Boyce had his tongue firmly in his cheek when writing Damian’s story. But he never once patronised him… wait. Is that a thing? Do authors ever patronise their own characters? Can that happen?


I think what I mean is that sometimes authors make it incredibly obvious that they disagree with their characters actions by making them seem silly and immature, but never once did I get the feeling that Mr CB was doing that with Damian. He is a bit strange, but he was never the butt of the jokes. As I always love the slightly odd kids, I really appreciated this but I also felt that it provided the book with lots of gorgeous, poignant humour that really made me stop and think on numerous occasions.

I was actually surprised how many ‘bigger picture’ things were in this story, but I think they’re perfectly fitted into the tale without cluttering up and slowing the pace down. I believe this one would be a great book to read in school because I think the discussions would be fascinating, especially about religion and money.

Just from this story, it’s obvious that Mr CB can craft a story that not only makes you laugh and keep you entertained but also makes you think about things you wouldn’t necessarily think about. And that’s the best kind of children’s book, right?

One thought on “I Dream of Carnegie || Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

  1. That’s a very good point about the patronising thing. The patronising point. I don’t mean your point was patronising…ok, I’ll shut up now ;)
    I have very, very vague memories of watching the beginning of the film but not liking it for some reason and I can’t remember why. Maybe need to start with the book…

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