The story of a boy who didn’t know his place

One of The Sunday Times‘ ‘100 Biographies to Love’


‘Hugely entertaining and inspiring’

The Sunday Times

‘Heartwarming, funny and moving’

Sally Magnusson, bestselling author of Where Memories Go

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … life-affirming’

Fiona Maddocks, music critic for the Observer


Michael Volpe - NOISY AT THE WRONG TIMES - Two Roads Books

Michael with siblings Matt and Sergio

Born in 1965 to Italian immigrant parents, Michael Volpe and his three older brothers were raised by their mother on a council estate in west London. Scraping by on nothing but grit and mischief,. fighting their way to the top of the heap, and trying to avoid ending up in the local borstal, their destinies seemed set.

But then everything changed: Michael was offered a place at Woolverstone Hall, a progressive state boarding school designed to give bright inner-city boys the opportunity of a public school education. Aged eleven, he entered an alien world of rules and consequences – as well as cricket, culture and classical civilisation. But, as quickly became clear, it’s easier to take the boy out of the estate than to take the estate out of the boy.

Michael Volpe - NOISY AT THE WRONG TIMES - Two Roads Books

Woolverstone Hall school photo, 1977. Michael is far right, seated on the ground.

Set against a backdrop of nuns, rugby, gangsters, ice cream vans, strict school masters and music, Noisy at the Wrong Times is the vibrant, funny and often moving story of a boy who was given a chance – though whether he took it or not is another question…

‘A redemption journey without an ounce of smug, Noisy should be shouted about’

Neil Fisher, deputy arts editor for The Times

Michael Volpe (Two roads Books)MICHAEL VOLPE, the youngest of four brothers, is from an Italian immigrant family and has three children; Leanora, Gianluca and Fiora. He is married to Sally Connew-Volpe and they live in London.

Michael joined the Royal Borough Of Kensington and Chelsea in October 1989 after a period of working in the international hotel industry and founded Opera Holland Park in 1996. Michael is a Chelsea supporter, and fervent advocate of cultural engagement for all – neither of which are necessarily related.



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