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All in the Best Possible Taste: Growing Up Watching Telly in the Eighties Paperback – 19 Aug 2010

13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847378536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847378538
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 889,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Bromley was born in Salisbury in 1972 and grew up in York. A writer and editor, he is the author and co-author of eight books under his own name, and the ghostwriter of many more. His books include the novels 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'Half A World Away', and the non-fiction works 'We Could Have Been The Wombles', 'All in the Best Possible Taste', 'Rock and Pop Elevens', 'The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures' and 'Shopping While Drunk'. Tom's latest book, 'Wired For Sound' is published by Simon and Schuster in June 2012. He lives in Salisbury with his wife, two daughters and his record collection.

Product Description

Review

`An engaging primer for 1980s TV which will have you stacking up a whole new YouTube play list' --Metro

`Good fun . . . Bromley makes an entertaining guide' --Daily Mail, Book of the week

`An enjoyable slice of nostalgia' --Choice

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul99 on 12 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a week - which is very quick for me. I'd recommend it. Do you want to know what happened to Petra the Blue Peter dog? What drove Zammo to take heroin? Or, what happened in the Falklands War? There's a lovely mix in this book between the shared experience of having just 3 - and then 4 - TV channels, and autobiographical detail. The format's good too, with 'adverts' interleaved between the chapters. I used to love the adverts, although I never saw the one where Morecambe & Wise advertised Atari. The books a great mix of stuff I'd forgotten I knew and stuff I never knew. Put on your headband, turn up the Jan Hammer and enjoy!
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If I'd watched a lot less telly in my life and read more books then I'd probably worry less about the price of a lb of mince than I currently do.

What a stroke of luck finding a book about telly. Booky people are often quite snooty about it, apart from the ones who earn bundles in both, so I found this a really refreshing read. I laughed out loud a lot. The 80s was actually the decade when I watched the least TV in my life. I left school at the beginning and was married and a mother by the end. Still I found much to be nostalgic about and also picked up some tips on what I missed.

I loved the child's eye view and insight on family life in the good old days when homes had one TV and everyone called it a 'set'. I was reminded of so many family TV moments shared, like in the seventies, and how everything was discussed at school the next day. I like how the author grew up alongside television itself -- there was much more to learn about the changes than the number of channels. This is a social commentary on the decade too with the history of the decade and how it was viewed.

One to keep. I would read it again but there's quite a lot of factoids so could be handy in a family argument.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By modern life is rubbish on 2 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm sure you remember, a few years ago, there was a spate of nostalgia programmes, most of them I think on Channel 4, with names like `I love the 70s', `The Hundred Best TV moments of the 80s', `I love that bit 15 minutes ago they haven't given a name to yet', and `Your All Time Greatest Test Cards'. The trend for nostalgia about things that we didn't think much of the first time seems to be slightly in abeyance now. But never fear! Because, through the technological breakthrough known as `Pay-per-view'... sorry, I mean `Paper-view', you can relive all your favourite 80s TV moments, like, you known, when that thing happened on Neighbours, and JR said that thing on Dallas, and the shoulder pads eh? And goodness didn't we laugh?

OK, I'm being unfair. Just like `I love the 80s', `All in the Best Possible Taste' was clearly intended as a bit of fun, and not high art, and that's what it is. If you enjoyed that sort of nostalgia-fest, there's a fair chance you'll enjoy this too.

But it does suffer from three problems. Firstly, I'm afraid to say it's not actually that funny. A lot of the humour involves rather heavy handed riffs on what a lot has changed in 30 years. `Can you believe we only had three TV channels!?! I mean, less than four?!!?! Until Channel 4 of course. And we didn't know what a mobile phone was??! Isn't that amazing!?!! And did I mention the shoulder pads??!' Given that the book is subtitled `Growing Up Watching TV in the 80s', there's very little here about the growing up bit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very easy read this. Packed with nostalgia - it promises nothing more than what it says (and shows) on the cover. It's not merely a brainstorming of "Do you remember this.... oh, and that". But programme memories are presented thematically, interspersed with other (perhaps obvious) cultural, social and political event references. If you're 35 or older, try it out, and I bet it will give you a warm glow inside. My guilty pleasure.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick VINE VOICE on 27 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that there was a time when British television had only three channels to offer. Modern-day grumpy old men - and women - would have us believe in a halcyon era of super quality programmes, top entertainment that would put today's broadcasters to shame. Well, young Bromley is here to shatter that myth - and he does so with brilliance. His recollection of game-shows is little short of hilarious and makes the reader wonder how Bullseye, The Golden Shot or 3-2-1 ever made it in development beyond the back of a wine-stained napkin.
This book works well on several levels. The TV analysis and anecdotal memories are spot on. In among the genuinely laugh-out-loud funny recollections and forensically-detailed analysis of TV dross are the descriptions of timeless gems such as Blackstuff, Brideshead, and Blackadder (and that's just the Bs). Bromley is a master of light-touch writing, subtly resisting the pitfall of heavy-handed critique. His descriptive style is lucid and that is enough to make it clear which shows he loved, and which made him squirm. But, for me, the level on which it works best - and which sets it apart from other looking-back-at-telly memoirs - is when Bromley cleverly interweaves memories of his teenage years into the stories. It is a touchingly affectionate exposition of family life and adolescence in the Eighties.
Just as the reader senses the book winding down, Bromley unveils his surprising, shocking-yet-endearing ending which I won't reveal here. It is worth waiting for.
This all adds up to what every one is looking for: a great read. Highly recommended.
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