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Bovver [Paperback]

Chris Brown
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Mar 2002
It's the 1970s. The hair is shaved, the music is funky and the football is violent - very, very violent. Every Saturday, legions of football fans take to the terraces to do battle with each other. Chris Brown was in the thick of it. The regulation haircut, clip-on braces, shrunk Levis and bovver boots - he had the look that every self-respecting bovver boy tried for, and he launched himself into the culture of the decade with a passion. This is a story of those times. It is a story of the adrenaline-packed Saturday outings, a story of Tonik suits, terraces and The Maytals, of race riots, safety pins and The Clash by way of P.Funk, platform shoes and discos. A true story of the most maligned decade in British history - the music, the fashion, the violence. Welcome to the real 1970s - it ain't no boogie wonderland.

Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Blake Publishing; New edition edition (31 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903402859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903402856
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I must have been ten, maybe eleven. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Before the fences and police intelligence there were the 'bovver' boys who ruled the football league grounds of England. A passionate, humorous account of a working class teenager in the turbulent 70's. Football, fashion, sex, alcohol, music and violence, what more can a young man want? There are some fantastically funny annecdotes - how can anyone accidentally steal a police car?? An excellent read from page 1 to the end. Go get it now and find out that there was more to the 70's than ABBA and disco.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a bit of Bovver. 28 April 2001
By A Customer
There is more to this book than the front cover would suggest. Whilst the main theme is concerned with football and the associated violence that surrounded it during the 1970's, there are other interesting insights into the culture of the country during the period.
For many soul, funk and reggae music were an important part of their life and attracted a substantial following in the 70's. There are very passionate descriptions about individual records, groups and the music scene that existed at the time. I suspect there are just as many 40 somethings galvanised into action at parties by the Four Tops et al as by Abba. A neglected topic, glad that it was included. Right on !
Also included is the development of certain fashions, that once again, is often neglected in critiques of fashion of the time.
Brief descriptions of the political and social climate provide the backdrop to what is a well written reminiscence by an individual of his experiences during the 1970's. I am sure there will be many who can relate to it.
It is a pity that the publishers focused on the hooligan aspect, as there is much more to hold ones attention than just the football, which does eventually become a little tedious.
For all those who lived through those 'halcyon' days, it will surely bring back many memories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first and only hooligan book you should read 26 May 2010
This was the first of many hooligan books i read.Set in bristol going from the sixties onwards it tells a great story of one character and his music,fashion and football terraces activity got to be the one of the best hooligan books ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book i have ever read 29 May 2007
this is the best book i have ever read . its an honest account of the early bristol scene . this was what happen in bristol before all the local bands hit the big time .as a member a one of those bands all the music and fashion that get mention in this book had a big part to play in what would later become known as the bristol sound .i was at a few of the places he mentions in the book .the slits roadie he mention was their manager DON LETTS. i was also at some of the football fights he i said before this is an honest account of my youth . many thanks chris. R MIGHTY
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Chris Brown provides a fantastic social and cultural history of Bristol and the UK in the 70s. What runs through this book is a well thought out account of not just the appeal and excitement but also the brutality of football violence and the lifestyle of following a football team, mixed with an accurate account of the brutality and social upheaval of the Britain of the time. Woven into the account of growing up as a young man attracted to football violence is a brilliant and accurate account of the fashion and music scene of the 70s. Through music Brown and his mates show how multifaceted, intelligent and contradictory as characters they are which gives the reader plenty of food for thought about their own character. His discussion of favourite tracks of the time ranging from Manu Dibango, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Toot and the Maytals and Symarip shows the diverse nature and openness of the music scene in the 70s. Brown also has a keen eye on the fashion and how it changed and mutated. Monkey boots, jelly sandals, harrington jackets, oxford bags, shirts with fly away collars all make an appearance. Only someone who lived through the period and is as honest as Brown is could have written as sharp an account of the period as this. Being a Bristol City fan I could have ignored this, I'm glad I didn't.
Anyone who thinks this book is cashing in on the trend for football hooligan books should think again - its honest, accurrate, thoughtful and direct and speaks volumes about the characters and time period it describes. Go and buy a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOOTBOYS GONE?? 18 Mar 2001
By A Customer
If you want to know what it was really like to be a young working class lad in 70's Britain then read this. Forget Abba, T-Rex, Hippies and the rest. The real people were listening to Trojan, wearing Harringtons, Tonics and Doc Martens and were destroying everything in their path in the name of football. How you can even refer to the "handbags at 50 paces," style fighting that you get nowadays as football violence when you compare it to the 70's is beyond me.. A golden era well described. An absolutely superb read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary everday lives in 1970s Britain 28 Oct 2005
Chris Brown provides a unique account of the adrenalin rush culture of following a football club home and away in the 1970s. His story shows the attraction and excitement and also the brutal side of the violence but also the brutality of 1970s Britain. Mixed in with this social history of the time you get a real sense of the characters that inhabited these worlds - often contradictory but always honest. Brown has a perfect insight into the music and fashion of the time as Harrington jackets, pegs and tonics, fly away collar shirts, oxford bags and jelly sandals all make an appearance dancing to the skatalites, symarip, maceo parker, manu dibango, bootsy collins and fred wesley. The diversity and dynamsim of the 1970s music scene is recounted by someone who was there and honest enough to portray a reality that kids growing up in major cities and their satellite towns and suburbs knew and in some respects loved. Being a Bristol City fan I could have avoided this book, I'm glad I didn't. Go and buy a copy of this fantastic account of extraordinary everyday lives in the 1970s - and learn a bit about the people, music and culture of the time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read
A cracking read and a very enjoyable walk down memory lane.

The book reads at a great pace and is full of humour and the frustrations of being a young man in 1970's... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Surrey Gas
5.0 out of 5 stars bovver
What a brilliant book,maybe I'm biased as in some cases I've followed in the footsteps of Chris Brown but I could not put the book down. Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2012 by adami
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive hooligan book
Chris Brown manages the rare feat of combining the true story about football hooliganism with the culture of the time, never condoning what went on at the time, nor seeking... Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2005 by R. Johansen
1.0 out of 5 stars Bovver - by Mick Brown
This bloke is living proof that, if left with a typewriter long enough, a chimp can write a novel. What's more this chimp wears monkey boots. Read more
Published on 26 July 2005
1.0 out of 5 stars Turns fact into fiction?
Basically the book runs with 2 main themes, football in the 70s with the associated violence and music in the 70s especially soul. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars It really was like this. I know 'cos I was there.
Chris' book is easy to read and "tells it like it was". Unfortunately, violence was a part of football culture at the time. Read more
Published on 12 July 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just football, friendship, drinking and violence
I didn't mean to read this book. After all, I'm a die hard (but middle aged and family man) Bristol City fan who was the very opposite of Chris Brown and his blue and white... Read more
Published on 2 July 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories are made of this !
Reading the cover I realised that the author was from my home town, born in the same year as me and had similar interests. Read more
Published on 8 May 2001
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