- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (28 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141021241
- ISBN-13: 978-0141021249
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist Paperback – 28 May 2009
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More About the Author
'Engaging, eccentric, hilarious, incredibly good company. A wonderwall of moments and memories... one of our most entertaining authors' Independent 'Armitage is incapable of writing anything that is not wry, warm, witty and layered with meaning. Poignant and extraordinary' Metro 'Witty, terrific, stupendously funny' Daily Telegraph 'Profoundly affecting... probably the greatest joy I'll find on a page all year... reads like a transcript of the funniest stand-up you'll never hear' Herald 'I read this book in one sitting. It moved me to tears, to shouts of laughter, and made me look at even the most mundane things in a different way' Sunday Times
"Dry, deadpan and pant-wettingly funny...Armitage is not capable of writing anything that is not wry, warm, witty and layered with meaning" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Towards the end of the book Armitage talks about the formation of a rock band The Scaremongers and hey they are on My Space and I'm listening to them as I write this review. Their album Born in a Barn is also available on Napster. And honestly they aren't bad at all - a kind of post punk tuneful outfit a kind of cross between Joy Division and the Beautiful South. As for the book. Well it skips about all over the place which doesn't detract from its enjoyment.
We run through Modland to Punksville as Armitage gives us stories about growing up in West Yorkshire, travelling the world as a poet and musical influences.
Armitage is at his best when describing concerts by the likes of Morrissey and weaving in music with his love of literature. He is at his weakest when he tries to write travelogues, which somehow just don't work.
The poetry is inevitably good: readable, accessible in the best sense and never less than deserving of several re-reads. The song lyrics from the films he has made for TV (and which I must now try and find on DVD) are similar, but with the addition of a feeling of desperation - perhaps not surprising as they are written as the words of prisoners.
Varying between moving, laugh out loud funny and a witty and dry observation of the world, this book is one of the best of the year; not least because, in the end, this man can really, really write.
These grumbles aside, there is plenty of charm here, and descriptions of some of the gigs Armitage has attended are brilliant - the Morrissey one in particular.
Gig is Armitage's second collection of memoirs, alongside 1998's equally excellent All Points North, and as with the previous volume this is a varied collection of recollections, poems, anecdotes and gig reviews. These, in part at least, have a common theme in exploring Armitage's forty-something reflections on his career as a poet and frustrated rock-star, including the formation of the band The Scaremongers (I know, but it's better than Fantastic Gammon; Armitage's father wryly suggests Midlife Crisis), through which he lives out some of his adolescent dreams of rock stardom.
The book is infused with his usual self-deprecating humour, as well as Armitage's genuine passion for rock music, poetry and that corner of West Yorkshire that "begins where the goalpost of the M1 meets the crossbar of the M62". At times, it's also a moving account; Armitage reflects thoughtfully on the condition of the forty-something male, and on the events and individuals who have influenced him in a touching, sensitive way. As a (nearly) forty-something frustrated rock-star myself, I enjoyed every page of this; and if you are contemplating a mid-life crisis, buy this before you spend thousands of pounds on a powerful sports car you don't need!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do love the work of Simon Armitage- were the same age and I grew up in Yorkshire. So I'm predisposed to be generous but I did enjoy this. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. D. Spellman
This was a random download for holiday reading after reading reviews of his latest. Loved it, just a wonderful read, light but with many depths. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stephanie Zia
Some people have commented, and I agree - the book IS "a collection of articles and funny incidents" - but what's wrong with that? Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. WILLIAMSON
As a fellow Rock-star fantasist I looked forward to reading Simon Armitage's book. Unfortunately I found it a disappointing read. Maybe the subject matter is only for oneself.Published on 7 Aug. 2013 by Jeff Newall
I first saw Simon Armitage at a poetry reading in 1993/4 when I was an A Level student who thought poetry was Heaney and Hardy. Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2013 by benino76
I enjoyed this book - not quite as much as 'All Points North' - probably because of my age! - but still 'laugh out loud' in places.Published on 23 Sept. 2012 by foxy lady