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Johnny Come Home Paperback – 8 Feb 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New Ed edition (8 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034081859X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340818596
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Rich in the forensic detail that's made Arnott the pop-culture laureate he is...breathless and compelling (Martin Horsfield, Time Out )

Fascinating, compelling, pulpy - all you'd expect from a writer who just keeps getting better. ( Arena )

Bristling with contained energy and generating a white-hot unease. Best of all, the novel rescues the 1970s from the simple-minded dismissal of the entire decade as a kitsch-only zone...as Arnott argues with urgent, spellbinding power, it was a decade aflame rather than just flaming' (Patrick Ness, Guardian)

Beautifully observed and brilliantly paced...a fascinating portrait of impotence and amorality by a writer unafraid to take risks (Michael Arditti, Independent )

Once again he has skewered an age to the page...funny, sexy, touching, too, but it is the undertow of dread beneath the antics that makes it a serious achievement (Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard )

'Undoubtedly Arnott's best invention to date.' (Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror )

Compelling (Peter Burton, Daily Express )

Book Description

'Hypnotic, feverish and altogether wonderful' (Guardian) - Jake Arnott's acclaimed successor to the bestselling LONG FIRM trilogy

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FRS VINE VOICE on 19 May 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of his last 3 books, I think that perhaps I was looking forward to this one too much. The prospect of 70's pop culture and the obvious Bowie references seemed to promise much. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed.

The juxtaposition of 70's pop culture and "urban terrorism- political activism " just didn't work for me at all. Some of the 70's bits worked well, spotting the Bowie-Ziggy stuff was a treat, as was splitting of glam rock into 2 parts the Good- Bolan and Bowie- and the Bad and The Ugly - Glitter and The Sweet et-al.

The novel for me lacked a central character; it was an ensemble piece of disparate individuals linked by the various threads.

The question I ask myself is did I look forward to it too much, or is it his weakest novel to date?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE on 27 April 2006
Format: Paperback
A tale of the ceaseless search for identity set against the backcloth of the glam rock era of the early 1970s. The private, the public and the political clash as a rent boy and a group of squatters and political activists attempt to deal with an unwelcoming world of uncertainty, change and exploitation. Ultimately, each one of them comes to question his/her own value system.

In common with other books seeking to evoke recently bygone times (I had the same problem with Alan Hollinghurst's "Line of Beauty"), the period detail sometimes seems a little contrived and obvious, but that does not detract from tbe very atmospheric feel of the book.
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Format: Paperback
The first Jake Arnott book I've read, although I've really enjoyed the TV adaptations of The Long Firm and He Kills Coppers. I found this initially very compelling and it was atmospheric throughout, but the switching of narrative focus got tiresome, mainly because the Gary Glitter character was boring and stupid. We didn't get enough of Walker, the spy, who was very interesting. He reminded me of the Stasi guy in the film The Lives of Others, in that he begins to identify more with the people he is watching than the system he works for. Also, unfortunately, the most interesting character, O'Connell, kills himself in the first chapter.
Occasionally Arnott's prose seemed pat and simplistic and at times I felt he 'told' rather than 'showed' what was happening.
In common with some of the other reviewers, I found the ending far too abrupt. I also didn't quite believe it, and didn't think it was powerful enough. (I don't want to give too much away). In general, the book was far too short and he could have afforded to luxuriate in the fabulous atmosphere he had created - in the way that Alan Hollinghurst luxuriates in the atmosphere of The Line of Beauty.
Overall though, it was clever to juxtapose the glam pop world with the underground activist world. I found myself wanting to find out more about Situationism.
The fact that I couldn't put the book down says something. I couldn't say that for Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, the book I slogged through (and still haven't finished) before reading Johnny Come Home. Jake Arnott really knows how to tell a story and keep up the pace, unlike tedious old Rushdie - God knows why he keeps getting so many prizes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Miles VINE VOICE on 18 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
In the grim London of the early '70s, two disparate threads of the era - post-hippy revolutionary politics and glam rock - meet. Arnott's meditations on modern history are, as always, fascinating and original - for instance, the link he makes between glam rock and science fiction TV shows of the 1950's was a completely new idea to me, as was his Situationist interpretation of the work of Gary Glitter(!)

However, as other reviewers have pointed out, it's less satisfying when seen as a piece of storytelling - a brisk read which finishes rather abruptly.
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By Redeye on 25 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Unless I have bought a defective copy, this is the most abrupt ending book I've ever read! Is it to be continued? It certainly left a lot of unanswered questions. However I enjoyed the story which surrounded the lives of three people sharing a squat in the early 70s. It's my first Jake Arnott book and I found his writing bright, clear and sometimes quite blunt but even though it was quite explicit I didn't find it offensive. A couple of the characters in the book seemed to be dead ringers for stars of the period, spot them if you can. Overall I hope there is a sequel so I can find out what happens next.
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By mayanguy on 2 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly disappointed, not sch a good read, have restarted twice trying to 'get into thge plot etc. Still worth a place on the shelf
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Format: Paperback
A tale of the post-60s. A group of characters struggle to come to terms with their sexuality and with their lives in this liberated era. There is Pearson, whose gay lover kills himself after an act of betrayal; Sweet Thing is a rent boy comfortable only when sex is a commodity; and then there is Nina - politically gay, emotionally frigid. The Johnny of the title is Johnny Crome and appears to be based on a real person with a shining pseudonym; he is an empty shell of a person who misses his mum. The background to the book lies in the politics of the period, Gay Liberation Front and the phoney terrorists of the Angry Brigade. More than his other books the characters live a little outside the fictionalised backdrop that is so close to the real world in Jake Arnott's earlier novels about the underworld. His female lead is unconvincing too - she does not feel like a real woman. The same failure to capture this period characterises other novels about this era,too -such as Hamid Kunzru's My Revolutions
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