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Man Bites Talking Dog [Paperback]

Colin Dunne
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2010
From a modest start on a country weekly in the Yorkshire Dales Colin Dunne staggered, via Leeds and Halifax, London, Leamington Spa, Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester to Fleet Street in its heyday. For the best part of half a century he delighted readers of local, regional and national newspapers and magazines with his canny ability to spot - and more importantly to report - the strange, the odd, the unlikely and the just plain daft elements of human life. Whether interviewing film star Brigitte Bardot, poet Basil Bunting, or even Corky the Talking Dog... discovering the nightlife of Hamburg, the ice maidens of Reykjavik, sharing life on a beach with the models for a Pirelli calendar, or watching Antiques Roadshow being filmed in Jamaica, Colin Dunne was the man for any assignment that was identifiably barmy. And always back in the office were the reckless and the feckless, outrageous, disgraceful, immoral, completely unreliable, but also the richly talented, wildly inventive and, above all, endlessly amusing. An incredible account of the Great Days, the Glory Days, of journalism. And if you don't believe it, ask Corky.

Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Revel Barker (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095636862X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956368621
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never assume 29 Mar 2010
If laughter really is good for your health then this book should be available on prescription. "Man Bites Talking Dog" had me laughing out loud pretty much with every page I read.

"Funny" books very often fail to deliver the promised laughter so I bought this one hoping for the best but prepared just to be mildly amused as comedy very often requires a person to deliver the lines for the writer, this author though does it all for you, he writes the lines and supplies the delivery. Just buy it, you will not be disappointed.

Don't read it on a long train journey though as you'll upset your fellow passengers with your constant fits of giggling.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars at the typewriter 18 April 2010
By Matt Huber
If you want one take on the recent state of British journalism and to laugh rather than cry, Colin Dunne's story of his life and times on the road, at lunch and at the typewriter is the book to buy.
He mirrors a working way of life that is now all but history.
Fleet Street was more than an address; it was an entire creative and, allegedly, commercial culture. It represented the might of journalism - national, regional and local, evening, daily and weekly - when newspapers first built up and then reflected the national mood; sold millions; changed attitudes; even toppled governments.
What today's reporters, anchored by cost controls and falling circulations to their desks, lunching on sarnies over the keyboard and downloading celeb copy from the internet, can only marvel at is that many Fleet Street reporters, writers, even editors of yesteryear got the job done at all, bearing in mind all the bars propped, glasses emptied and enduring fog of cigarette smoke.
From the Yorkshire dales via regional newspaper offices to the Fleet Street of the Daily Mirror and the Sun, Colin Dunne for decades lived this this time capsule of newspaper journalism while writing - humorously and always lightly - about the odd, peculiar, funny and the downright ordinary. Now he has turned his cuttings book into his own working life story. It's a cliche to say readers will laugh out loud and no newspaperman would ever reach for a cliche - so let this one highly entertained reader say it instead.
Man Bites Talking Dog could perhaps be called Life on Mars at the typewriter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic true story of newspapermen and women 16 April 2010
This is simply one of the greatest books ever written about newspapers - and the men and women who produce them. It is also hilariously funny and crammed with witticisms and delicious anecdotes. As a writer, Colin Dunne is right up there with Evelyn Waugh , P G Wodehouse, and Tom Sharpe as a comic genius. Even 'civilians' - people with no newspaper connections - would find it a tremendous read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you couldn't make it up 15 April 2010
The newspaper industry will never be the same again. Thank goodness
But for those of us who lived to tell the tale of those vintage times the memories tend to be tragic (divorce and early death) and/or a hoot
Colin Dunne, one of the great names of journalism in the Lunatic Years, when even editors didn't get fired for being drunk in charge of a newspaper,has dusted off his keyboard to recall some of the highlights and low lifes And some of the worhties and unworthies of our so-called profession
Man Bites Talking Dog is hilarious, sometimes poignant. I was with him some of the time and I can testify that it happened more or less as he says. The book proves that truth is funnier than fiction
In fact, you couldn't make it up Honest.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The writing elite 15 Mar 2010
I don't know how you define a Colin Dunne. He sits inside his latest book, Man Bites Talking Dog, displaying that mysterious and elusive ingredient found only in exceptional writers. It is a mixture of humour, observation and word-dexterity. Thurber had it but no-one could analyse it. Patrick Campbell had it. The Algonquin crew in New York, led by Dorothy Parker, ALL had it as they met for lunch at that celebrated round table long ago.

And we now have a newish generation of writers displaying their own brand of it. Caitlin Moran and Daisy Waugh of The Times. Zoe Heller. But what is it? The obvious answer - talent. But what makes the talent exceptional?

If gunge-writers heavy with big words, long sentences, and adjectival suicide knew what it was they would be writing it. But they don't. So the few, with their heads above the clouds are the elite.

Colin Dunne moved with modest distinction from life on a country weekly in the Yorkshire Dales to Fleet-street: a longish progression in which the raw tumult of a daily journalism retreated before the massed ranks of accountants, computers, carpets and No-smoking signs. He writes in his book of "the glory days of journalism." But that is the excuse. His chore. His reason for writing. The chore quickly transcends its reason as it soars with humour, observation, and a feel for language that is simple, direct, yet smooth and deceptively effortless.

I would be sorely depressed if his email name - dunnewriting - were true. He should be writing all the time. That is what he owes both us and his talent.Man Bites Talking DogI ordered three copies of this one book and will probably read all of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunne it all ! 26 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the book I now feel guilty for getting it free off Amazon given the parlous life of most journalists these days - how different from the "glory days" when a couple of score feature writers on the Mirror could be decently paid and reimbursed for non-existent expenses for barely writing a paragraph a month and some not even that apparently. But at least I think the book and the author are worth a decent review to get people noticing it and that may make up for the lack of contribution to the author's pension fund.

When you read the book you slowly realise you recognise the name but are not quite able to place it, having read it many times as a by-line in sundry publications, though not for me the Craven Herald. Such I guess is the life of a features writer - everywhere but not appreciated, and certainly not by editors on the evidence of this book. Dunne by his own account was a writer of "verbal candy-floss" treading the well worn path round the Provinces to Fleet Street - twice in his case. Self-effacement is a particularly strong suit and the reader can be easily misled and only later in the book do we see what a successful and talented writer he is. I would have liked a few more examples out of his cuttings file but the book is really an example of "Si monumentum requiris..." It's packed full of hilarious journalistic anecdotage sharply observed and gently written. If I had, it would have been worth paying for just for the story about Kelvin McKenzie and the ex-SAS man, though the tale about Hugh Cudlipp and Dunne's blue velvet suit back in the 70's is laugh out loud funny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars same school
I was fascinated to read this, as the author went to the same school that I attended, and his reminiscences are hilarious
Published 6 months ago by selwyn42
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Golden Age of Journalism
Reading Colin Dunne's Man Bites Talking Dog is akin to sitting in a smoke-filled pub, surrounded by friends and colleagues and nursing a pint of beer as tall tales of long ago are... Read more
Published 11 months ago by J. Whitworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunne to a turn
Colin Dunne is a master of the written word, and as a former national newspaperman has created more elegant columns than the Greeks ever did. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rugby3
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories
I so enjoyed the step-back-in-time that Colin's book provided. I too worked for the Daily Mirror in Manchester throughout the 1970s, so I was transported back to that smoky,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Janet Cowie
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer genius,
Colin Dunne's ability to lift your spirits, with hilarious accounts of real life journalistic exploits, takes some beating. Simply sublime!
Published 16 months ago by HAITCH
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and amusing
A real insight into the life of a journalist (as it was, at least!) with some excellent anecdotes and humourous writing style.
Published 17 months ago by Andy Batchelor
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny insight in journalism
This is one of the funniest book I've read in a long time. In a very dry, sarcastic style Colin Dunne describes his career from the small Yorkshire Dales to Fleet Street, the hub... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Sabina
4.0 out of 5 stars Biting, but more so funny.
This is the humorous autobiography of Colin Dunne, a witty journalist who began his career as a sixteen years old semi-literate with a passion for jazz and soft-porn. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Laura Marangoni
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