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Margrave Of The Marshes Paperback – 3 Jul 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (3 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552551198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552551199
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Peel was born the day before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. His 38-year career as a radio DJ is the stuff of legend and the bands he went on to discover too numerous to mention, though David Bowie, Roxy Music, T Rex, Genesis, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Radiohead and the White Stripes would do as a start. He lived in Suffolk with his wife Sheila and their children William, Thomas, Alexandra and Florence, plus various dogs and cats, until his death in October 2004.

Product Description

Review

"Pure Peel...This magnificent book is the real thing...Essential reading" (Sunday Times)

"As with the man himself ... there's the surprising, the cosy ... and the fascinating." (GQ)

"A rich and technicolor life... The joy of this book comes from something more than spiky anecdotage, delicious though it is... the evocation of an age is so sharp" (The Times)

"... Tender and acute ... underlines the one truth that Peel understood better than anyone ... [what] really mattered was the music." (Independent on Sunday)

"Sparkling with the warmth and dry wit that made Peel nothing short of a national treasure, it's a timely reminder of a man who crossed the radio divides" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

The autobiography of a legend, completed by the woman who knew him best

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Johnentwistlespout VINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Peel had been planning this book for several years but alas begun writing it too late - he died half way through. Fortunately Sheila "Pig" was so close to her husband that she has no problem whatsoever completing it in a way that is still incredibly satisfying; she seems to have shared many of his friends and experiences so very little is lost to the world. It also helps that Peel left a brief synopsis of what he saw the book including in the form of a letter to his publisher (included in the appendix), almost everything he wanted to incorporate is here - it's just a pity that the second half of the book doesn't feature the dry humour that was unique to the great man, I would have loved the have read his thoughts on some later events. What Sheila does give us is a clear depiction of a man completely in love with music and life, it is fascinating to read about his approach to listening to demos and the organisation of his shows (like so many people out there I was involved in a band who got played on Peels show and was over the moon to receive a note from him - I now have the added bonus of being able to picture how the great event happened!). It's a fairly large book this, but then John Peel was a larger than life character so that's no surprise, what is a surprise is how much he gives us in the way of personal thoughts and extremely difficult and shocking events in his life. This is a truly affecting autobiography and a million miles away from the glossy, self congratulatory rubbish that almost every other "celebrity" churns out. After reading this fantastic book I deeply regretted not having listened to John Peels shows more and above all I was simply left wishing that he was still around. What a disaster for music his death was but thankgod we have this to remember him by.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "christopherreeves4" on 6 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
It is almost impossible to define the subject and as a result the book soon after his nationally mourned death, though I have tried many times.
To say this man was a consistent hero in my life should tell you something, that his contradiction in character from the music he loved and the family life he lived provided and provides a unique insight into music and times of 20th Century culture in the UK.
This is a book written by him and continued by his wife in the style and honesty that if you were fortunate to have listened to broadcasts first hand does not disappoint and leaves you happy that it is always time well spent.
To others who want to understand more about the general subject of English life then I can think of no better starting point as it is written in his engaging style, honest and without patronising it stimulates further interest in the material it covers which is diverse.
At the gigs he attended, quietly standing at the bar, you wished that you had had the chance to go over and say hello, this book is a record of what you might of learned further if you had been brave enough to do it, or had not wanted to interrupt his enjoyment of music he truly loved to love.
A great read that fills a hole in the void that he leaves in modern pop culture, knowing that his roots go back to the earliest pop and rock records of the 50's, and knowing that he was always down to earth as a result of this depth, you will perhaps understand why he is sorely missed. And if you do already you might a little less.
I can't write a book review in a style he would approve of, or would have liked to! But there it is, hope it encourages you to read this great book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike J. Wheeler on 2 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I remember John Peel from my adolescent years in the late seventies when listening to his show on Radio 1 gave me an appreciation for a huge variety of music. The man was a complete master in promoting bands and music that would otherwise have never got the airing they richly deserved. I regrettably drifted away from listening to him as I grew up and only in the last few years am I rediscovering the music I used to listen to then. I remember the day it was announced on the radio that he had died and I must admit I was really surprised by my reaction to the news. It really did feel that someone who was close to me or a part of me had died that day and I felt very, very sad. I chose to read this book as I began to realise there was so much more to John Peel than the few years I was a regular listener to his show.

I have to say this is a superb piece of work. It's witty, informative, sad and in places hilariously funny. The first half was written by John himself and takes us to the time when he started DJing in the US in the early to mid sixties. It is excellently written and conveys, in the same way as he always did on the radio, that John was really just an ordinary bloke, what you saw (heard) was the real man.

The second half of the book was written by his wife, Sheila with help from their kids and it perfectly blends and complements John's writing in the first half. It really is an excellent read and at the end so very, very sad.

I would recommend anybody to read this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Seymour on 17 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I've just finished the Peel biography and my eyes are still moist at the realisation that he really is no more yet I chortled out loud at some of the anecdotes, both his own and those of his wife. I defy anyone to read it and not hear it read in John's dry Liverpudlian tones in their heads. I just wish he'd been with us long enough to finish his own autobiog and then we could've had two books -- Peel's and Pig's. Hope there's some decent music up there mate.
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