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Reading the Decades: Fifty Years of British History Through the Nation's Bestsellers Hardcover – 11 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (11 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563488107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563488101
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chubworth on 21 Feb 2008
Format: Hardcover
John Sutherland has a delightful written style with a lot of comic asides to which only Bruce Forsyth could do justice. On the whole the story of bestsellers is pretty depressing but utterly predictable. Harold Robbins, Wilbur Smith, James Herbert...can you feel those brain cells not only dying but rushing to commit hari-kiri under the onslaught of mindless, plot driven testosterone merchants. Nevertheless, Sutherland gives us a brilliant broad brush approach to the topic and, for most people of a certain age, there will be little cries of recognition with books we read a long time ago, especially the centrepiece given to Eustace Chesser's Love without Fear which a friend of mine found in her mum's dressing table. This book, misread, convinced a whole generation of my pals that a wife needed to take her husband's handkerchief to bed with them otherwise it wasn't really sex.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 May 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a book of describing, listing, discussing the bestsellers of decade, decade by decade. This book took me back to the past in a way my husband gets glassy eyed when certain pop songs come up on the radio, it reminds me of good reads in the past and often when and where I read the book. Particularly trying to get a copy of Spycatcher when it was not published in Britain.
Culturally specific - it meant little to my Chinese acquaintance - it relates the books to the political and cultural movements of the time. Read along side the TV series it works well, as each chapter is enough in itself.
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By M. D. Ripley on 26 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating reflection on social mores and values as reflected in popular reading habits. But it is, out of necessity, an overview. What is missing is any detailed statistical information on the 1950s and 1960s, but that's probably becuase it doesn't exist. Still, a uesful book for students of the period, very well written and accessible to a general audience.
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