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Romany and Tom

Romany and Tom [Kindle Edition]

Ben Watt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 16.99
Kindle Price: 7.72 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


INCREDIBLE . I read it in two huge gulps. It's funny, incredibly moving, beautifully written, really thought-provoking (Alexis Petridis)

It is a beautiful book, a story which will resonate with many and in many different ways. There are moments when I laughed and parts when I had to stop reading for a bit, draw breath and then continue (Gideon Coe)

Forget Morrissey: Romany & Tom is the most beautiful, compelling memoir by a musician you'll read for a very long time (John Niven)

Closely observed, brilliantly written and unsparing (David Hepworth)

A poignant, life-affirming work (Financial Times)

As a DJ and one half of Everything But The Girl (with his partner Tracey Thorn), Ben Watt knows better than most the impact fame can have on identity. But in his poignant new memoir, Romany and Tom, he channels that knowledge through his parents' lives (Harper's Bazaar)

Watt is made of particularly fine stuff, possessed of a shining intelligence (The Times)

Watt is such a responsible, deft writer that you feel straightaway you're in good hands ... he wants to tell you something about the world (William Leith, Mail on Sunday)

He writes with a songwriter's eye for the telling phrase (Robert McCrum, Observer)

[An] elegantly written and clear-sighted memoir ... Romany and Tom is a tender work infused with the understanding that this is the final chapter of two rich and complex lives ... Watt's reluctance to sentimentalise the experience makes it that much more powerful, cutting to the heart of the frustrations that come with caring for one's parents who were, not long ago, just like us (Fiona Sturges Independent on Sunday)

Romany and Tom may be the most beguiling book you'll read all year ... He has a songwriter's gift for the deft phrase, while his powers of observation and recall are quite extraordinary ... Rather like Watt's musical compositions ... this book is at once downbeat and uplifting (James Delingpole Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

An extraordinary achievement. A moving, funny and beautifully written memoir by musician, DJ and writer Ben Watt which carefully chronicles his parents' lives, their marriage and their decline into old age

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 585 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (13 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H7XTR1Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,512 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully observed. 2 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written and very moving take on the process of ageing and the effect it has on the wider family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our human frailties 24 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Could any memoir really be as good as all of these professional reviewers suggest? In my view, for once the answer is actually yes. If you have any familiarity with Ben Watt, or even if you don’t, this is a revealing and engaging story. Apart from being intelligent, reflective and well-written, it feels to be a story openly and honestly told; extremely rare traits in the vast majority of autobiographies.
Ben is probably best known as a musician and songwriter, one half of EBTG with Tracey Thorn, DJ, “Buzzin’ Fly” producer. But he is also a very good writer indeed, if not exactly prolific. He should write more, instead of a book every twenty years or so. His previous autobiography (also essential reading), “Patient” (Penguin 1996) was centred on the life threatening auto-immune disease that he contracted in 1992. “Romany and Tom” is indeed a portrait of Ben’s mum and dad, but much more than that, it has a wider focus; in Ben’s words, it is “about who we are, where we come from, and how we love and live with each other for a long time.” Clearly, these are the universal themes of literature and life. Happy families may well be all alike, (i.e. dull and not very inspiring as far as creativity and drama are concerned), and every unhappy family may be unhappy in its own way, but perversely, the idiosyncrasies of sadness are really the things which bring us together and connect us. The narrative takes us through the changing relationships and dynamics of Romany and Tom and Ben and his wider family. The years unfold, and with the wisdom of experience and personal insight, Ben unwraps the human frailties of his parents, and also himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 14 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I looked this book. Funny, thought provoking and so honest. You get Ben's story of growing up in late 60's, his mum and dad's lives and relationship and their, plus their joint story of the journey into old age. Highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Struck a chord. 13 Mar 2014
By Leon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't know of Ben Watt when i started reading the book, although i've got an old cd by ETBTG. It is excellent, read it very quickly as happens with all good writing, Romany's first husband, Ken, was a very understanding man, the letter he wrote to Romany at the end of their marriage was heart breaking. Romany and Tommy's passionate affair and marriage is brought to life, as is its decline into 'when love has turned to kindliness', and then worse. The closing chapters describing Romany's mental decline reminded me so much of my mum, and the surreal conversations we had. There are no pictures in the Kindle, but looking on Amazon, I can see that Romany was a very beautiful woman, as well as talented, and Tommy an attractive guy, as well as a brilliant musician. Ben Watt is lucky to have those genes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written 10 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
But heart wrenching

A great tale of how lives intertwine which would make a wonderful fiction. This however is real.
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