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Roman Totale "romanxvii" (Wakefield)

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Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie
Price: 0.59

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars thin, misses point?, 16 Jan 2014
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Little more than a magazine article. Poor value therefore. Read most of it free on the guardian website. And obviously Jon toured with Frank/Chris and knew him, but doesn't he do a disservice by casting him alongside Daniel Johnston and the Shaggs? frank was satirical, witty. More akin to his more successful imitators John Shuttleworth and Harry hill than to the 'outsider' artists here.


The North: (And Almost Everything In It)
The North: (And Almost Everything In It)
by Paul Morley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot, but not enough of anything, 25 Dec 2013
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Two strands. A largely chronological autobiography up to Morley's leaving Stockport to join NME, with a countervailing sequence of vignettes of northern history in reverse chronological order. A few pictures too.

He's obviously inspired by sebald, but this lacks the energy and surprise of his work. It's leaden, overwritten, mannered. And it has way too much stuff in it. Compendious without being thorough. Neither use as a history nor ornament as poetry. And people interested in the north outside of Manchester will feel shortchanged.

Nothing is a far more affecting book.


Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s
Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s
by Tom Doyle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, uncool, 10 Dec 2013
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Brilliant book that wrangles with the conundrum of how the once coolest man on the planet (Helter Skelter, ffs) can have spent much of the 70s daring the planet to underrate him as he did whatever the hell he wanted, and just not caring. Sometimes it was great. Often it was pish.

Tom Doyle's book tracks the ups and downs of it all. The courage of standing his ground against the other Beatles and their huckster management as it all dissolved, the honesty of his musical output in the era, the devotion to his family. He was the one Beatle how stayed on the road and had the balls to front up the planet.

TD enjoys enviable access to his subject, but doesn't suck up. No hagiography and beautifully written.

Musical takeaway: With the rotating line-ups and the missus on keyboards Wings emerges as a prototype Fall, without the tunes.


Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop
Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop
by Bob Stanley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.68

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read without iTunes, 8 Oct 2013
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If you read this with the wherewithal to download tracks nearby then it will cost you deep in the purse. I got through 300ish pages at the weekend and it cost me 104. Like all great music books it makes you want to listen to what it's about. And in this case that's a lot of stuff, as it is a compendious tome. That means that it keeps moving and the passage on no artist or genre outstays its welcome.


A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths
A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths
by Tony Fletcher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second edition will be brilliant, 3 Oct 2012
It's a great read if you care about the Smiths. The weight of material and detail may well be too much for anybody who isn't seriously bothered about the band. Research is very deep and thorough, and the writing evokes the 80s landscape well.

I hate that there are so many silly inaccuracies, though. Misquoting Smiths lyrics, getting names of people, places and albums wrong, etc. I know it's a pedant's quibble, but for a factual book it's discordant and it can have the unfortunate effect of causing you to doubt the robustness of the other material in there.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2012 5:32 PM BST


Leaving the Atocha Station
Leaving the Atocha Station
by Ben Lerner
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars would be more stars if it was a parody, 19 Aug 2012
this novel is about an american postgrad on some kind of endowment that funds him to produce 'poetry' in madrid for a while. so he does a bit of that, engages in some low-level drug use, and kind of hangs out with moneyed local arts types.

the novel reads like the product of precisely such a jaunt in spain. there is an almost total 'so what?'ness about the whole exercise. the narrator is on the periphery of everything, doesn't engage with anything either interesting or uninteresting, treats the people he meets, especially the women, with the kind of detachment you get in that james salter book about france, like folks you meet over in europe don't really deserve respect or honesty.

if this novel were meant to parody the kind of baloney that an american postgrad being sent to spain to write something half-assedly, somebody like the narrator, might produce, then it might just work. a clever mise en abime thing. i think it just is that baloney, though. sorry.


Walking Home
Walking Home
by Simon Armitage
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sir Gawain in Goretex, 27 Jun 2012
This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
This book is a real crowdpleaser, and will be lapped up by those of us who like SA himself as much as (or perhaps rather than) his poetry. There's very little of the latter, so the book works very well as a personal take on schlepping the wrong way down the Pennine Way. The writing is fluent yet arresting.

There's something very reassuring about SA's world of strong family ties, living local, indie rock and confectionery. In its own way it's no different from that of the Sunday evening TV dramas he jokes about as he goes through the Dales, but there is an honesty and a rootedness in the contemporary here which stops things becoming twee.


Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up
Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up
by David Conn
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ged Brannan (much), 21 Jun 2012
Mixes elements of the investigative work the author does so well, club history, social history, real-time account of the recent league win and personal memoir (comparable in part with Colin Schindler's inferior book about city which couldn't help mentioning united in the title).

It's beautifully written. The writer puts himself at the centre of the narrative without making it about him. The material tracking the history of Abu dhabi and its royal family is informative and the stuff about the francis lee takeover is eye-opening. Sometimes not so well edited: same information given and points made repeatedly. And, ach, Bryan Robson didn't play in the 5-1.

The best point he makes is a little lost in the wrap-up at the end. City are likely to struggle with the financial fair play nonsense uefa is bringing in, of course. But is a club losing money because a benefactor wishes to indulge it (and himself) really the problem when elsewhere there are clubs remorsely screwing money out of their fans and pouring money into the pockets of directors in corporate structures which flout the FA's rule 34? Including one North London club whose pious manager constantly complains about City.


Magical Mix-Up: Birthdays and Bridesmaids (Magical Mix Ups)
Magical Mix-Up: Birthdays and Bridesmaids (Magical Mix Ups)
by Marnie Edwards
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, 3 May 2012
Briilliant children's book. Clever to combine images with text in a way that gives young readers the chance to join in. My daughter loves this. The characters are funny and cute, but also cool. The story is funny and really well written. Great to see that there are a couple more in the pipeline. We can't wait.....


Selected Poems 1940-1982
Selected Poems 1940-1982
by Norman Nicholson O.B.E.
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.40

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really a book, 16 April 2012
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review unhelpfully not about the contents of the book, i'm afraid, but for the book itself.

for over 12 i received what seemed to be a poorly produced print-on-demand edition. fuzzy repro, cover bound in gloss, no details on the spine.


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