Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for Roman Totale > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Roman Totale
Top Reviewer Ranking: 164,318
Helpful Votes: 171

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Roman Totale "romanxvii" (Wakefield)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Jumpin' Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the Rock'n'Roll Underworld
Jumpin' Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the Rock'n'Roll Underworld
by Keiron Pim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.89

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars meh, 6 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
t's okay but the problem is that litvinoff just isn't a sufficiently substantial figure to sustain a whole book. it carries it while there's stuff about gangland and rockstars, but for the whole second half of the book,, where litvinoff withdraws from london, it is almost wholly uninteresting. and the author doesn't have the iain sinclair knack of making the process of unearthing and writing about spectral figures a thing worth reading in itself.


Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
by David Cavanagh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It would have been good to have some of the threads drawn together, 8 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Extraordinary undertaking to listen to 30-odd years' worth of radio and write a precis of each show within a sample range. The format is inevitably very linear and there is not much overall analysis. At the end, for example, there's just a short "and then he died" note.

It would have been good to have some of the threads drawn together. The endless mucking around with his slots, the tiredness, the "betrayals" by artists he championed. Also Home Truths is largely ignored. I would also have liked the lists of artists featured in each programme to include also details of tracks played.

These are quibbles. It's a fascinating survey of a unique, flawed talent.


Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
by Meghan Daum
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous, pusillanimous, repetitive, 13 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Strangely repetitive read given the number of different perspectives here, and the complexity and variety of reasons why one might choose not to have children. This may be an unavoidable consequence of the format and the contributors enlisted, but the overarching impression seems to be that one should remain childless (sorry, child-FREE) in order to dedicate time to a career as an academic or writer.

They're all so careful to tell us what they do which is a bit like having kids (dogs, nephews, mentees on writing programmes), and many of the contributors also cite the not-great parenting they themselves experienced in their explanations. Nobody (other than Geoff Dyer) really comes out and says that parenthood is a bad idea because children are annoying and parents and parenthood are boring. This would have been more challenging and stimulating a read, and not the surprisingly bloodless tome we get.

So, in summary: monotonous, pusillanimous, repetitive


JETech® Protective Sleeve Pouch Case Bag with Elastic Memory Foam for iPad 2/3/4, iPad Mini, iPad Air, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Tab 4, HP TouchPad, Viewsonic ViewPad, Acer Iconia Tab A510, Microsoft Surface Pro, Chromebooks, Netbooks, Tablet PCs and Laptops up to 11 inch (0600)
JETech® Protective Sleeve Pouch Case Bag with Elastic Memory Foam for iPad 2/3/4, iPad Mini, iPad Air, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Tab 4, HP TouchPad, Viewsonic ViewPad, Acer Iconia Tab A510, Microsoft Surface Pro, Chromebooks, Netbooks, Tablet PCs and Laptops up to 11 inch (0600)
Offered by JEDirect UK
Price: £8.95


Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie: The True Story that Inspired the Movie
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie: The True Story that Inspired the Movie
Price: £4.29

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars thin, misses point?, 16 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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: £20.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot, but not enough of anything, 25 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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: £15.58

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, uncool, 10 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read without iTunes, 8 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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: £16.59

5 of 9 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

16 of 22 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.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4