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Roguestate (Stafford, UK)

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United in Europe: Manchester United's Complete European Record
United in Europe: Manchester United's Complete European Record
by Christopher Davies
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reds Classic, 11 April 2015
For anyone with Manchester United at heart, this book just HAS to be part of your library. I have bought other books about United's adventures in Europe without ever feeling that they captured what it meant to actually be there, as a fan (or a reporter such as Christopher Davies). What this book has that the others didn't is excellent judgement, historical perspective that is not simply gleaned from other books or the internet, a humorous touch and vivid writing style. It's also one of the best-designed United books I've seen and will make a great present for younger generations of Reds, helping them get up to speed on United's adventures in Europe from Busby to Fergie, and much more in between.

The Promise of Endless Summer: Cricket Lives from the Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Books)
The Promise of Endless Summer: Cricket Lives from the Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Books)
by The Daily Telegraph
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Promise fulfilled, 20 May 2013
As the compiler says in an excellent introductory chapter, cricket tends to be a conservative sport and the Telegraph is certainly a conservative (and Conservative) paper. Those cricket-lovers, like myself, who aren't of that persuasion, shouldn't be put off by a cover that might've been designed by John Major. This collection of obituaries and tributes to players - some great, others merely good but all of them characters - finds humour and quirkiness in the subjects, who are chronicled by writers as varied as Michael Henderson, Michael Parkinson, David Green, Simon Hughes and the late EW Swanton.

As a Yorkshire supporter I was interested in Parky's piece on David Bairstow, who always performed as if nothing fazed him and yet committed suicide, and Fred Trueman, who is credited here with a great quip about David Shepherd after the Reverend dropped another catch off his bowling: "Pity he doesn't put his hands together more often in the field." But I also admired the quality of Henderson's eulogy to Fiery Fred's greatest partner, Brian Statham, and Green's piece on his old opening partner Arthur Milton, which shows the TV football pundits that old players don't have to talk exclusively in banalities.

The two pieces that engaged me most, however, were Hughes' account of taking guard against fearsome fast bowler Sylvester Clarke, which shows how dangerous top-level cricket can be, and an obituary of a player I hadn't heard of, called Frank Parr, who turned out to be a wicket-keeper and trad jazz trombonist but also had a minor part in the film The King's Speech. Heartily recommended to all who enjoy cricket nostalgia.

Rainwater Cassette Exchange
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
Price: £9.04

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Correction: A pedant writes..., 9 April 2010
Sorry to nit-pick but I suspect the review by Gannon should refer to Bradford Cox's 'prolific' output, rather than 'profligacy', which in my dictionary basically means 'wasteful'. I endorse his comments on Deerhunter's excellent work.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2010 11:02 PM BST

The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain
The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain
by Pete Frame
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British pop before The Beatles, 29 Oct. 2007
Identifying the roots of British rock had always seemed an uncomplicated matter: didn't it start with the thrillingly spiky electric-guitar intro to `Move It' by Cliff Richard? In this masterful book, which effectively doubles as a post-war history of the new-fangled teenager, Pete Frame demonstrates the fallacy of such assertions.

And what a strange journey it is, leading the reader from riverside pubs in Middlesex circa 1949 to sweaty Soho clubs in the Fifties via countless variety shows and talent contests, protest marches, package tours and even a Louisiana jail. The young Cliff is there, of course, along with Messrs Fury, Faith and Wilde, but the true pioneer, according to the author's meticulous researches and fund of rich anecdotes, was the late, unsung jazz fiend Ken Colyer, who paved the way for the skiffle of Lonnie Donegan et al and later the Old Kent Road-caveman rock of Tommy Steele.

Frame is renowned for the calligraphic majesty of his Rock Family Trees. Here we're reminded that he is a fine writer of a different kind, with a talent for clear narrative thread and refreshing disinclination to pull punches. The opportunistic Donegan, pop svengali Larry Parnes and a frightened, conservative music radio and press come in for stick, although the passion for the classic, authentic music of his youth that informed his editorship of ZigZag permeates all 500 pages.

The only weakness is a lack of pictures - I wanted to see what Colyer and the hep cats who were seeking out great r & b and jazz 78s while I was in nappies looked like. Maybe if we buy enough copies in the run-up to Christmas, a re-print could rectify the situation. Highly recommended.

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