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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive chemical fiction must-read
Y'know the old adage that writing about music is as pointless as dancing about architecture? It's a lie, and 'Needle in the Groove' is a near-perfect countermeasure to the cliché. There are moments in this book which capture the vitality of music accurately and beautifully, explaining why so many people love it with a surprising universality of insight. If you've...
Published on 9 Mar 2002 by Jay Oh

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noon has written better
Vurt and Pollen and two of my most favourite books of all time so I had high expectation with the first of a pile of Noon books I had missed. Although it was a nice little read it lacked the imagination and daring of Vurt/Pollen and seemed to be trying too hard to be cool-by-numbers (drugs, Madchester, remixes etc) when I'm sure it was uneccessary. Also its nursery...
Published on 2 Feb 2008 by David Hampson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive chemical fiction must-read, 9 Mar 2002
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This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Y'know the old adage that writing about music is as pointless as dancing about architecture? It's a lie, and 'Needle in the Groove' is a near-perfect countermeasure to the cliché. There are moments in this book which capture the vitality of music accurately and beautifully, explaining why so many people love it with a surprising universality of insight. If you've ever played bass until your fingers bleed or just devoted hours of your life trying to find a particular record you think you heard in a club, 'Needle in the Groove' is necessary reading. In a sense it's like the music it describes; Noon's fluid 150 beats-per-minute style drives the story relentlessly onward, pulling the reader into the book in the same way that you can't not dance to certain records.
Perhaps the themes of the characters' relationships aren't new, but there's never any sense of familiarity to Noon's writing. If he has to be categorised it should be part of the underground of young dynamic writers emerging in the territory between Irvine Welsh and Neal Stephenson, collected together in 'Disco Biscuits' and 'Disco 2000' [ed. Sarah Champion].
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Beautiful..., 31 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Finally there comes a book which depicts modern music and it's culture in all their (somewhat dubious) glory. From chilled-out ambience and dub through to frenetic funk, banging house/garage and drum 'n bass, the text follows these styles as it is remixed.
At first it is not easy to follow this radical new literary concept, but once you have slipped into James Joyce [on acid] mode, you won't be able to put the book down. Indeed - the narrative encourages the reader to lose themselves in just the same way as if they were losing themselves to the groove of a DJ tunes in a club... You can see it in their eyes, and one can't help but feel sorry that unlike a DJ, Jeff Noon can't see his readers eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noon has written better, 2 Feb 2008
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David Hampson "kuma" (Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Vurt and Pollen and two of my most favourite books of all time so I had high expectation with the first of a pile of Noon books I had missed. Although it was a nice little read it lacked the imagination and daring of Vurt/Pollen and seemed to be trying too hard to be cool-by-numbers (drugs, Madchester, remixes etc) when I'm sure it was uneccessary. Also its nursery typeface means that these 285 pages are not far off a short story - I read it on the train to work over two days and I'm not a particularly fast reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel for beatheads, 16 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Luckily I came to this novel free from any expectations, being largely new to Jeff Noon. And as a music lover somewhat bemused by how few good imaginative books ever seem to get written about music, I think it's got lots going for it.
The style of writing is clipped and condensed yet powerfully resonant. The plot similarly so. Both of which allow the reader to spend time savouring the milieu - Manchester music and all that fuels it (drugs, misery, love, ambition).
Ian McEwen it clearly ain't. This novel reads like it issues from a shady and undocumented part of the human psyche, and is packed with imagination as well as atmosphere... personally I suspect this is a bit of a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liquid Fiction, 11 Jun 2003
By 
J. Skade "joeskade" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Noon has written a fine and adventurous book. A book about father's and sons, reality and illusion and (of course) sex and drugs and rock and roll. Noon's english slant on beat prose describes the music - or what is essential about the music in the ears of bassplayer Elliot- perfectly, and he finds an ingenious and effective literary equivalent to the dance remix, itself a metaphor for the search on which the central character is engaged
Noon has rewritten the streetmap of Manchester in honour of its musicians - the good the bad and the Hollies. He reimagines also the crucial last night at the Electric Circus, a real event which provides a backdrop to the various changing plot permutations. Noon has rewritten Borges to sound like Kerouac. This is the kind of fiction which bookshops should be full of, but which is sadly not easy to find in England.
Cyberpunk fans will have read it by now, but it should also appeal to readers of Ballard or Russell Hoban or Robert Nye.
Read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 4 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
A hypnotic book. Don't compare it to Vurt, accept that authors move on and that's even more exciting. You get lost in this the same way you do in music. The way Noon plays with language is inspiring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music captured in words, 13 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
We've all experienced that moment, when we emerge from the aural sensations of listening to one of those life changing albums, trying to contain our awe. Maybe its Radiohead's "OK Computer",U2's " Joshua Tree", The Beatles "Sgt Pepper" or Oasis' "What's the Story Morning Glory?". We've all then tried to tell the world how good, no, how phenomonal that album was, how powerful music is, and how from that day on, it has burrowed into our lives forever.

Jeff Noon's "Needle in the Groove" has come phenomonely close to capturing that once thought of impossible sensation, into words. Obviously written by a music enthusist, this is a tale of great beauty, wonder, excitement and energy. It bravely tells a tale of human emotions, how vulnerable we all can be, and how in the end, we can all triumph. With the common theme of music uniting the characters in the novel, Noon also uses music to link the reader into his heady tale, and comes up triumphant. Compulsory reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars you have to get into the rhythm, 12 Sep 2013
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J. B. Blain "Jezen" (Cirencester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
I loved this book and a great extension to the Nooniverse. As it is written almost as a dub / mix I found I had to read it in a certain way and by doing that got the best out of it. This is a totally different approach to writing a book as much as reading the book. As the theme is broadly about the music's addictive and hypnotic power the reader gets a sense of that throughout from the style of the writing and how it is read. wonderful stuff but not always easy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Sep 2004
This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
A great book that explores drugs and modern music in Jeff Noons typically futuristic and ever changing Manchester. Dark and gritty, with alot of rain. And the idea of injecting music really rocks!
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4.0 out of 5 stars All about the music?, 15 Sep 2004
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This review is from: Needle in the Groove (Paperback)
Jeff Noon, as the initiated will know, is as much concerned with wordplay as he is a good plot. Fortunately, he manages to achieve both with a good degree of success in Needle In The Groove, wrapping this tale of music and drugs in an uncoventional, lyrical structure. Some may find the fantasy elements of the book hard to associate with, as the novel vaguely retreads concepts explored in Noon's other works such as Vurt. However, as long as you suspend your disbelief, it's an interesting, dream-like (or nightmarish?) tale about escapism and illusion - drawing parallels between the drugs and the music and merging the two.
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Needle in the Groove
Needle in the Groove by Jeff Noon (Paperback - 1 May 2001)
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