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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DANGEROUSLY PARK yourself on the seat & read this !!!!!!!!!!
It has to be said that at times the book is hard to get into....but give it a go and once you've pushed yourself beyond the barrier you'll feel at home with Noah Arkwright and yet at the same time you'll wince at the excruciating pain he's had to endure !!! What makes this a wonderful experience is that whilst he's a total waste of space throught his excessive drink and...
Published on 1 Mar. 2002 by mikestevens@ukgateway.net

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3.0 out of 5 stars Strong writing, great characters but one weak link.
Noah Arkwright is a film maker blessed with artistic ability and massively successful. Yet with talent and fame comes responsibility, Noah's got none of that. For as long as he can remember he's been drinking to excess. He's taken every drug under the sun, slept with every woman that crossed his path and has been carried through life by his gift. Everyone has their...
Published on 15 Sept. 2011 by Book Republik


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DANGEROUSLY PARK yourself on the seat & read this !!!!!!!!!!, 1 Mar. 2002
By 
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
It has to be said that at times the book is hard to get into....but give it a go and once you've pushed yourself beyond the barrier you'll feel at home with Noah Arkwright and yet at the same time you'll wince at the excruciating pain he's had to endure !!! What makes this a wonderful experience is that whilst he's a total waste of space throught his excessive drink and drugs binge, there is a shimmer of light within himself to find something to redeem himself from his past demons through the discovery of something called true love !!!! Somehow it reminded me of the "The Beach" but on any given day I would rather read "Dangerous Parking" than that !!! It's a heart wrenching but worthwhile experience to get throught. It makes you truely appreciate life for what it is - magical - in it's own and sometimes absurd way !!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those of you wanting something more, 23 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
I read this shortly after it was released, buying it on a whim. It's a book that never loses it's momentum, never loses your involvement, never insults you with embellished truths, never self indulges. Mostly rooted in memory, it reminds you of the consequences of excess yet never preaches an alternative. It reminds you of how magnificent a life can be, how tragedy, loss, heartbreak and regret are fundamental to such a life. How there is never any limit to how complex we can be and how that in itself provides all the richness we deserve as human beings, dropped from adolescence into a freezing pool of uncertainty, opportunity and discovery. How ultimately our interactions with our fellow humans and the memory of those interactions is the only thing we have, the only thing that binds our thoughts together when we try to make sense of the time we have fought to stay alive through. It's rough, loose and scrappy, yet in these qualities it retains it's brilliance. Four stars? Somehow five stars denotes popularity. Buffalo '66 never got 5 stars. I'm not perfect, why on earth would I want to read a perfect book?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid and entertaining, 30 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
This book is a must read, and once you do begin to read it you will find it hard to put down. The story revolves around one character at different stages in his life, and how he copes with tragedy, turmoil, love, hate and, more prominantly addiction.
Many authors would have found it hard to cope with the writing style you will find in Dangerous Parking, with the story flitting between various stages in time. Stuart Browne pulls it off almost effortlessly. While reading you can see yourself in the main role, even feel the emotions that run with the character. You will feel his pain, and revel in his highs. A fantastic book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and love this book, 16 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
...It obviously provokes divided opinions, but I can only come to one conclusion - the two 'one star readers' must have a massive emotional imbalance. The book is quite clearly semi-autobiographical - there is an artistic license that creates slightly unbelievable characters and situations - but the narrative is wonderful. Side-splitting, dark, humour is matched with horrific detail of his worsening condition, as you follow the history of his 'interesting' love life and the relationships that come and go. Forgive me if I am wrong but does a book have to have a plot? The story is one of reminisces and the highs and lows of Noah's emotional rollercoaster of a life. If you fail to be moved by this novel then you are an emotional retard!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a true soundtrack of life, 5 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
Much as the reader is drawn into the life of the main character Noah as he struggled alcohol addiction and cancer, so we too are drawn to the elements of the life of the author, the late Stuart Browne. At times when reading this book it is almost painful and yet engrossing reading, it is almost a fly-on-the-wall documentary of Browne's story with a healthy dose of fiction in there too. The realness of all of the characters draws you into the narrative and it is quite simply a fantastic read. This is not really a book that should have stars next to it, it is simply a story of life, too real for comfort, and yet all the better for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent, Heart-Breaking Novel, 17 July 2001
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
A tale of how one film-maker Noah Arkwright (no-one would call there child that, even in fiction) has lived life to excess and suddenly finds his body waving the white flag. He looks back on the moments that have changed his life and finds that he must try and keep it together for his family. The first 50 pages of this book are a strain, but stick with it. It then transforms into one of the most heart-breaking novels you'll ever read. The pace of the book,after 50-odd pages, is at break-neck speed and carries on in this manner right to the end. This novel is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Noah's graphic accounts of the hell that his body is going through are disturbing.............and so it should be. The moments of black humour had me laughing out loud, especially his attempts to fund (half-heartily) his movie about cancer...`A Sense of Tumour'. This book grabs you by the scruff of the neck and screams loudly in your face. It may serve as a reminder to many people approaching middle age that too much of a good thing is bad for you. Very bad for you.
The only regret, and this may sound selfish, is that a fabulous new talent like Browne died after this. You really begin to wonder what future works would have been like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE,RAW AND EXPOSED ,BITING HUMOUR .A GREAT READ, 3 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
STUART BROWNE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE FOR 40+ YEARS AND HE HAS MANAGED TO ENCAPSULATE IN THIS BOOK THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LIFE IN THE LAST HALF OF THE LAST CENTURY.NOAH ARKWRIGHT'S ROLLERCOASTER RIDE THROUGH THE SIXTIES,SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES WILL STRIKE A CHORD WITH MANY READERS-SOMETIMES PAINFUL,SOMETIMES CRUEL,ALWAYS WITH STUARTS WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR,AND ALWAYS WITH THE ACUTE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE EXCESSES HAD A PRICE TO PAY---FAR TOO SOON IN NOAH'S CASE.THIS BOOK IS THE CULMINATION OF A LIFE OF PASSION AND MISTAKES,WITH THE EVENTUAL REALISATION THAT THE GRIM REAPER HAD COME TO COLLECT FAR TOO SOON.DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK---NOAH ARKWRIGHT CAN TEACH EACH AND EVERYONE SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 29 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
I read 'Dangerous Parking' earlier this year and literally could not tear myself away from reading it. I would call it the rollercoaster of emotions in book form. I agree with an earlier comment that it is a little difficult to start off, but it is a fantastic book one you do. It sounds cliche but I did howl at the funny parts and cried with anger, sadness and frustration for him. The book is very raw, but I believe that that is half the appeal of it. If you buy one book, by this one and I can guarantee you will come away with more than one opinion of it and you can't quite put your finger on why.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Parking Space, 17 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
Buy one get one free offers are quite possibly the greatest invention shops have given us. For all of us, it’s a chance to get something for nothing. But for the brave, it’s a world of opportunity. After all, if you already have one thing you’d really like in your hand, something you’d willingly pay the full price for anyway and they’re offering you something else, you’re getting it for nothing. So you have nothing to lose. It was this latter attitude that put Stuart Browne’s “Dangerous Parking” in my hand. Having chosen a book I knew I’d like, I could afford to take a chance on my other purchase and I had little to lose.

Noah Arkwright, unfortunately, does have something to lose. His life. Of course, we all have a life to lose, but for Noah it looks likely to happen sooner rather than later. Noah, you see, has cancer of the bladder. He’s beaten it into remission a couple of times already, but on each occasion the cancer has done nothing more than pause to get its breath back and return for another try, stronger than before. That’s not all, either. Noah has spent part of his adult life hooked on hard drugs and is also a recovering alcoholic. He might have escaped a small town background to become a famous and successful film maker, but he hasn’t escaped his demons.

Although the story is set in the present, it largely concentrates on the important parts of Noah’s past life. At the time of much of the story, he’s very ill, and frequently passing in and out of consciousness. It is during the periods where he’s drifted out of the present time that the past comes to the front of his mind. Mostly, this concentrates on the times he’s been happiest, of life with his wife and children, but there are plenty of other times – his rehab from drink and drugs and his earlier battles with cancer also feature quite heavily.

The plot makes the book sound a lot more depressing than it actually is. There are plenty of dark moments, as you might expect from someone suffering from a potentially fatal illness. But Noah manages to retain what he calls his “sense of tumour” throughout everything and there are some light hearted moments dotted around here and there. Noah seems to be able to look back on his life, even the toughest parts, with a wry smile, as if mocking himself for the idiot he’s been over the years. The belly laughs are fewer, but some still sneak in.

Strangely for something with such a depressing subject, it’s a very easy read. It’s written with a light touch that keeps the pages turning. It may be a difficult subject to approach, but it’s by no means a difficult read – there’s no real technical terms regarding either the illness or the film-making Noah has as a career and there’s a distinct lack of long and unusual words. What also helps is that there’s very little wasted story. The only parts of the life that are recounted are the ones that are required. And, as with any of us, it’s the significant parts of a life that spring most readily to mind, particularly when, as in Noah’s case, they are recounted during periods of unconsciousness.

The characters are beautifully formed, with none of them really seeming unreal. Which, given some of the strange situations they’ve been encountered in, largely thanks to Noah’s career and drug addictions, is impressive indeed. But no-one in reality is perfect and so no-one in “Dangerous Parking” is either. So much of modern literature seems airbrushed, failing to reflect the negative sides of either life or the people in it. “Dangerous Parking” recognises this and ensures it is left out. As strange as it seems to describe a book concerned with such dark subjects as cancer and addiction in this way, it’s actually quite refreshing.

If there are concerns about the novel, it would be that it does jump around in the time frame a little. Although this is understandable, given that’s the story line is almost following a stream of (un)consciousness, it can get a little confusing at times. The subject is a little darker than some people might like, and the language a little more colourful. If you object to swearing, I’d advise you to avoid “Dangerous Parking”. The bad language used does add to the basic reality of the novel, but there is rather a lot of it.

Essentially, “Dangerous Parking” is a trip through a man’s memories as he sees his end approaching. There is always a danger than something like this could be self-indulgent, especially as you can see where the novel may well be auto-biographical in many parts. However, it manages to stay away from those traps and instead proves to be a light-hearted, quite sweet novel and the journey, despite where it leads, is one you’re happy to share.

If you’ve had enough of stories where everything is wonderful and everyone is perfect, then this will make a welcome change. The novel this reminds me closest of is Tawni O’Dell’s “Back Roads”, as the characters aren’t have the best of times, but it’s a beautifully told story and doesn’t drown in pessimism. this is a read you can lose yourself in and become wrapped up in.

This review may also appear under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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3.0 out of 5 stars Strong writing, great characters but one weak link., 15 Sept. 2011
By 
This review is from: Dangerous Parking (Paperback)
Noah Arkwright is a film maker blessed with artistic ability and massively successful. Yet with talent and fame comes responsibility, Noah's got none of that. For as long as he can remember he's been drinking to excess. He's taken every drug under the sun, slept with every woman that crossed his path and has been carried through life by his gift. Everyone has their limits.

When he wakes up covered in his own bodily fluids in a strange woman's house he sees it may be time for a change. Spurred on by the born-again stranger, he checks into therapy and joins the AA bandwagon. The years of excess have taken their toll however and as he cleans up his act he begins to feel twinges down below, a tumor in his bladder is trying to kill him.

Intertwined with Noah's battle against alcoholism and his illness is a new love interest, a concert cellist who gives him reason to live and stay sober. As his life takes a new course, Noah takes a long hard look at himself and sets about righting his wrongs. But with the cancer attacking him from all angles it may be too late for him.

This book was compared to Trainspotting upon release and called "the book of the year" by many mainstream critics. Let me say this now: it is not. By the half way point it is living up to everything that it promises, which appears to be due to the fact that throughout the setup and the response Noah is an all drinking, all womanising belligerent a-hole. As he falls in love and starts to address his demons however, the excitement drops away to reveal a mediocre love story, albeit carried with strong characters and a credible account of dealing with cancer.

That's not to take away from the quality of the work. Browne has succeeded in painting out one of those horrible protagonists who you find yourself liking despite it all. It is a tough thing to achieve and is done so by Noah's subtle introspection. If you ever find yourself unfortunate enough to see the film version of this book the point really comes home. Noah is portrayed as a selfish idiot on the screen, in the book Browne has weaved in just enough reflection and remorse for the reader to emphasize with him.

The narrative consistently provides lashings of dark humour and the shockingly vivid depictions of terminal illness. The book is part-autobiographical and Browne's own experiences with cancer comes across to the extent where you find yourself wincing and nauseous during the more descriptive scenes. I get the sense that this is the source of all that critical acclaim. Tales of self-destruction and redemption are ten a penny,genuinely touching accounts of a dying man are not.

Whilst the story tailed off, the prose did not. This is a real shame and I believe that had the structure been more even, with less inaction in the latter half of the book, then it would have been much better. Browne clearly had a lot to offer in terms of literary prowess and had be not died young I believe he'd be up there with the best British authors. He just wasn't that good at painting an enjoyable love story, which is the one weak link in this book. Shame.
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Dangerous Parking
Dangerous Parking by Stuart Browne (Paperback - 5 Feb. 2001)
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