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on 8 April 2002
As a Little Hultoner (home of the Happy Mondays), whose mother now uses one of the Hacienda's Alvar Aaalto stools when she does her decorating (see chapter 34), this 'novelisation' has a particular resonance for me and I suspect many others in the 30-45 age group. I found it unputdownable and frequently hilarious. Each chapter is brief so you can rattle through it at a fair old pace. Even though Wilson says its very much an unreliable memoir what does come through is a curious kind of integrity. I say curious because everyone I've met who's worked with Wilson says he's a slippery SOB - but, as the book often illustrates, part of that could be typical Manc deprecation. Anyhow, in spite of all that, well done Wilson, Erasmus, Gretton, New Order et al for doing something for your own city and defying London and the barbarous forces of capitalism. Unfortunately, capitalism caught up with them in the end, as it usually does.
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on 9 June 2014
I happened to be living in Manchester when the Haçienda opened in 1982. Still have my 'credit card' membership as a matter of fact. It is true that the club was frequently empty in those days. Empty and cold. Saw a few decent bands there though including The Fall. Never was much of a New Order fan but loved Joy Div. Moved away from Manc in 84 so missed the acid house years.
Anyway - to business. This book is great 10/10. It goes off on a lot of weird tangents.... historical facts, literary allusion... that kind of thing. I actually think it's quite deep. The anecdotes are frequently hilarious. I don't really care how much of it is fact v fiction. It's hard to believe that 'successful' people could make this many mistakes.... but the stories about the running of the club are jaw-dropping in their ineptitude. Best to read the Peter Hook book for the complete Haçienda story... but this is a very good book. Top marks to whoever wrote it.
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on 16 February 2010
Self-deprecating humour and a light touch even when dealing with tragic events run through Tony Wilsons semi-fictionalised account of the rise, insane highs, and crashing fall of the Factory Records Empire. As skewed and eccentric as a Happy Mondays lyric, if you weren't there at the time, this memoir will make you wish you were. If you were there, you probably won't remember much of it anyway...
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on 1 March 2002
I've been dying to read this, and I wasn't disappointed - it's a very funny, infuriating, one-sided, confusing, semi-autobiography. Tony Wilson ran Factory Records and the Hacienda, and seems to spend most of his time popping up on TV annoying people these days. He was a pivotal figure in the Manchester music scene, launching Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.
24-Hour Party People is partly based on the film of the same name, and it's hard to tell what's fact and what's fiction (but I like that). Wilson's style is very idiosyncratic, but he's always amusing and has some great stories. Amazingly, he's never written his autobiography, and this book is as much about what he calls the real heroes of the story - Ian Curtis, Martin Hannett, Shaun Ryder etc as it is about him. It's a unique insight into music history, and made me wonder just how much he's deliberately left unsaid.
Some beautiful pictures too - nice to see the iconic Factory posters and Kevin Cummins photography again.
An absolute classic.
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on 2 May 2002
As a wannabee Manc, New Order fan, I've read almost everything I can get my hands on about Joy Division, New Order, or Factory (Ideal for Living, Unknown Pleasures & Wayward Distractions, Touching from a Distance), but this book goes down as one of the best ever written about the subject. Though the book is presented as a novelisation of the movie of the same name (and features little outtakes where Wilson sets the record straight in scenes), it becomes apparent late on in the book that probably most of what is written happened in some shape or form. The book is written almost as a series of anecdotes, and that's fine because each anecdote is not easily forgotten: Peter Saville's inability to do any project on time; Rob Gretton meeting Mike Pickering as they hide from Manchester United supporters; Rob Gretton trying to beat the pulp out of Wilson for his financial excesses; Shaun Ryder stealing everything in Eddy Grant's Barbados studio to buy crack...
But this book is more about just Factory or its bands. It's about the regeneration of Manchester. In this way, it's a perfect compliment to Dave Haslam's "Manchester: Story of a Pop Cult City." Somehow, through all the bad business acumen, Wilson, Gretton, New Order, and others somehow had enough artistic and aesthetic sense to kick start a complete change in attitude in the city and its people. Though the Hacienda is now gone, like the Big Bang, the cosmic radiation it set off is still there to be felt.
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on 18 August 2007
I can assure you that you should own this book if you wish to learn about the relevance and importance of the ownership of culture that Wilson helped Manchester garner. I would however warn you that Wilson was aware of myth building. He has left much out and embellished much left in. I would point out that Mick Middles journalistic style is worth being checking out for the truth (in partic, From Joy Division to New Order), and the most amazing story of Manchester, the U.K's most revolutionary and cultural city. Maybe an annotated version should now be released?
I write this a week after Wilsons shocking death. The last time I felt as affected was at the death of John Peel. You dont realise the wonder of anything/body until it has gone. Truly, Wilson was a man who knew his roots. Loved his roots. Loved his music and his fellow man/c.
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on 9 August 2012
This is pretty much the script for the film 24 Hour Party People. I was expecting a bit more depth to the book. If you have seen the film and enjoyed it, there isn't really much else here. Just watch the film again!
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on 10 March 2002
i approached this book with some trepidation. a novelisation of a film about factory records? aw, come on. anyway it had a nice cover and i always make a point of judging books by the cover so i bought a copy. and it's fantastic. too sussed to be nostalgia but while readng it those old acr, jd,no, and stockholm monsters tunes were ringing through my ears. the anecdotes are excruciating and hilarious. especially wilsons ill-fated london trip to interview conservative cabinet member george younger. and the one with the pigeons. also the one with rob gretton attacking wilson over the $80,000 suspended board table.
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on 20 August 2015
Interesting read, yet if you have already seen the film this book has little to offer.
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on 22 October 2014
A present for someone who was present!
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