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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great contender, 4 Aug 2008
By 
Roger M. Luckhurst (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
Great news that this collection has been short-listed for the prestigious Forward Prize for a first collection of poetry. It's a strong vote for an unpretentious, witty, allusive and moving collection of verse. Barraclough better bloody win!
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11 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicate and powerful, 23 May 2008
By 
Linsay (Brighton UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
I'm not a big reader of poetry, but a friend recommended this to me and I owe her one. Simon Barraclough packs meaty stuff into his delicate writing - losing a parent who's never quite gone, love that never quite works out, nights out where miracles happen, alien abduction and Quality Street, Coronation Street and Seventh Avenue.

And women too, whether it's the truncated love of "Long Haul" (first drunken gropes to heartbreak in 5 stanzas) or the small joy of watching a woman try on clothes, even though she's buying them to wear for her other lover ("Fitting").

I'll even forgive the dissing of my home town. This really is a beautiful and touching little book.
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16 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Barraclough - Los Alamos Mon Amour, 14 April 2008
This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
In his first collection of poetry, Simon Barraclough takes us into his confidence with his personal, powerful, and often wryly amusing poems invoking pop culture references, flights of fancy, global adventures, everyday musings, and larger themes of love, loss and chaos that imbue this collection with a timeless quality. With a keen eye and ear for metaphors that try and make sense of the sometimes painful business of living in the modern world, Barraclough's playful and masterful use of language frequently create memorable and powerful turns of phrase that conjour bold images as varied as a landscape devastated by the nuclear fallout of love in the title poem, to the fragile, storm tossed vessel of Celestial Navigation and an inventive recurring motif of change anchored by the imposing image of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Barraclough's use of form is varied and confident making each poem unique, but throughout, the authors' voice comes through powerfully and with admirable honesty and vulnerability that makes the reader feel privileged to have been confided in, and moved by shared experiences and passions.
Los Alamos Mon Amour is an intriguing, amusing, confident and moving collection from a bold and individual new poetic voice.
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9 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate and vital, 1 Jun 2008
By 
Wajih Djabri (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
Like the image from the title poem of the author staring steadfastly into the atomic explosion of love's onslaught, what characterises this collection is a constant determination not to flinch from the full force of life's experiences, no matter how painful or joyful they may be. What emerges is a highly poignant and personal journey that addresses a variety of themes, frequently with a salty humour, but most of all with a genuine and affecting honesty and a keen eye for a startling metaphor.

Reading this collection, one cannot help but be gripped by the strength of the imagery, at times both violent and tender, and by the music of the verse. The joy of this book is its power to engage with you directly and leave you with a feeling of heightened perception and of a world glistening with new detail and possibilities - wonderful and very moving.
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9 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish my Italian was a pocketful of leftover Euros, 9 Jun 2008
By 
M. Stevenson (Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
I read Los Alamos Mon Amour in the blazing sun and forgot my skin was burning while I tore through the sixty seven poems in Simon Barraclough's first collection. I think it's a stunning debut which will appeal to a wide variety of readers. In Psycho the last stanza is to die for, " because I saw the universe/drain down the plughole,/swirl back through the disc of your eye/and all that was lost was reborn/in the still silent face by my side." Barraclough is cool, dark, sad, sensous and funny. I like the whole collection but I love Saturn Seventh, Psycho, For Sale, Goodbye Radio City, London Whale, Withdrawal Method, My Best Friend, The Hands and Nato e Morto. My advice is go get loved up and treat yourself to Mister Barraclough's Los Alamos Mon Amour.
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6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Did It For Me, 8 Jun 2008
This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
In my hidaway in the Pyranees 'been leafing through this book. My heart is melting. Bad idea when its so COLD up here. I LOVE this collection. Specially 'Nato e Morto'. Love melancholy and humour combined. And the whale poem. (More melting). And the St Paul's 'Homage' poems. (Specially the one where the poet changes gender. or cross-dresses. Or whatever.) And the 'Dream Sequence Of Saddam Hussein' which made me froth a little. Not a good idea when I'm also melting. I have to go now because my goats are calling.
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6 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Los Alamos Mon Amour, 14 Jun 2008
By 
R. De Souza "vince" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
With his first collection Simon Barraclough brings us an original view on poetry, a method as daring and energetic as it is skillfully welded to the places, moods and context of the culture we live in. Take Simon's poetry at face value at your peril. In full flow these poems are not about easy clarity or a wall of plain literal meanings. He wields language as sound, imagery, momentum and the connecting force between human emotion and the real world that gives our emotions somewhere to belong.

New York, London and Brighton... Armageddon, Hollywood and the turbulence of love and relationships. There's a vivid edginess that underpins lots of these poems. You feel you're balancing headily between two viewpoints. A fragile identity slipping out of control, and a confident stoic one, calmly seeing through the clutter and chaos that deceives us, blocks us from understanding. In this sense Simon Barraclough explodes through our culture's layers of confusion and gives us hope that we can reach behind them and picture possibilities of what may be beyond.

- Vincent De Souza
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Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets)
Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets) by Simon Barraclough (Hardcover - 15 April 2008)
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