Top critical review
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on 27 May 2005
I bought this book hoping for a new view, a new way of introducing 50 years of the greatest musical extravaganza the world have ever seen - but alas I have to admit that this publications in no better (or worse) then the other 2 previous publications entitled "Eurovision Companion" which were published in 1998,1999 respectively; The problem in both cases is that they are written by British/Irish people for British/Irish people, which means to say: a very narrow and rather biased point of view, which highlights insignificant trivia while ignoring more substantial events that occurred during the years.
Needless to say that all Anglo-Saxon entries are very well presented, while other entries from the Mediterranean, for example, are handled poorly; A fine example would be the author's remark that "..the 1991 contest was not a vintage year..". Really? 1991, for many, was one of the best song contests, before it became the dance contests; only in 1991 some of the best evergreen entries from France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Finland, Israel, Malta, Greece, Cyprus & Switzerland took centre stage and stayed in people's memory long after the contest; and this is only one example of the author's shortcomings where it comes to presenting a particular contest or another; It is clear to me that Mr O'Connor did not actually followed the contest over the years, but rather watched them on video maybe 4-5 years ago, thus not sensing the true feeling at the time of the broadcast itself; Added to this it is obvious he tend to use Terry Wogan commentary as a 'sort of view', which is a wrong way to go.
What amazes me the most, is that the EBU - for some obscure reason - has decided to officially endorse this rather poor effort of a project.
A missed opportunity!