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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more positive slant.
I completely understand the negative reviews this book has been getting but I want to be a bit more positive.

It is quite badly written, repetitive (I've never had so many feelings of deja vu in such a short space of time), has typos galore and does quote a lot from Penny Rimbaud's other books.

BUT for all these criticisms I welcomed this book and...
Published on 9 Aug. 2012 by Flairy Good

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crassly written...
With one more chapter to read, I think it fair to say that I've got the measure of this book.

As the three stars suggest, this isn't a bad book and it gives a decent enough account of the band and its pre-history. The problem is that it overly relies on a series of interviews and some very extensive quotations from Penny Rimbaud's previous publications. Often...
Published on 19 Feb. 2009 by DJ DJB


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more positive slant., 9 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Story of Crass (Paperback)
I completely understand the negative reviews this book has been getting but I want to be a bit more positive.

It is quite badly written, repetitive (I've never had so many feelings of deja vu in such a short space of time), has typos galore and does quote a lot from Penny Rimbaud's other books.

BUT for all these criticisms I welcomed this book and enjoyed reading it. There were two main reasons for this.

Firstly, at the time Crass had a real mystique about them. They didn't do many interviews, didn't pose for photo shoots and didn't get played on the radio. For me this book is the first time that much of this mystique has been stripped away.

Secondly, this book provides a useful reminder that Crass were more than just one person. It gives a voice to the other members of the band and in doing so gives them the opportunity to give their sides of the story (which often differs quite significantly from Penny Rimbaud's version). Not to say that there is any hint of friction in the band, more than different people have different memories of the same event and different motivations. Up to now I have only really seen one side of the story.

All in, for all its (many) faults this is a book well worth reading if you're a Crass fan from back in the day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A necessary work, 4 Sept. 2014
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Good book with input from nearly all of those involved. A bit repetitive in places and the inclusion of lyrics seemed a little bit like page filling. Otherwise, a good read whilst in my hammock.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crassly written..., 19 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Story of Crass (Paperback)
With one more chapter to read, I think it fair to say that I've got the measure of this book.

As the three stars suggest, this isn't a bad book and it gives a decent enough account of the band and its pre-history. The problem is that it overly relies on a series of interviews and some very extensive quotations from Penny Rimbaud's previous publications. Often these sources are allowed just to stand by themselves, so sometimes Berger is only really present in the form of connecting phrases or paragraphs. When, however, he does add context or views on the political or social situation, the arguments are remarkably one-sided and often devoid of evidential support.

Chronology is also a problem, despite the chapter headings that ape Crass's own use of numbers (e.g. 421984 - four years to 1984). Future events are referenced before being properly introduced and so the less informed but interested reader is left struggling to understand what is meant. Berger is also an insider, who lived through much (all?) of what he discusses, so there's an assumed knowledge running through both the history of the band and the history of the UK at times.

The book is rarely critical (as I said, rarely - there is the odd moment, but they are few and far between) and lacks the depth and complexity of something like Jon Savage's England's Dreaming. The book is thus rather lazy, relying on access to those Crassers who agreed to be interviewed, rather than anything approaching research. That said, as a documentation, there's some really good material, but this certainly isn't a 'history' of the band.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Story of Crass (Paperback)
A great incite into the work of a revolutionary Anarcho-punk band
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12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Without your walls I am alive, 21 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Story of Crass (Paperback)
This is not the story of Crass, it is, rather, the author's perception of what Crass were, filled out with anecdote. On one occasion he goes so far as to make a comparison between Crass and Adam and the Ants, which says it all, really.

Crass were quite simply beyond labels, as they would have wanted it to be. Their strength lay in their cutting lyrics, their startling graphics, and their application of an anarchist philosophy to the music business.

The Crass message is timeless; it is just a pity that those that it is aimed at do not get to hear it.

I'll make no subscription to your paradise...
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The Story of Crass
The Story of Crass by George Berger (Paperback - 7 April 2008)
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