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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never assume
If laughter really is good for your health then this book should be available on prescription. "Man Bites Talking Dog" had me laughing out loud pretty much with every page I read.

"Funny" books very often fail to deliver the promised laughter so I bought this one hoping for the best but prepared just to be mildly amused as comedy very often requires a person to...
Published on 29 Mar 2010 by Disappointed

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars so poor I only got to 27% and what a waste ...
never rated anything below 3 stars before. This should be an interesting topic for a book but by some distance this is the most disinteresting book I have PARTLY read; so poor I only got to 27% and what a waste of time that was. A journalist writing that should be ashamed. DO NOT BUY
Published 1 month ago by Mr H.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never assume, 29 Mar 2010
This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
If laughter really is good for your health then this book should be available on prescription. "Man Bites Talking Dog" had me laughing out loud pretty much with every page I read.

"Funny" books very often fail to deliver the promised laughter so I bought this one hoping for the best but prepared just to be mildly amused as comedy very often requires a person to deliver the lines for the writer, this author though does it all for you, he writes the lines and supplies the delivery. Just buy it, you will not be disappointed.

Don't read it on a long train journey though as you'll upset your fellow passengers with your constant fits of giggling.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars at the typewriter, 18 April 2010
This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
By Matt Huber
If you want one take on the recent state of British journalism and to laugh rather than cry, Colin Dunne's story of his life and times on the road, at lunch and at the typewriter is the book to buy.
He mirrors a working way of life that is now all but history.
Fleet Street was more than an address; it was an entire creative and, allegedly, commercial culture. It represented the might of journalism - national, regional and local, evening, daily and weekly - when newspapers first built up and then reflected the national mood; sold millions; changed attitudes; even toppled governments.
What today's reporters, anchored by cost controls and falling circulations to their desks, lunching on sarnies over the keyboard and downloading celeb copy from the internet, can only marvel at is that many Fleet Street reporters, writers, even editors of yesteryear got the job done at all, bearing in mind all the bars propped, glasses emptied and enduring fog of cigarette smoke.
From the Yorkshire dales via regional newspaper offices to the Fleet Street of the Daily Mirror and the Sun, Colin Dunne for decades lived this this time capsule of newspaper journalism while writing - humorously and always lightly - about the odd, peculiar, funny and the downright ordinary. Now he has turned his cuttings book into his own working life story. It's a cliche to say readers will laugh out loud and no newspaperman would ever reach for a cliche - so let this one highly entertained reader say it instead.
Man Bites Talking Dog could perhaps be called Life on Mars at the typewriter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic true story of newspapermen and women, 16 April 2010
By 
Mr. John M. Kay (north london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
This is simply one of the greatest books ever written about newspapers - and the men and women who produce them. It is also hilariously funny and crammed with witticisms and delicious anecdotes. As a writer, Colin Dunne is right up there with Evelyn Waugh , P G Wodehouse, and Tom Sharpe as a comic genius. Even 'civilians' - people with no newspaper connections - would find it a tremendous read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you couldn't make it up, 15 April 2010
By 
N. Stack "Neville Stack" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
The newspaper industry will never be the same again. Thank goodness
But for those of us who lived to tell the tale of those vintage times the memories tend to be tragic (divorce and early death) and/or a hoot
Colin Dunne, one of the great names of journalism in the Lunatic Years, when even editors didn't get fired for being drunk in charge of a newspaper,has dusted off his keyboard to recall some of the highlights and low lifes And some of the worhties and unworthies of our so-called profession
Man Bites Talking Dog is hilarious, sometimes poignant. I was with him some of the time and I can testify that it happened more or less as he says. The book proves that truth is funnier than fiction
In fact, you couldn't make it up Honest.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The writing elite, 15 Mar 2010
By 
G. Mather "geemath" (Lancashire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
I don't know how you define a Colin Dunne. He sits inside his latest book, Man Bites Talking Dog, displaying that mysterious and elusive ingredient found only in exceptional writers. It is a mixture of humour, observation and word-dexterity. Thurber had it but no-one could analyse it. Patrick Campbell had it. The Algonquin crew in New York, led by Dorothy Parker, ALL had it as they met for lunch at that celebrated round table long ago.

And we now have a newish generation of writers displaying their own brand of it. Caitlin Moran and Daisy Waugh of The Times. Zoe Heller. But what is it? The obvious answer - talent. But what makes the talent exceptional?

If gunge-writers heavy with big words, long sentences, and adjectival suicide knew what it was they would be writing it. But they don't. So the few, with their heads above the clouds are the elite.

Colin Dunne moved with modest distinction from life on a country weekly in the Yorkshire Dales to Fleet-street: a longish progression in which the raw tumult of a daily journalism retreated before the massed ranks of accountants, computers, carpets and No-smoking signs. He writes in his book of "the glory days of journalism." But that is the excuse. His chore. His reason for writing. The chore quickly transcends its reason as it soars with humour, observation, and a feel for language that is simple, direct, yet smooth and deceptively effortless.

I would be sorely depressed if his email name - dunnewriting - were true. He should be writing all the time. That is what he owes both us and his talent.Man Bites Talking DogI ordered three copies of this one book and will probably read all of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunne it all !, 26 Jan 2013
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Having read the book I now feel guilty for getting it free off Amazon given the parlous life of most journalists these days - how different from the "glory days" when a couple of score feature writers on the Mirror could be decently paid and reimbursed for non-existent expenses for barely writing a paragraph a month and some not even that apparently. But at least I think the book and the author are worth a decent review to get people noticing it and that may make up for the lack of contribution to the author's pension fund.

When you read the book you slowly realise you recognise the name but are not quite able to place it, having read it many times as a by-line in sundry publications, though not for me the Craven Herald. Such I guess is the life of a features writer - everywhere but not appreciated, and certainly not by editors on the evidence of this book. Dunne by his own account was a writer of "verbal candy-floss" treading the well worn path round the Provinces to Fleet Street - twice in his case. Self-effacement is a particularly strong suit and the reader can be easily misled and only later in the book do we see what a successful and talented writer he is. I would have liked a few more examples out of his cuttings file but the book is really an example of "Si monumentum requiris..." It's packed full of hilarious journalistic anecdotage sharply observed and gently written. If I had, it would have been worth paying for just for the story about Kelvin McKenzie and the ex-SAS man, though the tale about Hugh Cudlipp and Dunne's blue velvet suit back in the 70's is laugh out loud funny. Dunne name-checks all his old colleagues but as he finally reaches the heights the names drop like hailstones on a newly tarted up Dales barn roof: Brigitte Bardot who snogs him, Kirk Douglas who charms him and Bros who - who the hell were they?!

Not only funny, it's an observation of a changing world, not just pre-Leveson but pre Maxwell and pre Wapping. Despite the author's famous light touch the book left a certain sense of sadness but also satisfaction. Read it - better still buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny insight in journalism, 20 Nov 2012
This is one of the funniest book I've read in a long time. In a very dry, sarcastic style Colin Dunne describes his career from the small Yorkshire Dales to Fleet Street, the hub of journalism in the 70s and 80s. Partly because of the stories Dunne covers, but mostly because of the people he meets or works with and his self-deprecating irony this book made me laugh out loud many times. Not only does 'Man bites talking dog' reveal the famous reporter's life on Fleet Street it is a reminder of the glorious age of newspaper in general, but without being sentimental about it.
I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in journalism but apart from that just anyone who likes witty humour will love 'Man bites talking dog'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biting, but more so funny., 10 Nov 2012
This is the humorous autobiography of Colin Dunne, a witty journalist who began his career as a sixteen years old semi-literate with a passion for jazz and soft-porn. He first wrote for local newspaperslocal newspapers, before ending up on Fleet St.
The book has a wealth of anecdotes and the author is healthily self deprecating.

This book, focused on the theme of journalism, has particularly intrigued me as I've always been fascinated by it - and made me laugh out loud from the beginning to the end for amusing stories about the madness of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars same school, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
I was fascinated to read this, as the author went to the same school that I attended, and his reminiscences are hilarious
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Golden Age of Journalism, 28 Aug 2013
By 
J. Whitworth (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Man Bites Talking Dog (Paperback)
Reading Colin Dunne's Man Bites Talking Dog is akin to sitting in a smoke-filled pub, surrounded by friends and colleagues and nursing a pint of beer as tall tales of long ago are recalled with warmth and humour.

The book - a "hack-lit" reminiscence - starts with the author's first steps into the tobacco-stained world of 1950s journalism on a local weekly newspaper and takes us through the golden age of Fleet Street to the editorship of a popular, if financially challenged magazine. It is littered with many amusing anecdotes and moments of high comedy, some of which David Nobbs would feel proud to have penned. The fact that this is non-fiction makes them all the more satisfying. The cast of characters that traverse the pages of the book help bring to life a time when there was a real magic in the newspaper business in the days before the management consultants took over.

The most striking feature of the book is that despite, or perhaps because of all the humour, the reader is left feeling a little sad about the passing of a time when talent and tenaciousness were mixed with alcohol and tobacco to produce newspapers of real worth. Produced by a motley crew of eccentrics, Dunne's book leaves us in no doubt that they were home to some of the best writers of the day.

Colin Dunne's book is an elegy for a vanished world of typewriters, three hour lunches and bras in waste paper bins. What more could the reader ask?
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