5.0 out of 5 starsA world of possibilities and camaraderie
4 December 2017
I was recently researching a map about the literary scene in Walton-on-Thames and amongst authors/screenwriters/poets like William Thackeray and Dirk Bogarde I found the work of Matteo Sedazzari. It was a delight to find that his book 'A Crafty Cigarette' was not only full of the colour and ambience of the Mod era but also was a humorous and evocative read. Although I had never cruised the streets of Walton on a scooter, nor worn the smart attire of a Mod his book transported back to a time that felt alive, a world of possibilities and camaraderie. Sedazzari was the only living writer we included in the map (commissioned by Elmbridge Council) Walton-on-Thames Literary Walking Map (Elmbridge Map Series) and he deserves his place amongst some of the great authors who have graced the streets of Walton-on-Thames.
3.0 out of 5 starsa good naive scribe as would have been in these times ...
3 October 2016
I was seduced by the reviews and also the foreword being scripted by John Cooper Clarke and being a Mod at the time this was recorded I expected possibly more about the actual scene the author found himself in...a good naive scribe as would have been in these times from a schoolboy though.
This book took me back in time, a great tripdownmemory lane. Full of nostalgia and laughs, an easy read with lots of incidents and people you could easily relate to. I couldn't put it down because I just didnt want to. FANTASTIC.
Finished this the other day. It's another easy read and a great tripdownmemory lane, for anyone of the Mod revival era. It is narrated like a breathless and excitable (early) teenager. Whilst this is set in '78/79' (and ergo about 3 or 4 years before I hit my teens) there is much to be recognised with the clothes and the situations and scrapes that Matteo and his acolytes get up to both in and out of school. (A lot of fear and loathing in Secondary Modern). It's West London/Surrey setting is also very familiar to me and so I enjoyed the many parts that resonated with me personally. I would think that the work is semi-fiction and suspect that many parts actually did happen. The more fictional ending owes a debt to Lindsay Anderson's If (classic late 60's film starring Malcolm McDowell). All in all worth a read and as far as I'm aware the first Mod-revival fiction in the Mod cannon. Hat's off to Matteo and Paul J Hallam whose Old Dog Publishing venture hopes to bring out more youth-cult fiction in the not to distant future. Recommended!
This book is an absolute treat. The foreword is written John Cooper Clarke, an ex-mod himself. It's a powerful coming of age story of an aspiring young mod growing up in a Surrey suburbia during the late 70s and early 80s when the The Jam were at their highest peak. Matteo writes in an unapologetic excited manner that comes from the heart at times i laughed out loud. The mod era was a key time of British History, Thatcher was intoxicating Britain.... and the author was having a crafty cigarette. An absolute joy of a book. Well written, a great tripdown ol' memory lane for any mod. I feel there may be a tv adaption coming soon, and if there is n't why is n't there?!