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Man Bites Talking Dog Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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Top customer reviews
"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.
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.
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.
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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