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The North: (And Almost Everything In It) Hardcover – 6 Jun 2013
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Breathtaking tour de force . His youthful insecurities, set against the limestone and industrial certainties of the north, make the memoir strands of this book engaging and truthful. The sheer scope of his interest is a delight . A dizzy and delightful pleasure-beach ride. And I love the little asides; they are more than digressions or tributaries to the abandoned slip road in the sky just off the Mancunian Way. The North is a major achievement that has kept Morley at the coal-face of the keyboard for so many years. But it's been time well-spent: the result is as bold, broad and sweeping as the north itself, and just as quirky and contradictory ***** (Stuart Maconie, Mail on Sunday)
A personal odyssey going north by north-west and a tour de force (Simon Armitage)
An impressive, sprawling attempt by the former NME journalist to capture the north of England. In its springing from topic to topic, and its curiously arbitrary apportioning of attention to subjects that interest him, it almost resembles Morley's offbeat sleeve notes for 1980s agit-popsters Frankie Goes to Hollywood . Packed with raw emotions and ambivalent passions . Morley writes with care and precision, though, and his rhythm is such that his book is a lively, breezy read (Sunday Times)
A fascinating attempt to define what it means to be a northerner, to try to capture a sense of difference that cuts deeper than just an accent ... A journey that is part family memoir, part history book, part cultural and social commentary and wholly northern in its outlook ... Like an early spring walk in Wordsworth's Lake District or a stroll along Blackpool's breezy Golden Mile, the journey has its moments ... If there is one thing his ambitious work shows it's that we may not have the weather or the wealth of the south but true northerners will always have soul **** (Daily Express)
Morley's writing skipped and span, whirled out from specifics to ghosts, those hard-to-capture feelings around the north. He examined northern clichés, our "standardised national story", used the insights of musicians and writers to test theories and prejudices ... The ideas are insightful and the execution inspired (Miranda Sawyer, Observer)
He combines memoir with fragments of his region's own social and cultural background to show that the differences go deeper than just an accent. As a Midlands native, living in the south but with strong Northern roots, it's just my cup of Tetley (Bookseller)
Paul's book is a delight: as vast, mysterious and romantic as the north itself (Radio Times)
A loving portrait of England's other half (London Review of Books)
An idiosyncratic rumination on what it means to be northern . It's bound to deposit a certain amount of iron in the soul (Guardian)
A passionate, irresistible encouragement to listen more, and to listen better (Sunday Times)
A celebratory and beautiful mixture of memoir, social history and cultural observation, Paul Morley's The North is a unique portrait of Northern England and almost everything within itSee all Product description
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Instead I read about Liverpool and a bit of some other places.
It was very disjointed. Did not flow. At times repetitive.
How on earth has the author got such good reviews in print? Am I missing something?
It's North West bias suited this Lancashire lad, now living down south.
My personal journey from Fylde coast, via catering degree at the Holling's Toast Rack building, digs in Didsbury and Longsight, clubs and gigs across the city, to London and now family life in the home counties, mean that the books themes had some (coincidental) resonance with me.
However I also enjoyed the small town minutiae, in Paul's case Reddish, many of the less personal aspects, could be transported to wherever the reader bought their Holland's pies from or went to school at.
The changing prose styles encompassing Kerouac free form on Liverpool, add variety, with the sections on the history of the region, industrial, artistic, or otherwise, entertaining and educational.
The North is a different place for everyone, and where most of us, who are from there, leave some of our heart.
This book was an enjoyable reminder of that for this reader.
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