No Off Switch: An Autobiography Hardcover – 1 Jul 2011
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Andy Kershaw has led an extraordinary life. His unrivalled role in bringing World Music to the ears of the west is just part of the story of this man whose zest for life, music, people, experience and travel made him the finest British broadcaster bar none. That his life has had its ups and downs is to say that the Alps have snowy peaks, but throughout this dizzyingly paced and often wildly hilarious book he brings alive his matchless career, and the cultural life of a Britain that seems to be vanishing. Forget Media Studies and a life of student debt: read NO OFF SWITCH and learn what it is to be a real broadcast journalist, a real achiever. A real someone. (Stephen Fry)
Without you we wouldn't know nothin'! (Joe Strummer)
Andy Kershaw's memoir zooms along with the high-velocity recklessness of a TT racer. It's impossible not to cheer him on as he accelerates round the hairpin bends of his life, yelling hilarious defiance at anyone who tries to stop him. (Francis Wheen)
It's his ability to convey a sense of moment-by-moment aliveness that makes Andy Kershaw, in my opinion, the greatest living English-language broadcaster... With his unerring instinct for what will bring the story to life for the listener, he's done both jobs [Radio 1 DJ and foreign correspondent] better than anyone else. (Toby Litt New Statesman 2011-07-14)
Fabulously well-written...the wit, the brimming enthusiasm and the outrage all come direct from the broadcasting voice, but there are wonderful turns of phrase too. (James Medd Word Magazine 2011-08-01)
The excellent Radio 3 series Music Planet earlier this year showed that he's still got his broadcasting chops... he's clearly a talented bloke...hilariously opinionated... There are some terrific passages... For the past 25 years he has been one of the best things on radio - partly responsible for the "birth" of world music. Without him, artists of the stature of the Bhundu Boys and Ali Farka Toure would probably never have impacted on the wider world. I hope the Music Planet gig is only the start of a triumphant second half of his career. Whatever he broadcasts in future, I'm likely to be listening. (Chris Maume Independent 2011-07-08)
A groundbreaking DJ... Kershaw has had one hell of a life... strange and comic (Fiona Sturges Independent on Sunday 2011-07-10)
This sparky autobiography captures with exuberance his pioneering career as a music broadcaster who opened our ears, and still does. (I (mini-Independent) 2011-07-11)
It's his ability to convey a sense of moment-by-moment aliveness that makes Andy Kershaw, in my opinion, the greatest living broadcaster in the English language... His radio appearances have become rare. He's an intermittent eruption, making everything before and after sound as if it were made by zombies. (Toby Litt New Statesman 2011-07-18)
Kershaw has had fascinating life, most of which is considerably more interesting than his troubled later years. (Andrzej Lukowski Metro 2011-07-13)
Infuriating, revealing, candid, funny, rough-edged and, ultimately, moving... He writes like he broadcasts, engagingly, knowledgeably, and opinionatedly... (Alan Taylor Herald 2011-07-24)
Confirms what a fine travel writer he is, with a particularly sharp eye for the telling detail... Andy Kershaw will always be something of a hero. (James Walton Daily Mail 2011-08-19)
Intrepid to the point of lunacy, Kershaw escaped ambushes, landmines and guns being pushed in his face and has lived to tell us this most admirable tale... A terrific read... The boy wonder has survived it all and this thoroughly absorbing journal bears witness to that. Kershaw's integrity and humility shines throughout. I couldn't put this down... A mesmerising read about triumph through huge adversity. (Emrys Baird Blues and Soul 2011-08-01)
A staggeringly good read. It takes a lot for me to laugh heartily. I'll be stealing openly from it. This book is magnificent. (Nigel Blackwell, Half Man Half Biscuit)
A highly passionate, opinionated, witty, enlightening account of the broadcaster's career, personal life and world view. (Record Collector 2011-10-01)
He made me travel a little further than I usually do! He has an ability to do things first and ask questions afterwards. Not a recipe for a safe, secure life, maybe, but it makes things a lot more interesting for the rest of us!
I've always enjoyed his foreign correspondent reports - and felt envious too.
He is such an enthusiast.(Michael Palin 2011-11-02)
The book depicts with candour, humour and sharpness a life jammed with incident... a winning combination of levity and seriousness. (Ian Harrison Mojo 2011-10-01)
Britain's maverick radio DJ and foreign correspondent is back on air and in print with this no-holds-barred autobiography of a full-throttle lifeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And so when I picked up Andy Kershaw's No Off Switch, I was drawn in at once to his fascinating, first-hand account of this world. The book is humorous and full of energy and cheek. Kershaw's lived a life most of us can only dream of, and still, the book is accessible, relatable.
I was touched by Kershaw's honesty and self-deprecating candour about his shyness throughout his youth. About the time he worked up enough courage to approach the cool, assured Entertainment Secretary in the student union at Leeds University; a guy with `bog-brush hair'--a much older, mature student--and ask him for his job when he left. It was Kershaw's first day at uni. He was scrawny and `looked about twelve,' in comparison. And even though he was terrified and the guys hanging around nearby laughed him off, the Secretary, Steve, immediately signed Kershaw up as an Entertainment steward. `I was in. I was signed up. Me. I belonged,' Kershaw writes.
This is just the beginning. Kershaw has a way of inviting the reader in--of hauling us into the moment, right beside him. While he's travelled to 97 of the world's 193 countries, reported from the frontlines during the Rwanda genocide, worked alongside Billy Bragg and the Rolling Stones, his fears and insecurities, his enthusiasm, are what makes this book come alive. Which of us doesn't want to belong? Which of us still remembers the day we stood, with nervous energy, in a crowd at our first concert, our ears blasted by stereo noise, cherishing our ticket stubs?
I highly recommend this book; it captures the essence of youth and is an all-around entertaining read.
His book has just that same blast of single-minded enthusiasm that his shows did then. I knew I liked the music he liked: now I find he doesn't like the same music I don't like, such as U2 and Led Zeppelin: good to know! His account is as honest and straightforward as you'd expect, beautifully written, no fools suffered, opinions bluntly expressed, very, very funny, and a lot harder to put down than almost any thriller I've read. You don't need to like world music - or even music much, for that matter - to like No Off Switch. It's just a glorious romp through the life of a permanent fan who has unearthed great music, has met a lot of interesting (and some great) people, and been to some seriously bad places like Haiti and Angola. The guy's a real national treasure.
I'm pleased he's over his personal problems and back on form: we need him more than ever (and I'm far from being a leftie like him). But Andy, it may be a thick book but it's still way too short - I hope you're going to put pen to paper again soon.
Get it now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really good read, great in sight into his later work, and many travelsPublished 1 month ago by stubrown0
Great read, what an interesting life Andy has led and what an intellect!Published 4 months ago by Katherine Burke
One of the best, if not the best, autobiographies I have ever read. Intensely moving yet very funny, it's a no-holds barred look into the soul of a man who has led an... Read morePublished 7 months ago by HKC
Entertaining, informative book tho' at times I wished that Andy would indeed find his 'off switch' as he seems to have an opinion on absolutely everything. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ellen