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Radio Head: Up and Down the Dial of British Radio Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847392547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847392541
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Osborne graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2004. He has taught English in Austria and Germany, and has had poetry published in the Guardian and the Spectator. Radio Head is his first book.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Hugely enjoyable, especially if you listen to a fair bit of radio.

The author chooses a different radio station each day and writes down his thoughts about the presenters, the discussions and the music played.

He does much of this from while supposedly going about his mind-numbing daily job (data-inputting), and also describes his crush on Poppy, a woman working on the other side of the office.

There are also some interviews with people involved in radio (Mark Radcliffe, Nicholas Parsons, etc.), which provide welcome interludes and some useful context.

It's gentle, funny and oddly compelling stuff. Pretty good idea for a book, too. Has anyone else done this before?
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By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
This was a diverting, entertaining and quick read, based on the author`s simple idea of listening to a different UK radio channel each day and recording his thoughts about the experience.

Osborne is a genial, humorous commentator, intertwining the narrative of his listening project with the daily aspects of his life - his rather mundane job, his co-workers and his personal aspirations - as he gets involved with local radio and the research interviews that would eventually become part of the book. Much of the time he lets transcribed excerpts from the programmes he listens to do the talking, followed by his reactions to them - far more interesting than it sounds and quite an effective idea.

"Radio Head" is unlikely to change your world to any extent, but Osborne's enthusiasm and genuine love of radio make this a far more rewarding read than it might appear on first consideration.
A gently absorbing book, worth picking up.
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Format: Paperback
I found Radio Head entertaining, funny and original. I am pretty sure the author didn't intend to produce a serious profile of radio (which can probably be found elsewhere) and indeed his journey combines fact with humour and works very well. Contrary to an other review(s) I feel that the commentary on the hum drum of everyday life and work and affections for his colleague "Poppy" adds a lot more to the book and the interviews are factual and relevant. The choice of stations feels appropriate as it covers a broad range from national institutions such as Radio 4 to the cringesome commercial stations with there idiosyncratic OTT DJ's. In addition to profiling radio programmes the author also provides interesting diversions such the history Radio 4's "Just a Minute". I like John Osbornes style of writing an enjoyed this book very much, I'm now looking forward to reading The Newsagent's Window. Long live radio!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really clever idea, presented in a similar way to a blog, I suppose. The author listens to a different radio station each day, and compares and contrasts the station's outputs with each other, and with the events around him. Except it's better, warmer and funnier than that.
As the background narrative progressed I found I had broadly similar opinions to the author, which naturally has had a positive effect on my opinion of his book.
I don't want to give anything away, but the author meets interesting radio people, which elevates the book from 'They played this song' to a thoughtful look into the world of broadcasting.
As with any non-fiction book I buy it because I hope to learn something new - this book was very successful in that. Informative and pleasing to read. I'm very pleased I bought this book, I've no hesitation in recommending it.
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Format: Paperback
John Osborne's warm, witty debut is at once a guided tour round the dizzying range of radio programmes being broadcast for free 24 hours a day, and an affectionate state of the nation piece that celebrates Britain's contradictory mix of parochialism and diversity. Packed with funny anecdotes, interesting facts and interviews with the great and good of modern British radio, it also tells the story of how radio, in its own small way, slowly changed the author's life. Following his gradual transformation through the book is great fun, and makes this already cosy and entertaining title a real page-turner too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such a good book and a great insight into the world of radio for those who aren't familiar with it. It's also nice for those who are familiar with it as you get a different opinion on some of your favourite and not so favourite DJs and stations!
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Format: Paperback
This is gently compelling comedy in which the writer takes you on his adventure with radio. Trapped in a boring inconsequential job he uses his time positively to explore the unfamiliar as well as the familiar parts of British radio entertainment. Through listening to the radio the central character changes and improves. It's a lovely read and is to be highly recommended as an antidote for stress. If you're a fan of radio, even if you listen on the Internet, you will enjoy this book. It's lively, entertaining, and a comfortable read on front of a winter fire or on a hot summer's day in the garden. It would make an excellent present for anyone.
The author is a graduate of the University of East Anglia and has taught in schools in Austria and Germany and is currently working on a second book
Thank You for the Days: A Boys' Own Adventures in Radio and BeyondAdventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle EnglandPies and Prejudice: In Search of the NorthCider with Roadies.
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