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The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas (Disco Days) by [Ross, David F.]
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The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas (Disco Days) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 276 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

'An astonishing tour de force' - John Niven

'A madcap romp through the 1980s with Ayrshire's greatest band. It captures a world of indie rock and f***ing wallopers with hilarious elan' - Stuart Cosgrove

'A hilarious and caustic Boy's Own tale of achieving every wannabe pop star's dream... a No.1 Hit Single. The closest you'll ever get to being on Top of the Pops. A solid gold hit of a book!' - Colin McCredie

'The brilliance of David F. Ross is his ability to plunge us into 1980s Ayrshire in all its madness, violence and despair (with a smattering of hope). Pummelled by Thatcher, unemployment, crime and drugs but still full of great tunes, exciting bands and an awful lot of chancers. It s a vivid and colourful world... The dialogue is muscular and spot-on, the locations come alive and the characters are believably flawed. There's another novel to come and then Ayrshire has its own Barrytown Trilogy, and it is long overdue' - Words to Terrify

'Crucially Ross's novel succeeds in balancing light and dark, in that it can leap smoothly from brutal social realism to laugh-out-loud humour within a few sentences. It is a triumphant debut novel, which announces a real new talent on the Scottish literary scene' - Press and Journal

'Yes the language is colourful, but it's a highly enjoyable, pacy read... The story is set in the Thatcherite backdrop of the early 1980s, but it's the timeless account of a band of musicians trying to make it big in the music business... All of this against the musical backdrop of 1983/84 with references to The Clash, The Smiths, Top of the Pops and Midge Ure... compelling, hilarious, unputdownable. I could go on' --Eleanor's Shelves

About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he's become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for GBP500 at auction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 736 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; 2 edition (24 Dec. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016721UQW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,710 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This is the first novel I have read by this author and even though some of the characters in The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas feature in the authors other novel, The Last Days of Disco, I am living proof that you don’t need to have read it first to fully enjoy this one.

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is very much a story of nostalgia. As soon as I started reading it I was transported back to the eighties with memories of Top of The Pops and getting ready with my tape recorder to record my favourite songs that were in the top forty. There are many mentions of various groups that were around at that time. Some were certainly a blast from the past as I had totally forgotten about them. I have to admit to always being mainly a pop music kind of gal but quite a few of the groups that get mentioned were certainly a big influence in my brothers life which in a way still also played a part in mine.

I think the story gives the reader a feel for what it must be like for a band to try and make it big. I couldn’t help but want the band to succeed and at times I could feel how disheartened they were.

Even though there is a whole array of characters, Max is certainly the one to stand out. At first I wasn’t to sure whether I liked him. He obviously wants to make his mark on the world but is very much fuelled with anger. Even though there is quite a lot of swearing in the novel, I think it is very paramount and made the whole vibe of that time feel a lot more real.

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is an engaging and enjoyable read and is an absolute must read for lovers of the eighties and the whole music scene.
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Mar. 2016
Format: Paperback
Rock 'n' Roll doesn't necessarily mean a band. It doesn't mean a singer, and it doesn't mean a lyric, really. It's that question of trying to be immortal.

- Malcolm McLaren, quoted in this book

I am grateful to Karen at Orenda Books for a copy of The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and - full disclosure - for quoting from my review of Ross's previous book, The Last Days of Disco.

Like Last Days, Miraculous Vespas is set in Ayrshire in the early 80s. It follows on from the events of the earlier book and features some of the same characters. It doesn't though continue the story of the Heatwave Disco boys, but focuses instead on the titular band, formed by would-be music mogul Max Mojo (born Dale Wishart). Injured in the dust-up that concluded Last Days, Max/ Dale rises from a coma, changes his name and personality and sets out to make his dream of immortality real. But it isn't easy. Adopting a florid New Romantic dress sense and at the mercy of a war between two very different inner personalities, the cards seem to be stacked against him. But he has determination. He wants to make it big, and to create something beautiful. So he forms a band consisting of drummer Maggie, (fostered, just out of care, and short of trust in anyone), Grant (whose father - lieutenant to local crime boss Fat Franny Duncan, the would be nemesis of Heatwave - died in the earlier book) and the Sylvester boys (who have never got over the tragic loss of their mother in a lawnmower accident).

Can this collection of orphans, together, produce music that is new and true?

At the same time, the Ayrshire crime families we met before also face challenges.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I must admit I hadn't heard of David F Ross or his books until I was chatting to a fellow blogger who had highly recommended them (the first book was in her top 10 of last year!) So I jumped at an opportunity to see what all the hype was about and ended up back down memory lane reading this fabulous flashback to Scotland in the 1980s. I haven't read the first book in the trilogy but as this isn't strictly a follow on there will be no problem if you haven't either as this can totally be read as a standalone (Last Days of Disco has been added to my wishlist though!)

This is the tale of The Miraculous Vespas and the road to their short lived success as a band. Grant Delgado, his girlfriend Maggie, the Sylvester twins Eddie and Simon all overseen by Dale Wishart-now known by his alter ego name Max Mojo (after a spell of being unconscious in hospital). It's a tale full of local gangsters, friendships and dark humour set in a time where no-one knew about political correctness and Christmas dinner wasn't allowed to interfere with the Top Of The Pops Christmas Day special.

As a teenager growing up in Scotland at the time this novel is set, I found it to be a totally realistic social commentary of that time! I loved the way it was told in local dialect (this may take a little time to get used to for some but my husband's collection of Oor Wullie and The Boons annuals have always been a Christmas highlight for me!) as this makes it feel like your are just having a chat down the pub with your mates. Be warned though the language is VERY strong if you are easily offended but again this novel is committed to realism so that's to be expected.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the memories this book has brought back-the songs and the pop culture media of the time.
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