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The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas by [Ross, David F.]
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The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas 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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'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: 732 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,000 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Another romp through the all too familiar west of Scotland of my youth. And before you declare nepotism David F and I don't even share the same fitba team. I wonder if I am the only reviewer who once did a fill in DJ shift who actually did a dj shift in Pebbles in troon, and as a Glasgow Bhoy learned to my cost the good people of troon weren't ready for The Bunnymen, The Cure or white lines at the time, and certainly not for That kind of Grandmaster on the Wheels of Steel.
A few chronological themes I'd take issue with (as a pedant), but, suspend belief jump on board and enjoy an incredible Vespa driven Nostalgia ride!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Last year, I chuckled away reading The Last Days of Disco, by David F Ross. It’s a joy to get my hands on the follow up book The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas. Sometimes you need a lighter read, with plenty of laughter and a fabulous 1980s soundtrack. This book can easily read as a standalone. You don’t really need to know what happened in The Last Days of Disco to truly appreciate this.

Vespas is the story of a colourful and quirky Scottish teenage band, as they aim for success. We follow young Max Mojo, through the trials and tribulations of forming a band, the tours and the release of their single! Of course, we get the return of Fat Franny, the lovable shady gangster from The Last Days of Disco and more of the criminal element in Kilmarnock.

What I absolutely adore about this book is the accuracy of the 1980s vibe. I was young in 1982, but I remember it all. It was a time before the internet and mobile phones. I was hooked on Peter Davison in Doctor Who, books and Top of the Pops. There are just so many references to this time and they all made me smile. Masses of music and cultural references, that are fabulous. I guarantee most of the readers will be checking out their 1980s music and having a sing-along.

One of my favourite scenes is the wonderful encounter between Max Mojo and Boy George. Ross is a genius with these comic moments and creating the perfect nostalgic read.

I was very drawn to Max Mojo. There is an almost innocent endearing quality to him. He wants immortality through the Vespas, not fame and fortune. Isn’t that lovely? He started off life as a dull Dale Wishart and had a personality change following a bang on his head. This makes him erratic and prone to mood changes. My heart went out to him.

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Format: Paperback
1980s: The search for pop immortality in 1980s Kilmarnock

This book messes with your head. I mean I’ve not stopped humming many an 80’s tune since reading it. Granted I did play the record that came with the review copy, but the music from the words on the page is more than catchy. The swearing and cursing are back with a vengeance an whilst this won’t suit everyone – it fits the time and place and the attitude of a young band at the time.

The Scottish banter, vernacular and general Scottish setting make this story both unique and a right bloody laugh. Honest, raw and brutal in equal measure. It’s a fast and furious ride into the music world, the highs and the lows and all those grey areas in between. This was a great sequel to those disco days and there’s a third in the series which I can’t wait for.

It’s just so much fun this book – although there’s a serious overtone to it too – this book is a raucous ride back through the eighties on the back of a Vespa with the music blaring out and the wind in your hair. Well, this is how it made me feel although some of the redness in my cheeks was due to the very colourful language in some very unexpected places! It’s a journey in every way from the very first page until the end when you close the book and the hum of that vespa driving off into the distance.

This book is a real tour of Scotland and its many great music venues so we have an interactive map on the booktrail.com as a kind of retro tour. Vespas optional but highly recommended!
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By MartinRG TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Jan. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The benefit of reading The Last Days of Disco late was that I could go straight in to The Rise of the Miraculous Vespas straight away (currently only on Kindle). Although it is possible to read this without reading Last Days of Disco I wouldn't recommend it as there is a lot of intertwining and referencing (so get both books!).

Vespas takes place around the same time as the first book, with some of the lesser characters coming to the fore. There are parallel (and linked) stories around gangsters and the formation of the band which made me laugh a lot. The story is partly told from a look back from the current day which works well. I won't spoil the story or plot but if you are a fan of Disco you'll love this. Lots of 80s references too - some maybe shoehorned in but being of mature age I got some happy flashbacks.

Lots of swearing and be prepared to speak in a Scottish accent though all of the book!

Great to see this is the second book in a trilogy but guess I'll have to wait a year for the next one.

Perfect for fans of John Niven or Irvine Welsh fans in need of something a bit more mellow.

Highly recommended
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