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Suggs and the City: Journeys through Disappearing London Paperback – 10 Jun 2010
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In these Cowell-fuelled times, young musicians would do well to look to Suggs's historical delving (The Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Loosely based on the award-winning ITV series Disappearing London, Madness front-man Suggs takes a journey through the main drags and side streets of his beloved London town and uncovers its hidden treasuresSee all Product description
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A well written and entertaining read. Some more please Suggs.
This book is written either in Suggs's own "inimitable" style, or in the way we might expect him to write, laced with metropolitan witticisms - I suspect a little of both. If he wrote all of it (rather than a ghost writer and/or his editor having hefty input) I'd be pleasantly surprised, particularly as the book seems to go hand-in-glove with the TV series `Disappearing London'; so I have to assume that much of the research was done by a team connected with that programme (which, I'm abashed to state, I have not seen; but the DVD is due out next year and I intend to buy it. If it proves me wrong, I'll come back on here and say so). There are also odd inconsistencies where the prose drops back into what I rashly assume was the Nutty one's original typed version.
The references to Madness's `Norton Folgate' album make me think that this book is part of an advertising and marketing package, so rife these days. The flow is sometimes a little disjointed, lapsing into interviews with Amanda Barrie and Stephen Fry, which again smack of TV; but these are not followed up consistently with similar meetings later in the book and, frankly, I could have done without these two. Yet I can't complain, as my own taste is disjointed, preferring the socio-cultural aspects of GMcP's trawl (such as the super-green Colony Room Club, which I wish I'd seen when it was open) to the history of Stamford Bridge, say (but even that has interesting pointers on historic architecture).
This book scores a 4 for the nature of its content, prompting me to sniff out some of the central locations. Thanks, Suggs (even if you do support CFC!)
Being originally from Camden myself, and knowing many of the haunts and one or two of the characters in book, it did set me thinking about how London has changed from when I was young up to the point I left in the early 90s and onto now, and how my life might have been different if I had stuck around.
Pretty thought provoking stuff, but I can understand that if you have no emotional attachment and are looking for a historical precis or a tourist guide then you may feel like you've picked up the wrong book.
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