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Take it Cool Paperback – 14 Jul 2014
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Lovely Stuff --Ian Rankin
Pinnock writes with verve and humour and gently leads you through his somewhat odd quest, blending information about the records themselves (all singles), the musicians, the producers, the reggae scene and the history of the Pinnocks in Jamaica........This is recommended for fans of UK reggae, music lovers, record collectors, family history aficionados and people interested in Jamaican history and the history of slavery. --Peter Sutton, BRSBKBLOG
Any mention of reggae calls to mind the Conservative politician several decades ago who attempted to boost his street cred by talking about his love of it, but who scuppered all cred by pronouncing it 'Reggie'. I did at least know how to pronounce it, but not much more. My point is that this book is not just for reggae buffs (if that is the term). It is intriguing, unusual and very, very funny. Apart from the main theme, there are riffs on the coolness - or otherwise - of the oboe, a cemetery in Portishead, and the graveyard of Stevenage. Even the secondary theme - the worrying possibility of ancestral involvement in the slave trade - while by no means flippant - still doesn't dampen the wit. And there's a happy ending (and who knows, maybe this book will do for Dennis what 'Searching For Sugarman' did for Rodriguez). I honestly can't think of a better, more off-beat summer read, with maybe 'Total Reggae Summer Vibes' in the background, and a long, cool drink. 'Lovely stuff'. --David Rose, Author
"Take it Cool is like Who Do You Think You Are? spliced with Pete Frame's Rock Family Trees....he makes funny and self-deprecating company" --The Herald, Scotland
"....he makes funny and self-deprecating company" --The Herald, Scotland
This is part-memoir, part investigative journalism, part-comedy. But at its generous heart lies a meaningful middle-aged-coming-of-age story strangely combining music, stamp collecting and family history (complete with skeletons). But it works: think Nick Hornby s novel High Fidelity crossed with an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? And add a dash of Are you Dave Gorman? ....told with a healthy dose of self-depracating wit....you ll be laughing . --Family Tree Magazine
About the Author
Jonathan Pinnock is the author of Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens (Proxima Books, September 2011), and the Scott Prize-winning short story collection Dot Dash (Salt Publishing, November 2012). Dot Dash was favourably reviewed in the Independent on Sunday and was longlisted for both the 2013 Edge Hill Prize and the 2013 Frank O Connor International Short Story Award. He is also the author of the non-fiction work Professional DCOM Application Development (Wrox Press) and co-author of a further twelve books on computer software development. Three of these have been cited in scientific papers, and three chapters of Professional DCOM Application Development have also been re-published by Microsoft Developer Network.
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Now, the author had guessed before he started out on his quest that any, even the shallowest, search into Jamaica's past was going to lead him to the slave trade and plantation owners - so he was rather hoping there wouldn't be a connection! Even so he tracks down the early Pinnock colonists of the seventeenth century and their descendants, including one who quickly earns the name "Dog-face Phil". Alongside this story, he tries to track down Dennis himself via record label back-catalogues and that miracle of research tools, the internet, in the hope that one day the cool and un-cool branches of the Pinnocks may meet. If you've watched the BBC's Who Do you Think You Are? you'll know that researching family history is a lot of pot-luck - sometimes it's full of surprises and stories, while sometimes it's of little interest to anyone beyond relatives. Having read Jonathan Pinnock's fiction, I expected him to turn what could be a plodding piece of research into something interesting and fun - and he did! The different threads are easily-followed, and build an amusingly-told story that held the attention of a non-Pinnock with no interest in reggae (I didn't even recognise the names of it's stars!)
And for anyone interested in researching their own family history, there are a few pointers at websites and organisations that may prove useful