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Tony Wilson - You're Entitled to an Opinion Hardcover – 3 Aug 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd; 1st Edition edition (3 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844548635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844548637
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 566,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Steeped in the chaotic swirl of the Manchester music scene, David Nolan is the critically acclaimed author of Bernard Sumner: Confusion and I Swear I Was There: The Gig That Changed The World. He's also an award-winning former Granada TV producer with 150 television credits to his name including documentaries on the Sex Pistols, The Smiths and Echo and the Bunneymen.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Of all the books to have been written about Tony Wilson and the Factory story this is the first, certainly since the release of 24 Hour Party People, to avoid being either congratulatory or patronising towards its subject. Nolan, who is emerging as a specialist in writing ordinary books about extra-ordinary people, manages to convey admiration for the diverse and unusual work of Tony without sitting in judgement. The facts are crammed into this richly-researched work, presented chronologically and plainly with a few well-placed quotes from Tony, key figures in his life and Nolan himself.

Nolan's career and social life brought him close enough to Tony and his work for him to be well-informed, but he is unfazed by the notoriety and legend. At the end of Chapter 3, a brief and painful moment where Nolan becomes one with the tale, the author resists the temptation to have the last word.

Nolan appears to be the only person in Manchester who doesn't have an opinion on Tony Bloody Wilson, but makes no secret of his dislike of one of the other characters in the tale. A cutting jibe in the helpful Where Are They Now section provides the best of a laugh out loud moment in a book-long campaign that reminded me of the Horoscopes in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (which you should also read).

The best of Factory's work was like a succession of little secrets that you were the first to hear. You will feel like you are the first person to read this book; there is certainly no sign that anybody proof-read it. The final 30 pages are given over to a make-weight Factory Discography and there's a page of references where Nolan helpfully recommends that you read his other books. There's a thoughtful selection of photographs in the middle and 25p from each copy sold goes to the Christie charity so buy your own rather than borrowing it.

Essential reading for anyone who's interested.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Salford lad who grew up around the house scene and Manchester's cultural and actual explosions I thought I knew quite a bit about Tony Wilson, turns out I didn't. This book is written in a warm yet often blunt way towards Wilson. It often reveals some tender moments and humanises him more than some of the other books. A pleasant surprise for me was seeing a former college of mine regularly quoted about his time working with Wilson at Granada.

I read this from cover to cover on a train trip to London and was left a little emotional about his passing and also frustrated that since Wilson Manchester has never really had anyone who was truly connected into the city's veins.
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Format: Hardcover
Inevitable someone was going to tackle Wilson's life - but this isn't the expected book at all. Yes the Factory Records/ Hacienda stories are all here ... it's to be expected and it's thoroughly done by someone who clearly knows his stuff. But there's so much more. Wilson's childhood is well and truly revealed (first of many surprises) as are his personal entanglements, his telly career (usually overlooked, but covered here including his many triumphs and sackings)and his battle with cancer. Really brave of his partner to talk about this. The chapter where the author gives the text over to her is really moving (there's a donation to a cancer charity for every copy). There's even a breakdown of all the weird Factory catalogue numbers right down to the most obscure item for all the trainspotters. Woolly hats and menstrual timers anyone? All here. Class.
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Format: Paperback
Tony Wilson was someone who I'd heard about, seen on telly, knew he'd had something to do with the hacienda and joy division/new order, and who had some sort of manchester connection. But I wasn't an expert on his life and his influence - nor on his idiosyncracies, his foibles and his love of a quotation. Nolan's book informs, amuses and entertains - and does it through the sheer weight of research, personal knowledge and narrative structure. It's a fascinating glimpse into one man's input into a city culture which really did make waves, and it's a tale told by someone who knew him, respected him and was there or thereabouts when most of it happened. It's a book full of great interviews, great pictures, and terrific detail - and a story that took me right back to the 80s and 90s. I finished it fascinated and informed - as well as entertained and impressed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Almost everything Tony said was interesting, yet this book takes its name from a boorish put-down. The prose is pedestrian. The front cover layout is horrible, as you can see here (the back cover photo almost makes up for it though). The author worked with Wilson at Granada so is much stronger on the TV than the music, which is a bit like if the New Testament dwelt on the carpentry. Another review mentioned the typos - Shaun Ryder's name is misspelt at one point. So this is not the biography Tony Wilson deserved but happily the film and the book Tony deserved (24 Hour Party People - Single Disc Edition [2002] [DVD] and 24 Hour Party People) were already in existence before he died.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book, well written and easy to read. I found out many things about Tony Wilson (TW) that I had not previously gleaned from other sources like tv and internet. The author's admiration and affection for TW shines throughout. However, there is an undercurrent of inverted snobbery, with TW referred to as "posh" and/or "posh-talking". In reality, virtually all news presenters at that time in the north-west were well-spoken middle-class folk ie Stuart Hall, Richard Madeley, Judy Finnegan, Lucy Meacock and Gordon Burns. Likewise, many music industry bigwigs have come from privileged backgrounds eg Brian Epstein, George Martin, Pete Jenner and Simon Cowell. So TW was by no means unusual, doing what he did, class-wise ! Strangely, towards the end of his tv career, I noticed a slight Manc accent in his voice ...

The Factory catalogue at the end of the book is useful and interesting, although dates for each FAC "event" are sadly missing.

The incident in the "24 Hour Party People" film-comedy where TW is attacked in the Factory boardroom by Rob Gretton - I still don't know whether that is true or not ...

Finally, what a sad indictment of Manchester folk, lots of whom, according to this book, used to insult TW on the street - so much for the "friendly northener" stereotype ! Actually, some of those name-callers must have done it in jest but was Tony to know ? Some Liverpudlians did not like TW but TW didn't hate Liverpool, he simply wanted to tease and provoke ; he had the extreme nerve, bravery and love of an argument to criticise the "attitude" of an element of aggressive and isolationist Scousers ...
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