Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 20 August 2009
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.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 July 2009
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.
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 September 2010
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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 October 2010
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.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 October 2011
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 ...
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 November 2014
Well you pays your money you take a chance..haha this cost me 1p second hand and a couple of quid for post!
Arrived mint condition (thank you!) and what a brilliant book it is! If there's a better book about Wilson out there please let me know..
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 July 2013
Tony Wilson was very influential. He was involved in TV, Factory Records, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays,The Hacienda. This book charts the rise and demise of and was a great read. If any of the above interests you, then this is a must read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 December 2012
This man was vastly under rated in the history of music in the UK. He was influential, passionate, charming and he put his money where his mouth was, usually open and pontificating. Without him, we wouldn't have had...and I'm amazed if you can't fill that in with one of your favourites.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 August 2009
...a great read! Yes - all the "obvious" aspects of his life are included with regard to The Hacienda and Factory Records, yet Nolan has clearly gone that extra yard to include many an unknown thing about these Manchester institutions - every page is a "well I didn't know that" moment. The book also exaplains his upbringing and his life behind the camera. Many a person has contributed to the book including Tony's wife - Yvette, which has then been cleverly peiced together resulting in a celebratory collaboration of Tony's life... Not to say this book is all roses... A must have.
22 comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse