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Fitzcarraldo (Yorkshire)

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KP - the Biography of Kevin Pietersen
KP - the Biography of Kevin Pietersen
by Marcus Stead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.82

1.0 out of 5 stars Cricket seems to inspire some great writing, sadly that's not the case with this ..., 21 July 2014
Cricket seems to inspire some great writing, sadly that's not the case with this sorry excuse for a biography.

I was bought it as I like cricket, I'll be honest I'm no fan of the rebranded Pietersen (or KP, as he seems to be known these days) but gave it a go. I had to retire well before the finish, a massive damp cloud stopped play. It's the worst cricket related book I've ever picked up.

Boy About Town: A Memoir
Boy About Town: A Memoir
by Tony Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is timeless, days are long when you're young, 31 July 2013
If you ever bought a record, went to a gig, bought a fanzine, formed a band or thought about forming a band you need this book! My bookshelves are groaning under the weight of biographies and accounts of the period of music this book covers (1976-80) but I can honestly say this is the best account of what was a thrilling time it was to be growing up at that time and the music scene of the time.

'Boy About Town' tells the story of a typical teenage boy attempting to avoid the bullies at school, failing spectacularly to impress any girl enough for them to want to be their girlfriend, spending Saturdays on the football terraces and buying records and going to gigs. Where it differs from the normal coming of age memoir is the fact the author starts a fanzine whilst still at school gaining access to many of the bands of the time and attending many seminal gigs, forms a band (albeit one with a terrible heavy metal style name!) and forms a friendship with the man a large percentage of the male population under the age of 24 wanted to be or to be friends with, Paul Weller. Also I don't recall too many people admitting in their memoirs that they once set themselves the task of copying the phone book!

Like Tony I was born in East Yorkshire and loved the music of this period, I too was a massive Jam fan but living in a small town in Yorkshire had to rely on the music papers of the time and John Peel to keep track of what was happening in the world of punk rock and in particular The Jam. Through Tony's friendship with Weller he has access to The Jam and is invited to spend time in the recording studio with the band (his proficiency at playing the cello coming in handy at one stage!) and also finds himself at many of the bands gigs. His fanzine gives him access to many of the bands of the time, he even gets to sit in on a couple of John Peel shows, maybe I was sat at home listening on the headphones as Tony sat watching 'live'?

The supporting cast of many is very impressive, Tony's wonderful mum, school friends, school bullies, potential girlfriends, punks, mods, skinheads, rockers, Keith Moon, Scritti Politti, band mates, Pete Townsend, David Cassidy, drugs, alcohol, Adam Ant, Tom Robinson, John Peel and yet more knock backs from potential girlfriends amongst many. There is a fantastic story about the Undertones but you're going to have buy the book to find out about it!

The book is superbly written, amusing, evocative of a great time for music and a wonderfully entertaining read. I read the book in no time, loved it so much I couldn't wait to finish it but at the same time didn't want to finish it, if that makes sense? I hope there is to be a follow up, where the book ends there is a whole new chapter opening up and it needs to be told.

I demand an encore!

Danke Michael: The Fans' Farewell to Schumi
Danke Michael: The Fans' Farewell to Schumi
Price: £5.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant tribute by the fans and for the fans, 19 Dec. 2012
A simple but brilliant idea, basically many of Schumacher's biggest fans submitted their favourite memories of his amazing career and it contains many unseen (by me anyway!)photographs. There are over 150 memories as well as a couple of fascinating stories from team principal Ross Brawn.

A very limited coffee table edition is to be produced, one of which will be presented to Schumacher himself, the Kindle edition at £4.99 is a wonderful souvenir of a superb career and a brilliant stocking filler.

Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World
Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World
by Graham Hunter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Book about Mes Que Un Club, 22 Feb. 2012
Quite simply the best football book i've ever read. Brilliantly researched and superbly told story of how Barcelona picked themselves up to become the Greatest team in the world, there are some fascinating anecdotes and the writer has had access to the likes of Guardiola and Xavi(my 8 year old son almost wept tears of joy when he got to see him play in the flesh!). Learning how close Alex Mcleish came to signing Messi and Iniesta on loan came as quite a surprise, this a man who thinks Emile Heskey can play on the left side of midfield. He can't,he's even more useless there than up front. Without giving too much away you'll also learn how close the club came to losing the best footballer the world has ever seen before he'd even played in the first team amongst many other fascinating insights.

My partner had to put up with me eulogising over the book so much that I caught her reading it. She has no interest in football whatsover, she is from Wigan.

The book is also brilliantly illustrated, the only other time i've felt compelled to write a review was to warn people about how bad a book is, this is the polar opposite. A superb book about a magnificent football club. Just buy it, you won't regret it.

Paul Weller - The Changing Man
Paul Weller - The Changing Man
by Paolo Hewitt
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty little kiss and tell, 20 Feb. 2008
At one stage the author states his shock that Weller admits he doesn't trust anybody, he's right not to if this spiteful little book by one of his closest friends for many years is anything to go by.

Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels)
Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels)
by Mark Billingham
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the other 6 first!, 25 Oct. 2007
Mark Billingham is the only author whose new books i look forward to as much as i used to anticipate a new Clash or Jam album! He's that good.

I suggest buying the other 6 featuring Tom Thorne together with this and working your way through them before reading Death Message, it will help fill in the time before the next installment and you won't be dissapointed.

I'd like to think that Thorne will have branched out slightly in his musical tastes by the next book and is giving the wonderful Josh Ritter and Band Of Horses a listen, otherwise more of the same please!

Shout to the Top: The "Jam" and Paul Weller: The "Jam" and Paul Weller
Shout to the Top: The "Jam" and Paul Weller: The "Jam" and Paul Weller
by Dennis Munday
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How many times can you call a manager a 'manger'?, 28 Sept. 2007
The world is still waiting for a decent biography on Paul Weller.

I was quite stunned at the ridiculous amount of grammatical and factual errors contained within the pages of this book, if the author is incapable of getting song titles correct how are we supposed to believe him when he details events that may or may not have happened. The constant references to the authors own working class background are unnecessary, why the need to mention it so often once it's been mentioned?
Must hold the world record for misspelling the word manager, unless John weller really is a 'manger', can't see it myself.

If this was ever proof read i suggest the author/publishers thank the primary school responsible but in future use somebody who actually has a grasp of the English language.

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