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The G Man (Stoke-on-Trent, UK.)

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Friends Like These
Friends Like These
by Danny Wallace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Mr. Wallace!, 21 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Friends Like These (Paperback)
I have to say that I'm surprised that some people struggled to get through this book as I found it un-put-downable(!) and read it in well under 48 hours. However, I found it did make me produce involuntary sounds akin to that of a squealing Pig at some very inopportune moments (on public transport etc.) and so I strongly advise you enjoy this books' more hilarious moments in a more private space).

As always, Wallace makes the most unbelievable stories seem perfectly normal and his writing style still makes you imagine that he is telling you the story one to one in the Pub. I personally love this style of informal writing and there are obvious similarities in this vein with Bill Bryson and Stuart Maconie. (Indeed, Maconie's 'Pies and Prejudice' is born out of a similar age realisation as Friends like these).

I think it almost certainly helps if you are between the age of 25 - 35, because there will be greater resonance with some of the chronology but if you are outside this age group - still please read it - you will not be disappointed!

The Last Temptation of Chris
The Last Temptation of Chris
Price: £12.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More people should know about this album!, 5 May 2008
Although I like mostly everything Squeeze did - I wouldn't call myself the biggest fan and I don't own all of their records. But the beauty of this album is that you don't need to! I bought it off the strength of hearing the opening track - 'Come on Down' on a free CD given away with the Independent and was glad I took the risk. First and foremost it is an album which is a masterpiece of arrangements, a beautiful honey-soaked blend of Diffords low matter-of-fact vocals mixes perfectly with those of the vastly underated Boo Hewerdine and the star in waiting Dorie Jackson.

Look beyond the arrangements though and there is a rich, dense and wry lyrical sense, tied up with a healthy dose of humour.

Particular highlights are the poignant 'Battersea Boys', 'Never Coming Back' and the masterpiece of the album - 'Fat as a Fiddle', a song that anyone over the age of 30 can probably atest to (yearning for those thin days gone by!)

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