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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 December 2012
I was a student when the whole Britpop thing was going on and it seemed like such an exciting time for music. I liked Sleeper a lot and had bought all three of their albums, I loved their catchy tunes and Louise's unique, breathy voice. I was at the REM concert in Milton Keynes that she writes about in the book, where Micheal Stipe sang Happy Birthday to her, and was very interested to read her account of that. I also like to read anything about the Britpop era as I can get quite nostalgic over it! Ahh, memories of crap student parties! Ha! Ahem, back to the book. It was much more than a look at Britpop from a female's point of view, it is also the story of Louise herself, her childhood and her experiences before and after the band were popular. I enjoyed it a lot. If you like Sleeper, Biographies and/or Britpop, you probably will too because Louise Wener tells her story well.
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on 19 June 2010
I was smitten with Louise Wener the first time I saw her, probably on The Chart Show on a Saturday morning, walking around a supermarket with Dale Winton. She was great-looking and bolshy, and the band, Sleeper, sounded good too. I dutifully bought the albums, which were uniformly excellent, and read interviews in which Louise showed a welcome contempt for the music press. The more the press loathed her, the more I admired her, then suddenly Sleeper seemed to vanish. So when I saw Ms Wener on BBC Breakfast promoting this book, I had to buy it.
I'm very pleased I did. The first part, the teenage angst, the misery of not being one of the cool kids at school, will strike a chord with anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's, and it was fun to hear it from a female perspective. But it's the second part, the rise and fall of Sleeper, a world most of us will never know, that really made the book for me. By turns funny, reflective and bittersweet, it charts the highs and lows of the band with a great turn of phrase. Louise isn't afraid to point at herself and laugh, and her pen sketches of some other Britpop luminaries are funny and revealing. There's no self-pity about Sleepers' eventual implosion, she's well aware that many people would have loved to have experienced that lifestyle. Instead she just lifts a corner so we can see what it was like and draw our own conclusions.
I read the book in one sitting, and it genuinely made me laugh out loud. It's a female counterpart to "Lost in Music" by Giles Smith, and I can't give it a higher recommendation than that. As with most books of this sort you have to admire her powers of recall, but that's part of the charm: many of the things she describes would be pretty hard to forget!
It says on the cover that Fearne Cotton found this book hilarious, please don't let that put you off. Ms Wener is a million miles from the sort of vacuous "celebrity" that Fearne seems to epitomise. I hope this book is a huge success, and that, if it is, Louise buys herself a green Gibson SG!
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on 20 July 2010
Ok for the most part its a girly book but then Louise was a girly.
Her tales of growing up in the poorer parts of Essex are charmingly frank.
The struggles to get to grips with home taping of the top 30 using a microphone. We've all been there (well anyone over 40 has)but in 1979? The DIN plug had been and almost gone by then.
Things must have been hard for the young Wener.
The book really kicks in as the band Sleeper (despite my very keen interest in rock this lot passed me by!)and Louise find out that all that glitters etc.
The usual rollercoaster of Demo/Signing/album/tour/promo leading to sucess leading to drink/drugs and the inevitable decline after three years.
Its a common story in R and R but Louise brings a refreshing account and makes it so honest and funny compared to the many tales of Grumpy Old Gits from the 60's and 70's.
Her personality shines through. She had her Fleetwood Mac moment (unintened) and her Kate Bush,Human League etc (very much intended) This is it, this it how it was and no regrets.
Louise just wins you over more and more as the book progresess.Yes its not only diffrent its tough for a girl in a band!
Wonder what happened to Bernice and who was Eddie?
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on 14 September 2014
Brilliantly written, couldn`t put it down! Hilarious and insightful
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on 14 August 2010
I fancied Louise Wener in the 90's and loved her book in 2010. Hilarious read and an interesting insight into the 'Britpop' era. Thoroughly recommend it.
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on 8 June 2010
"Different For Girls" only arrived from Amazon yesterday, but I've already devoured it from cover to cover! It's an hilarious, poignant, painfully honest, clever and nostalgic insight into both growing up in the 70's and the Britpop explosion. Wener's intelligent, funny obvservations and self-deprecating narration draw you in from the off. Her self-awareness and unflinching honesty is disarming and very engaging.

Anyone growing up in England in the 70's will recognise and cringe - in a good way - at Wener's hilarious tales of her geeky childhood and teenage years. (I only wish my memory was that good!) The rest of the book is about "living the dream": the glamour, the parties, the TV appearances, the tours, magazine covers but also the gritty, disturbing reality of the music industry. It's peppered with some great anecdotes about pop stars from Blur to Stevie Wonder.

But "Different for Girls" is so much more than a "Britpop Babylon". It's a moving, insightful story about a person's relationship with fame: the yearning for it, the dreams, the actual attainment of it, the reality and then what happens when the bubble bursts. It's very relatable - I don't know anyone who at one time didn't dream of being a rock star. Except Wener actually did become a rock star.

I didn't expect to enjoy it this much, but "Different for Girls" is definitely the best rock memoir I've read in years.
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on 26 November 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because not only do I remember the era and specifically the artist, but I am really into music and love reading about the experiences of people in the industry. I found this book very accessible and easy to read because it was written in such an open, down to earth way. It was just like reading the diary or blog of a close female friend. There was plenty of humour, some of it rather self-depricating, and it was impossible not to warm to Louise Weiner. Whether or not you're into the music itself, the book provides a fascinating insight into the world as it was for female recording artists in the 90s.
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on 11 April 2012
I'm six or seven years older than Louise Wener, but I was with her all the way on this musical trip down memory lane. Who DIDN'T tape Top of the Pops and the Top 40 show every week on low-tech cassette recorders (hey, we didn't have video recorders in THOSE days)? Who DIDN'T apply to sing on Opportunity Knocks? Who DIDN'T lust after moonboots (and in my case pink furry bomber jackets)? Louise writes with wit and catches perfectly the spirit of the 70s and 80s. The formation and rise to fame of her band was less enjoyable for me, but then even though I've heard of Sleeper, I couldn't have named anything they'd done. No matter, it was interesting to follow their 'antics' and sad to see their predictable demise. The epilogue, in which Louise commits herself to doing everything (embarrassing) in her power to prevent her kids becoming pop stars, reminds me of my brother's attitude to the raising of his daughter, who is not - apparently - going to be allowed to do anything until she's 30! A good read.
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Louise Wener's adventures in the Brit pop scene of the 90's is funny and always an interesting read. Her pre-fame tales of taping top of the pops and going to her first gig at MK bowl are the best parts of the book however, and will strike a cord with any music fan or child of the 70s and 80s. I have little memory of her band Sleeper, but it matters not. This book is absorbing and at no time over-glamourises fame, just tells it like it was for a woman who kept at it. Different For Girls is well written and won't last long in the unread pile.
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on 24 August 2010
Before "Different for Girls," I had only read one of Louise Wener's other books, the fictional "Goodnight Steve McQueen." I find that I enjoy her nonfiction much more. "Different for Girls" is a sometimes humorous but always honest memoir about Louise's time in the Britpop band Sleeper. The book is divided up into two different sections: her adolescent years as an awkward kid listening to pop music, and then growing into an adult and discovering indie music. Louise doesn't sugarcoat anything about her experience as a pop star. I found her thoughts on how her "sexy" lyrics were perceived very interesting. Also, her account of the end of Britpop was both heartbreaking and hilarious. If you're a fan of Britpop, or even just witty writing, then give "Different for Girls" a read.
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