Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Different for girls, but still funny even for blokes.
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!