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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2012
The autobiography of the popular liverpudlian poet and performer, Roger McGough - told in his own inimitable style.

It's a cliche when people 'wish the book wouldn't end', but this was certainly the case with 'Said and Done'.

Roger writes about his wartime Liverpool childhood, and his student and teaching days, before he found fame as a third of comedy vocal group 'The Scaffold', with Mike McCartney and Tiswas stalwart, John Gorman.

Throughout the book we meet some of the famous 20th century artists such as Larkin: 'he was scary' and Lennon: 'the chilli to Paul's jam', which featured in Roger's life, along with fellow 'Mersey Beat' poets Brian Patten and Adrian Henri.

You will certainly feel a range of emotions reading this book.

There's plenty of humour, particularly in the chapter where Roger recalls his hapless summer student jobs: 'Next thing squashed loaves began to issue forth from the top of the machine...'

Much reflection, such as where he shares his thoughts and fears of becoming an older parent, illustrated with the touching poem 'Cinders', to his daughter, Isabel.

And some sadness, as he talks fondly about his old mate and fellow writer, Pete McCarthy, who died early from cancer in 2004: 'I am weary of writing eulogies, and this is one I'd though I'd never have to write.'

This is very much a self depreciating work, Roger delights in putting a pin in himself, whenever his ego is in danger of becoming overinflated: 'My brain certainly wasn't the the finely tuned instrument that I like to pretend it is.'

An honest and enjoyable book, let's hope Roger McGough is far from said and done.
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on 3 October 2008
Roger McGough is not particularly well-known by people who are not interested in poetry, or were not alive when the 1960s boom of mersey-sound took the world by storm. Roger McGough was a major cultural influence in shaping this with the scaffold and in his poetry. This book acts as a great historical document towards growing up in post-war Liverpool (well, Crosby anyway) and how his upbringing shaped his poems.

I am far too young to remember any of this, but Mr McGough engages with the reader and writes in a way, that typically for a poet is fascinatingly visceral. For that reason, I was hooked and can now appreciate his poetry in a new light. The anicdotes of growing up and going to a restrictive catholic grammar school, show that writing was one of the few ways that Mr McGough could express himself unrestrictively.

Fans will appreciate all the banter and his creative partnership with Mike McCartney but for those of us who read autobiographies to hear a good story, few are told quite a eloquently as this.
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on 31 March 2011
I bought this because I was in the same class as Roger at St Mary's College. I do get a mention in the book during a French lesson. Roger wasn't too good at French, so why he went to Hull to read French I have no idea. But in those days Hull was an easy option.
But Roger's recollections of North Liverpool life are mostly accurate and the book makes an interesting read.
Roger and I met in Doncaster some years ago when he visited the school where I taught.
He is a busy person. Buy this book. Poetry lost grants today.
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I have always enjoyed the poetry of Roger McGough and, over the years, as a Beatles fan, he has cropped up again and again - in Scaffold with Mike McCartney, in the Rutles TV special, etc etc. So, when I finally decided to get around to reading his autobiography, it was with a sense of great anticipation and I was certainly not disappointed. Told with humility and humour, this is the story of a wartime Liverpool childhood, becoming a teacher, a beat poet, a musician, author and so much more.

There is no doubt that McGough was both hampered and helped by his birthplace and being young during the phenomenon of Mersey Beat. As he himself reflects, had he been born in Hull, for example, he would have been, well, a poet from Hull... His Liverpool years linked him to that time of immense success and optimism and his friendship with Mike McCartney saw Scaffold joining NEM's, under Brian Epstein's somewhat disinterested management. McGough does touch on the Beatles, as he knew them well, describing Lennon wonderfully as the iron fist inside Paul's velvet glove. Indeed, he was even at Paul McCartney's infamous 21st birthday party, although sadly missed the action of John's attack on Bob Wooler, so cannot add anything to the stories which have been discussed since that day. I thought his most surreal anecdote regarding them concerned his dog, Bran, offspring of Martha (my dear). Asked for an autograph, he was about to sign when told in no uncertain terms that it was Paul's dog whose autograph was required. There can be no more bizarre event for a poet than having his dog swiftly paw-printed, while he stood by, surely?

Much of the best parts of this wonderfully entertaining read, concerns the poet touring - continually it seems. A life of B&B's, disinterested audiences, school visits, success at the Edinburgh Fringe, the highs and lows of a career which has spanned decades. From Ginsberg to Jimi Hendrix, Roger McGough crossed paths with anybody who was everybody. Always, he tells his anecdotes and stories with a view of showing himself, often unfairly I feel, at fault when anything goes wrong. The only criticism is self criticism, which merely shows what a gentleman he is. Talented, funny and a great poet, it is no exaggeration to say that McGough has done such a lot for poetry in this country that we are always indebted to him. This is an excellent, intelligent and interesting read for anyone interested in the man and his work.
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on 4 February 2013
Unsurprisingly this is well written with a lyrical flow you would expect from Mr McGough. If you are interested in the poet and the time he grew up in Liverpool as well as the influences in his life you will enjoy this book. Good seller, good service.
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on 28 April 2017
A little bit disconcerting to find that the book is from Barnsley library. Wondering how much the fine is!
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on 26 November 2012
Entertaining memories and tales, wry sharp humour from my favourite poet (he should have been made Poet Laureate years ago).
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on 12 September 2011
A good insight to Roger's developent and background ffrom childhood through to 'the older years'( or an older childhood )
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on 26 March 2017
good condition very interesting very pleased with purchase
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on 16 February 2016
An interesting autobiography from a poet whose work I love and used when I was an English teacher. Like the writer, I am from Liverpool and throughout the book I 'heard' his voice as though he were reading to me. I was particularly interested in his early teaching career as it was in the town where I grew up, just outside Liverpool A number of years ago I heard Roger McGough interviewed and he described his time in Kirkby as being a member of the United Nations peace keeping force. Yes, at that time the town was pretty rough!!
I felt the middle section was a bit sticky and I 'lost' McGough's voice. It was still ingesting if a tad repetitive. I loved the little poems and parts of poems which were interspersed throughout.
I would recommend this to lovers of McGough's poetry.
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