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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist
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on 7 June 2013
I first saw Simon Armitage at a poetry reading in 1993/4 when I was an A Level student who thought poetry was Heaney and Hardy. He opened my eyes to the new wave, and I've followed his work ever since. It took me a while to get round to reading Gig, but it was well worth it. Armitage's prose (like his poetry) is witty and easy to read. In fact, better than that - it's a pleasure to read. The story contains some lovely autobiographical details, written sensitively where appropriate, and with the wit and lyrical dexterity you would expect of Armitage. Once you've started you really won't want to put it down, so don't expect it to last you very long, but it's definitely worth reading - if only for the brilliant section about the Campbell brothers of UB40 fame, which is as poetic as anything that has ever come from Armitage's pen.
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on 4 July 2015
This was a random download for holiday reading after reading reviews of his latest. Loved it, just a wonderful read, light but with many depths. Perfect for a child of the 80s but as good as perfect for a child of the 70s.
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on 15 August 2016
Book was in quite good condition but smelled musty. Good delivery time thanks!
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on 23 September 2012
I enjoyed this book - not quite as much as 'All Points North' - probably because of my age! - but still 'laugh out loud' in places.
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on 7 August 2013
As a fellow Rock-star fantasist I looked forward to reading Simon Armitage's book. Unfortunately I found it a disappointing read. Maybe the subject matter is only for oneself.
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on 16 October 2009
The fact I read this in a day says volumes for how enjoyable it is. Simon Armitage is one of the country's top poets. His poems are part of GCSE syllabus and he also appears on television documentary programmes. Gig is almost a scrapbook of reminiscences, poetry and above all the men's memories and love of rock music.

Towards the end of the book Armitage talks about the formation of a rock band The Scaremongers and hey they are on My Space and I'm listening to them as I write this review. Their album Born in a Barn is also available on Napster. And honestly they aren't bad at all - a kind of post punk tuneful outfit a kind of cross between Joy Division and the Beautiful South. As for the book. Well it skips about all over the place which doesn't detract from its enjoyment.

We run through Modland to Punksville as Armitage gives us stories about growing up in West Yorkshire, travelling the world as a poet and musical influences.
Armitage is at his best when describing concerts by the likes of Morrissey and weaving in music with his love of literature. He is at his weakest when he tries to write travelogues, which somehow just don't work.
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on 21 October 2014
Some people have commented, and I agree - the book IS "a collection of articles and funny incidents" - but what's wrong with that?
Yes, it helps if you're into northern Punk and what followed (I'm not - I really wanted a soundtrack-website!), and probably also if you have a bit of a feel for the industrial North (I misspent my youth on the canals thereabouts, so I have a feeling for the area even though I don't know many of the locations).
I envy Simon Armitage's firm anchoring in place and family.
I liked the book as a gentle, funny read - anyone with a wife called Speedy Sue can't be all bad !
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on 8 February 2018
Received as a Christmas present I originally thought this was a book of gig reviews from the well known northern poet. However it turned out to be some nicely honed anecdotes, a small number of which were very nearly gig reviews, autobiographical tales and a smattering of poems and songs. There were also quite a few moments where a delightful turn of phrase would have me laughing out loud.
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on 15 October 2009
This is an excellent book. Simon Armitage is a natural writer. He does wander about a bit but only in good way and always with a purpose, even if it's only a roundabout route to a cracking punch line. I found myself nodding in agreement with several parts of the book, especially when he's describing the yell/shriek at the beginning of The Damned's "New Rose". It's a very funny book. I read it on a long coach journey while listening to my ipod and my fiancé kept prodding me and saying "You're laughing very loudly". To which I replied "I know". It also has its disturbing and quite frankly harrowing moments. None more so than when Armitage describes the murky goings on in a Travel Lodge near you. If you've never really understood the attraction of bands such as Simply Red or UB40 read this book and you'll laugh like a drain. If you think the aforementioned bands are some kind of musical colossus read this book, you might learn something. Five stars and no mistake.
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on 17 September 2015
I do love the work of Simon Armitage- were the same age and I grew up in Yorkshire. So I'm predisposed to be generous but I did enjoy this. It's a varied collection of stories and is personal in many ways- the 'gig' is a theme and music is his love but this tells you a lot more about the man than the music he loves. Amazing ability to mix the ordinary and the awesome with dry wit and powerful emotion. I can recommend it wholeheartedly.
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