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on 15 February 2015
A really clever idea, presented in a similar way to a blog, I suppose. The author listens to a different radio station each day, and compares and contrasts the station's outputs with each other, and with the events around him. Except it's better, warmer and funnier than that.
As the background narrative progressed I found I had broadly similar opinions to the author, which naturally has had a positive effect on my opinion of his book.
I don't want to give anything away, but the author meets interesting radio people, which elevates the book from 'They played this song' to a thoughtful look into the world of broadcasting.
As with any non-fiction book I buy it because I hope to learn something new - this book was very successful in that. Informative and pleasing to read. I'm very pleased I bought this book, I've no hesitation in recommending it.
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This was a diverting, entertaining and quick read, based on the author`s simple idea of listening to a different UK radio channel each day and recording his thoughts about the experience.

Osborne is a genial, humorous commentator, intertwining the narrative of his listening project with the daily aspects of his life - his rather mundane job, his co-workers and his personal aspirations - as he gets involved with local radio and the research interviews that would eventually become part of the book. Much of the time he lets transcribed excerpts from the programmes he listens to do the talking, followed by his reactions to them - far more interesting than it sounds and quite an effective idea.

"Radio Head" is unlikely to change your world to any extent, but Osborne's enthusiasm and genuine love of radio make this a far more rewarding read than it might appear on first consideration.
A gently absorbing book, worth picking up.
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on 26 April 2010
Hugely enjoyable, especially if you listen to a fair bit of radio.

The author chooses a different radio station each day and writes down his thoughts about the presenters, the discussions and the music played.

He does much of this from while supposedly going about his mind-numbing daily job (data-inputting), and also describes his crush on Poppy, a woman working on the other side of the office.

There are also some interviews with people involved in radio (Mark Radcliffe, Nicholas Parsons, etc.), which provide welcome interludes and some useful context.

It's gentle, funny and oddly compelling stuff. Pretty good idea for a book, too. Has anyone else done this before?
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on 5 August 2017
As someone who walked away from domestic radio, John Osbourne reminds me of what I missed about it, as well as why I walked away in the first place. Who needs domestic radio these days when apps like tunein.com will give you tens of thousands of international radio stations in one go?
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on 29 October 2010
I found Radio Head entertaining, funny and original. I am pretty sure the author didn't intend to produce a serious profile of radio (which can probably be found elsewhere) and indeed his journey combines fact with humour and works very well. Contrary to an other review(s) I feel that the commentary on the hum drum of everyday life and work and affections for his colleague "Poppy" adds a lot more to the book and the interviews are factual and relevant. The choice of stations feels appropriate as it covers a broad range from national institutions such as Radio 4 to the cringesome commercial stations with there idiosyncratic OTT DJ's. In addition to profiling radio programmes the author also provides interesting diversions such the history Radio 4's "Just a Minute". I like John Osbornes style of writing an enjoyed this book very much, I'm now looking forward to reading The Newsagent's Window. Long live radio!
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Office temp John Osborne lives about a hundred miles from London, so he has a wealth of radio stations to choose from on his digital radio. He decides to stray from his few favorite stations and explore the rest of the radio dial. He plans to listen to a different station each day for a few months, one station all day. Since he does boring data entry, he can listen while he works, removing his earbuds only on the rare occasion when something more interesting or more important comes up.

Osborne is in his twenties and most of his favorite listening is music, not surprisingly. However, his project is to be open to all kinds of stations and he manages to make nearly all of them quite interesting to read about. I suspect this has more to do with the quality of his writing rather than the quality of the radio shows.

He tries out different sorts of music, spending an entire day each with classical and jazz for a change. He listens to sports talk radio, political talk radio, the BBC Asian Network. When there's an earthquake in the area one night, a very unusual occurrence, he listens to the local station and is impressed at how smoothly they switch to reporting on the effects of the quake, while staying calm. It reminded me of when the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit when I was in San Francisco and how the first thing I did after finding that the phone lines were overloaded, was to grab the battery-operated radio and find out what was going on. No stiff upper lips on American radio, I'm afraid, nothing but rumors mixed with semi-true reports and breathless drama.

You wouldn't think that radio would be a very interesting thing to write about, or at least I wouldn't have thought so. And yet here's a book that is about almost nothing but listening to the radio, a book that I read from cover to cover and was sorry to come to the end. I enjoyed it so much that when I finished I had to find out whether John Osborne has written any other books. Yes! The Newsagent's Window: Adventures in a World of Second-Hand Cars and Lost Cats.

Two more recommended books that feature radio - Travels with My Radio: I am an Oil Tanker and Travels in a Strange State.
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on 29 March 2011
At first glance, you wouldn't think this would be a particularly interesting read, given it covers different radio stations (along with the ongoing joys of life as a data entry temp). Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed the book and read it cover to cover - it's well written, engaging and, more to the point, has re-engaged me in radio (we're listening to an online station tonight). I'd highly recommend.
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on 2 March 2014
...and how well written. Really loved this book but loved his others even more (so I am going to take extra time to add similar compliments for these books). My first positive feedback on Amazon, having only left frustrated comments until now for wasting my time and money. Loved this
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on 13 August 2012
This is such a good book and a great insight into the world of radio for those who aren't familiar with it. It's also nice for those who are familiar with it as you get a different opinion on some of your favourite and not so favourite DJs and stations!
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on 17 February 2014
This was bought as a Christmas present for my brother-in-law. I hope he enjoyed it.
I had looked at several books with a similar theme but this one seemed the best written, witty & interesting.
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