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on 21 June 2012
Well written, and extremely funny in places (lots of them)... Nick Griffiths took me back in time to my childhood, being of the same age, through the programmes of Dr Who. A must read for all Dr Who fans, and for those with only a passing interest. Despite Mr Griffiths protesting that he is only 2/3 on the Dr Who Nerd scale... as a self confessed Nerd/Geek regarding the Doctor, he rates so much higher.
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on 11 June 2014
It's not so much about Doctor Who, more the life and times of an ordinary person framed in the nostalgia of Doctor Who. I thoroughly enjoyed Nick's life story and thought it was as interesting as any fiction.
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2012
I suppose Nick Hornby kicked off the idea that the subject of an autobiography need not be that interesting, provided he is interested in something. Hornby also has the advantage that he can write; to the extent that you don't really need to be interested in football or Arsenal, let alone Hornby himself, to find Fever Pitch an intriguing picture of an obsession.

Nick Griffiths' Arsenal equivalent is Doctor Who, but it doesn't really seem to be an obsession; more something he quite likes, his enthusiasm ebbing and flowing. And later he gets a chance to interview a lot of the people involved in the show, which is nice. But to pad it out, we learn about his fondness for the Canadian prog band Rush, his lousy A-level results, his desire to build a fruit machine. He just writes these things down and hopes we care, without any real attempt at self-analysis, or any desire to make himself or his hobbies or his relationships or his work really matter to us.

Moreover, deprived of the editorial support of the Radio Times (his regular employer), there are rather more clunky errors than one might hope for. So we've got an uninteresting person who is a bit interested in something, but hasn't got the talent to write about it. He claims to loathe Adric (the whining, spoddy companion to the Fifth Doctor) but that's who he most reminds me of. And as his final credits run, there will be no music.
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on 19 March 2008
A warm and charming book in which the author tells his life story so far, referenced to what Doctor Who stories were showing during key events. Yes I know I've made it sound anoraky, but it isn't.

Readers who love Dr Who and are of the same age will find lots to smile and chuckle at, while they are sat on the train or wherever with knowing smiles. The acid test of any book that gives an author's subjective opinion of a Dr Who story is do you want to keep reading when he disses your favourites and in my case the answer was yes.

Readers may find as they did that they compare themselves to Nick Griffiths on the fabled "Anorak Scale" e.g. he will clearly pay considerably more for a piece of Dr Who merchandise than me and it is in these key areas that spell out what kind of a fan the author is, where his humour makes it such an ejoyable read. Parts such as where he deals with friends reaction to a show they hold in much less regard and attempts to buy Dr Who videos from a paper where he makes it sound almost shady are a treat.

If you are 35 plus then you'll find plenty to enjoy especially if you've already done the big 4. Much younger and you won't get enough of the references (not just to The Police Box Show but to events at the time) to get anything out of it.

I definitely think my mate Alastair should be made to read it and I don't say that lightly!
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VINE VOICEon 20 December 2007
Dalek I Loved You looks like it's going to plough the same well-worn material as other seventies memoirs, such as those written by Andrew Collins. Actually - this one is far superior to any of the others in this genre. It's funny, genuine, and Griffiths comes over as a really decent bloke who can't believe his good fortune to be earning a living writing about stuff he loves.

The Dr Who material is well-handled, and brought back loads of great memories for me from the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of the programme. With a writing style that is slick and easy to read, Griffiths has put together a real page turner of a trip down memory lane that will appeal to lots of people who grew up loving classic Dr Who. Really well done - and a great feel good read!
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on 27 March 2007
It's been a while since I've read a book cover to cover in one or two sittings, and Dalek I Love You is definitely one of those. A childhood memoir (that really shouldn't be as highly entertaining as it actually is) intertwined with Doctor Who (and various 80s pop culture) factoids, it really doesn't matter that the narrative frequently jumps around all over the place, as Griffiths' writing style makes things as smooth and effortlessly offhanded as you'd expect from a music journo. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, and it even elicited a few wistful memories, despite my being born a decade later. Oh, and you don't have to be a Doctor Who fan, but it helps!
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on 23 March 2012
Doctor Who is more than just a TV show. It's even more than a TV cult like Star Trek. With 50 years on British telly (minus that long intermission around the nineties) it is the thing that still culturally links us to the 60s, especially now that Top Of The Pops is over. That's why there's a mini-industry of people with charming Bildungsromans which are mainly based around what they were doing when Terror Of The Autons was first broadcast.

Nick Jones has the drop on his competitors though because, besides the fact that he can tell a story really well, he worked for the Radio Times when Russell T Davies successfully regenerated the show in 2005. So as well as stories of hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks were on, Jones can drop in stories about mingling with David Tennant, Billie Piper and the late, lovely Elizabeth Sladen.

But of course the heart of this book is the story of an English childhood at a time when English childhoods had a little bit of magic (after the war and before happyslapping). We see a child's wonder at the new world before him while Pertwee is rocking the Tardis; the emerging personality of pre-pubesence as Tom Baker dragged his massive scarf around space and time; the agonising nihilism of both adolescence and having to sit through Bonnie Langford as a companion.

It's all here and it's told with spirit and enormous affection. A bit like one of those I Love The 70s shows, except in book form and without the repeated urge to punch Peter Kay.

(reposted from El Dink - eBook Bargain Bin)
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on 12 September 2013
This is essentially the autobiography of a very ordinary man and his very ordinary life and proof positive that fans of Doctor Who will buy anything with the word 'dalek' in the title. Including me it seems! If it wasn't for the fact it regularly references the aforementioned show it would almost certainly never have seen the light of day. For fans of Doctor Who there's some fun to be had reading his reminiscences but other than that it's pure tedium. Once he started talking of his life, friends and family I became incredibly bored...this isn't meant as a put down, I'm sure the writer is a very nice chap but really...why am I meant to be interested in any of this? It's all so unremarkable (as would my autobiography be...which is why I've never written one!), very little of any substance ever happens to him, it's just average Joe spilling out his average life onto paper. Quite possibly the most pointless book I've ever read.
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on 20 January 2010
I am just reading the book and have been overwhelmed by the fact that it accurately describes the joy of growing up, watching Dr Who in the 70's, and having it become totally part of your life, because you knew that come Saturday tea time, you would be snuggled on the sofa, next to your mum and dad; imagining what it would be like to travel in time! Like Nick I also lost touch with the series, finding it too daft in the 80's and early 90's. Of course when the series came back and I was a dad, to my two children, then I felt the call to arms again and found some new joy in watching the series. Here it was again, Saturday teatime, with the family. Excellent.

I've been incredibly touched by this book, and I am really looking forward to reading Nick's other books.
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A mixed bag, this book. Parts of it are a warm nostalgia trip back to 1970s childhood, parts of it are the frankly slightly bland and self-indulgent autobiography of a journalist, all with a heavy emphasis on placing Doctor Who in those contexts. Total Doctor Who obsessives (especially the ones who grew up with Pertwee and Tom Baker) will know too much of this already, people with passing or no Who interest should steer well clear, making it aimed at the medium-level Whovian.

However if that medium-level Whovian is you (and if you're reading this review then it might be) and you're looking for a real-life 'bloke lit' story of private school childhood and an adolescent hunt for that ideal sexy but Who-loving girlfriend, then you'll enjoy this.
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