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Author Topic: New Villa Book... sort of...Now available in paperback!  (Read 7426 times)

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #90 on: July 26, 2020, 02:36:29 PM »
I read a quarter before lunch. 'Blues fans in the remedial class at school'. 'Earl who gets up early (I went to primary and secondary school with him) Venglos not believing the narrator's praise... Love it.

Thanks mate!

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #91 on: July 26, 2020, 02:36:55 PM »
Praise indeed:

“Peaky Blinders meets Trainspotting

...or the underclass meets the underworld. This book brilliantly and evocatively captures hitherto hidden aspects of its second city setting. It could be the best and, if filmed, most important book about Birmingham ever written. Up there with Jonathan Coe’s Rotters Club for me. An instant classic.“

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #92 on: July 27, 2020, 06:02:47 AM »
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 July 2020
Top read
I love books about Brum especially if it’s someone who really knows not only the geography but the humour and those little touches only a Brummie would know. This is a treat for whichever side of the football fence you lie on. This sits well with other books of football and supporters lifestyle I’ve read - it’s a great read, written to be read fast! More please.

Thank you very much Your Grace, much appreciated.

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #93 on: July 29, 2020, 11:34:06 AM »
A hardened criminal just messaged me ‘Just finished it, great read, the last few pages have just given me goosebumps’. And he wasn’t even in it.

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #94 on: August 02, 2020, 10:59:18 PM »
Jesus Christ, it’s better than I thought...

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 August 2020
A vivid social document perfectly blended with gritty urban crime fiction
Gangsters, Geezers and Mods marries social documentary and crime thriller. Drawing on autobiographical material, the canvas is a wide ranging survey of youth culture since the early 70s. Football matches provide the setting for hilarious capers as well as brilliantly relived scenes of glory and disappointment. If you wear claret and blue, you will rejoice in the supremely witty digs at the denizens of Small Heath. The protagonist's love of Paul Weller is celebrated in some of the most insightful commentary on the meaning of this musical icon I have ever read. The soundtrack he evinces and analyses spans post-war jazz to modern rap.

The more fictional elements of the book take a darker route through hard drugs, gang violence with surprising plot twists and turns. Hints are laid early and the story is woven with pace and suspense.

I enjoyed most of all the protagonist/author's engagement with life. Despite a tough upbringing, there is a youthful exuberance that shines through in every match, every pub conversation, every escapade. The characters are a comedic gallery of rogues and are beautifully, sometimes tenderly depicted. On multiple occasions, the protagonist shows a better, kinder side is shown in contrast to his dystopian surroundings. And that is where this book wins. The main character is both fully immersed in his surroundings but has the wisdom to stand apart, the ability to engage completely but also the distance to stand back and offer wry observations and insightful assessment of what it's like to grow up in the inner city as a working class lad from humble beginnings.

To say I enjoyed it is an understatement. I read it in two sittings. In conjuring up the Birmingham of my youth, the books has evoked fond memories of many long-forgotten incidents, people and places. Pennell is Birmingham's answer to Danny Baker. If you grew up in Birmingham any time since the 1960s, you too will love this book.

Offline Bad English

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #95 on: August 04, 2020, 12:17:00 AM »
To be published on Amazon France :


Quote from: Bad English
Il était une fois dans les West Midlands.
Birmingham, la "ville aux mille métiers", est injustement méconnue du grand public car elle traîne une réputation de jungle de béton où, pour citer Paul Weller (le grand parolier de The Jam et The Style Council dont les textes semblent écrire et décrire la vie de Stephen l'auteur et Steve le narrateur) "le rêve de l'urbaniste a mal tourné". Que nenni ! Steve adore Birmingham, il y est né, y vit, cela lui arrive même d'y passer ses vacances, et il commence par "la plus longue phrase jamais publiée dans un livre" pour répondre, un peu à la manière du Front Populaire de Judée dans Monty Python: La Vie de Brian, à la question "Qu'est-ce que Birmingham a donné au monde ?" Vous voilà renseigné !

Birmingham est plutôt la ville aux mille magouilles pour Steve, né l'année où Dr Martin Luther King Jr a prononcé son célèbre discours "I have a Dream". Ses "rêves d'enfant" (coucou Paul Weller !)  sont rapidement brisés par la dure réalité des rues d'Aston, quartier mythique aux odeurs âpres émanant de l'usine HP Sauce où joue Aston Villa, son amour de toujours. C'est ici que Steve s'initie à la vie d'arnaqueur, fréquente des hooligans et des voyous et vit au rythme de la culture "Mod" avant de tomber amoureuse d'une belle antillaise, avec les conséquences tragiques évoquées dans le prologue.

Birmingham, à travers Stephen Pennell, possède désormais une authentique voix. Son récit mélange savamment la fiction, l'autobiographie, l'art du timing avec une bonne dose d'autodérision et d'humour typiquement "Brummie".

Comme l'a si bien dit Paul Weller : ça c'est du divertissement !

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #96 on: August 04, 2020, 01:20:42 AM »
To be published on Amazon France :


Quote from: Bad English
Il était une fois dans les West Midlands.
Birmingham, la "ville aux mille métiers", est injustement méconnue du grand public car elle traîne une réputation de jungle de béton où, pour citer Paul Weller (le grand parolier de The Jam et The Style Council dont les textes semblent écrire et décrire la vie de Stephen l'auteur et Steve le narrateur) "le rêve de l'urbaniste a mal tourné". Que nenni ! Steve adore Birmingham, il y est né, y vit, cela lui arrive même d'y passer ses vacances, et il commence par "la plus longue phrase jamais publiée dans un livre" pour répondre, un peu à la manière du Front Populaire de Judée dans Monty Python: La Vie de Brian, à la question "Qu'est-ce que Birmingham a donné au monde ?" Vous voilà renseigné !

Birmingham est plutôt la ville aux mille magouilles pour Steve, né l'année où Dr Martin Luther King Jr a prononcé son célèbre discours "I have a Dream". Ses "rêves d'enfant" (coucou Paul Weller !)  sont rapidement brisés par la dure réalité des rues d'Aston, quartier mythique aux odeurs âpres émanant de l'usine HP Sauce où joue Aston Villa, son amour de toujours. C'est ici que Steve s'initie à la vie d'arnaqueur, fréquente des hooligans et des voyous et vit au rythme de la culture "Mod" avant de tomber amoureuse d'une belle antillaise, avec les conséquences tragiques évoquées dans le prologue.

Birmingham, à travers Stephen Pennell, possède désormais une authentique voix. Son récit mélange savamment la fiction, l'autobiographie, l'art du timing avec une bonne dose d'autodérision et d'humour typiquement "Brummie".

Comme l'a si bien dit Paul Weller : ça c'est du divertissement !

Cheers Darren, clocked it. And I managed to suss out google translate too!

Once upon a time in the West Midlands
Birmingham, the "city of a thousand trades", is unfairly unknown to the general public because it has a reputation as a concrete jungle where, to quote Paul Weller (the great lyricist of The Jam and The Style Council whose texts seem to write and describe the life of Stephen the author and Steve the narrator) "the town planner's dream has gone wrong". Nay! Steve loves Birmingham, he was born there, lives there, he even happens to spend his vacations there, and he begins with "the longest sentence ever published in a book" to answer, a bit like the Popular Front of Judea in Monty Python: The Life of Brian, to the question "What has Birmingham given to the world?" You are well informed!

Birmingham is rather the city of a thousand shenanigans for Steve, born in the year that Dr Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech. His "childhood dreams" (hi Paul Weller!) Are quickly shattered by the harsh reality of the streets of Aston, a mythical district with bitter smells emanating from the HP Sauce factory where Aston Villa, his lifelong love, plays. It is here that Steve learns about the life of a scammer, frequents hooligans and thugs and lives to the rhythm of "Mod" culture before falling in love with a beautiful Caribbean, with the tragic consequences mentioned in the prologue .

Birmingham, through Stephen Pennell, now has an authentic voice. His story skilfully mixes fiction, autobiography, the art of timing with a good dose of self-mockery and typical "Brummie" humor.

As Paul Weller said so well: this is entertainment!

Thanks so much for the beautiful and kind words old pal.

Offline Bad English

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #97 on: August 04, 2020, 01:47:07 AM »
That Google translate seems to suggest that Aston Villa actually play at the HP Sauce factory.

*Heads in open goal* Well we do often play like we're running through a vat of thick, spicy condiment, ho ho etc.

Offline Rudy Can't Fail

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #98 on: August 05, 2020, 04:46:58 PM »
We were playing ketchup for most of last season though we were in the brown stuff right up until the last game..


Offline Mister E

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #100 on: August 06, 2020, 09:08:42 PM »
Hey, look Perce: it's good, so none of this false modesty and embarrassed titterings    ;D
I've recommended to several people on the basis I enjoyed it and reviewed it, ans I don;t do that lightly  ;) ;D

Offline Percy McCarthy

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #101 on: August 06, 2020, 09:15:01 PM »
Hey, look Perce: it's good, so none of this false modesty and embarrassed titterings    ;D
I've recommended to several people on the basis I enjoyed it and reviewed it, ans I don;t do that lightly  ;) ;D

Bless you mate. No false modesty, I’m just chuffed to bits that people like it. I’ve been in my own world with it for years thinking ‘I think it’s good, but is it shit?’


Online dave.woodhall

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Offline kipeye

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Re: New Villa Book... sort of...
« Reply #104 on: August 07, 2020, 09:40:13 AM »
Enjoy... and thanks for all the practice:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CSNS2K7/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=gangsters%2C+geezers+and+mods&qid=1594490479&sr=8-1

If any of you are kind enough to buy it, please leave a review if you enjoy it. If you don’t, don’t bother!
Just got mine. I'll let you know-two books in front at the moment.

 


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