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Author Topic: Despicable Scum Departed  (Read 45 times)

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Online Steve

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Despicable Scum Departed
« on: October 31, 2017, 03:07:33 PM »
Derek Robinson (aka Red Robbo) 90

How many lives did he ruin destroying our car industry?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-41820070

Well, whatever nevermind

Online Nick

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Re: Despicable Scum Departed
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 03:24:01 PM »
IIRC Jonathan Coe has a rather good novel about this ..... :thumbsup:

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Online Nick

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Re: Despicable Scum Departed
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 03:28:12 PM »
"The Rotters' Club" was first published in 2001, and went on to win Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. It's set in 1970s Birmingham, and incorporates a number of real-life people, places and events into the back-story - including the Birmingham Pub Bombing (which led to the imprisonment of the Birmingham Six), the infamous British Leyland plant, the Unions and the inevitable strikes, Enoch Powell, the National Front and various other similar factions and the changes in musical fashion - most notably, from prog to punk rock.

The book tells the story of Ben Trotter's life at secondary achool, and opens in 1973. Ben has one older sister, Lois, and a younger brother, Paul and all three attend King Williams School - quite a prestigious establishment, though seen as a school for "toffs" by the city's working class. Of Ben's two siblings, Lois is much more likeable - and, as it turns out, a great deal more unfortunate. She starts dating Malcolm - generally just referred to as 'Hairy Guy' - shortly after the book opens. (Hairy Guy proves to be a big influence on Ben's musical taste). Paul, Ben's younger brother, generally tends to be a poisonous, spiteful brat. Among Ben's friends at school are Philip Chase, Duggie Anderton and Sean Harding. Like Ben's father, Duggie's father also works at British Leyland. However, where Ben's father is management, Duggie's father is a shop steward for the Union and a committed socialist. Ben, like every other boy at school, is hopelessly in love with Cicely Boyd. It's a pity, really, as he would have been much better off with the very likeable Claire Newman. (Meanwhile, Claire's sister - Miriam - is having an affair with Duggie's dad as the book opens).
"The Rotters' Club" was first published in 2001, and went on to win Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. It's set in 1970s Birmingham, and incorporates a number of real-life people, places and events into the back-story - including the Birmingham Pub Bombing (which led to the imprisonment of the Birmingham Six), the infamous British Leyland plant, the Unions and the inevitable strikes, Enoch Powell, the National Front and various other similar factions and the changes in musical fashion - most notably, from prog to punk rock.

The book tells the story of Ben Trotter's life at secondary achool, and opens in 1973. Ben has one older sister, Lois, and a younger brother, Paul and all three attend King Williams School - quite a prestigious establishment, though seen as a school for "toffs" by the city's working class. Of Ben's two siblings, Lois is much more likeable - and, as it turns out, a great deal more unfortunate. She starts dating Malcolm - generally just referred to as 'Hairy Guy' - shortly after the book opens. (Hairy Guy proves to be a big influence on Ben's musical taste). Paul, Ben's younger brother, generally tends to be a poisonous, spiteful brat. Among Ben's friends at school are Philip Chase, Duggie Anderton and Sean Harding. Like Ben's father, Duggie's father also works at British Leyland. However, where Ben's father is management, Duggie's father is a shop steward for the Union and a committed socialist. Ben, like every other boy at school, is hopelessly in love with Cicely Boyd. It's a pity, really, as he would have been much better off with the very likeable Claire Newman. (Meanwhile, Claire's sister - Miriam - is having an affair with Duggie's dad as the book opens).

The story is mostly told by Sophie - Ben's neice and Lois' daughter - looking back to the 1970s. Occasionally, some of the characters tell part of the story in their own words - a short story by Ben himself, a speech given by Duggie, sections of Lois' diary, the editorials of the school newspaper - even, at one point, a letter written to Ben by another character. On the whole it is a very readable, very enjoyable book - the only sections that disn't work for me were the introduction and the conclusion - featuring Sophie and Patrick. (In fact, the introduction was so bad I nearly didn't bother with the rest of the book). The book also, apparently holds the record for the longest sentence in English literature - Coe would've been better off just using punctuation, and forgetting about the record books, but it's not really that big a deal. Good enough for me to keep an eye out for its sequel - "The Closed Circle", which was released in 2004 and picks up the story in 1990s.
The story is mostly told by Sophie - Ben's neice and Lois' daughter - looking back to the 1970s. Occasionally, some of the characters tell part of the story in their own words - a short story by Ben himself, a speech given by Duggie, sections of Lois' diary, the editorials of the school newspaper - even, at one point, a letter written to Ben by another character. On the whole it is a very readable, very enjoyable book - the only sections that disn't work for me were the introduction and the conclusion - featuring Sophie and Patrick. (In fact, the introduction was so bad I nearly didn't bother with the rest of the book). The book also, apparently holds the record for the longest sentence in English literature - Coe would've been better off just using punctuation, and forgetting about the record books, but it's not really that big a deal. Good enough for me to keep an eye out for its sequel - "The Closed Circle", which was released in 2004 and picks up the story in 1990s.


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