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  1.  
    Amazon customer review of the Lester Gang Of Four book, which doesn't exactly bode well for the Wire book:

    "Bought the book because I have been a fan of GOF since around 1990 and I always like to know the history behind bands I have really enjoyed, and see what makes them tick.

    This book fulfils my requirements in basic terms, but the editing is so bad that it spoiled the enjoyment a fair bit. There are many repetitions of the same quote cropping up in different chapters - the most distracting moments come when there are interviews which seem to have been printed word for word without being proof-read, because the interviewee says the same thing 3 times in 3 paragraphs using slightly different words each time.

    Having said that if you have enough patience you will find out lots about the band in their early years and tales of their lives on the road, plus where it all went wrong etc, so I still recommend this to true fans who want to know about the band and their (still blinding, in my opinion) visionary music.

    I guess the writer was lucky to get their input. If you love the band - you will like this book, sadly this is not the biography they deserved as it all seems a bit rushed... wonder if this has anything to do with the glorious re-union turning sour whilst the book was still yet to be published...?"
  2.  
    Lowdown just popped threw the letterbox this morning.
    Would expect the rest of the UK to receive it today as well.
    Going to sit out in the garden later on this afternoon and give it a start.
  3.  
    yeah, mine arrived as well. as much as i'd like to sit in garden & read it this afternoon, i can't cos i'm at work!! GRRR u lucky b*gg*r!!!!!
  4.  
    lol. Listen in Scotland we get 4 days of sunshine a year, so we make the most of it.
    What better way to do that than reading a new book about Wire.
  5.  
    Aah, Scotland - the place i feel most at home outside of London. 'tis a great place (especially Edinburgh & East Nuik) with great people & i always feel an affinity to both as i have a with a Scottish connection & it also has it's own tartan, which, when i found out, i was pleasantly surprised to find that i liked it! I'm even coming up to Edinburgh with 20 friends to celebrate my half-a-century!!!

    somewhat off topic, but hey!!
  6.  
    Mine arrived yesterday and read in one sitting. Will wait for others to reveiw/comment before I add my two-penneth.
  7.  
    regarding Kevin's quote about reading in one sitting - i must admit that my 1st thought on recieveing the book was that it was rather a thin tome for an 'in-depth' hsitory of a 30-year old band! let's hope it's a case of quality (of content) over (lack of) quantity!
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 15th 2009)
     
    the case described by the reviewer that Fergus quotes is sadly true of most rock books I've tried to read... It might be recommended to rock writers to stick to Kevin's format and use predominantly quotes of the musicians. That would also cut out the ponderous nonsense that "serious" critics often indulge in. But musicians, Wire not excepted, are certainly capable of ponderous nonsense themselves. At some point you'd like an author to step in and resolve or at least address gaps between what's said and what appears to have actually happened. And you still might have the editorial problems the review describes! At any rate, I'm planning to try to grab a copy of this to glean a few facts later in the summer.
  8.  
    I wish someone would just tell us if this bloody book is any good!
  9.  
    Hello

    In response to R Swimmer I am inclined to say that IMO the book is neither good or bad. My personal feeling is that like my biography of the group ELAH it contains errors ommissions and oversights.
    To my mind the full Wire story has still not been told.
    Don't get me wrong I enjoyed reading it but I'm not sure who it's aimed at as Wire fans know nearly everything that's contained in it.
    It is worth getting (again IMO)
  10.  
    I knew it.
  11.  
    I'm up to the Chairs Missing section of the book and I have to say I'm enjoying it. Wire aren't the sort of band you're going to get salacious anecdotes about, but so far I think it's reasonably well researched and contains a lot of interview material from the band. As Kevin says the definitive Wire book has still to be written, but I'm enjoying Paul Lester's version of it as much as I enjoyed Kevin's own tome way back when.
  12.  
    I can remember both Colin and Bruce both saying at different times when I was researching/interviewing for my book that the Wire story might never be truly told. It all depends on the questions asked and who answers them. 40 Versions indeed.
    I think Paul's book is another view of the same picture, which why I said that it is neither good or bad.
    In between are where only edges can be seen of the spaces. Hmmmm
  13.  
    "It all depends on the questions asked and who answers them."

    Hmmm. How very Zen. How very English. There may be a story to be told but they're not telling all of it.

    Everybody loves their mystery !

    Or not.

    *sigh*
  14.  
    I think the problem is one of perspective and of course personalities. What may be good for one member may not be good for another. So for example Colin and Bruce's view of being asked to support Erasure (as WIR) was negative whereas Graham was up for it. So this will give a conflicting answer and this then goes throughtout Wire's history. So one question even if worded the same to all members can illicit 4 different answers.
    So it's not that they're not telling the story it's just that its told differently depending on who you ask and how you ask it.
    And throw into the mix memory or lack of it and that can create all sorts of havoc.
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 21st 2009)
     
    true about conflicting perspectives... but how is that different from any other group? I don't see how it's a problem to unique to writing about Wire.
  15.  
    From Wire themselves:

    "The result is a highly inaccurate book. Mistakes are legion, arguments are presented on the basis of misquotes and often on complete misunderstanding. There has been no or little checking of sources or facts for accuracy or veracity. Nothing particularly bad is said about the group, but much is simply wrong and perpetuates past biographical errors.
    Ultimately, this is not the "Lowdown" as promised by the title but a serious letdown, an opportunity wantonly missed."

    Strong words indeed
  16.  
    Well, that sums things up nicely, I think. I'll grab the PF book for holiday reading, let the much-thumbed ELAH happily sit on the shelf behind me, and pretend Lowdown doesn't exist.
  17.  
    The message goes on to hint that instead of buying it, simply read J. Marr's foreword in the newsagents.

    Well, in the case of my copy you couldn't. Literally!

    I received it yesterday as a birthday present and after first thinking, "how irritatingly clever to start on Chapter 2. And they've even gone to the extent of starting the page numbering at p17", I puzzled for a few seconds as to why they had chosen to do this. Was I missing a connection somewehere. But then the simple reality dawned.
    It's an error. Probably a binding error. The very first page of my copy is the last para of Chapter 1.

    The book itself is being labelled a 'cash-in' by Wire themselves. Should I attempt the same. Anyone know whether there are any other Lowdowns sans Chapter 1 and Forewordless? Is there a market for such a thing? I doubt it very much and if there were, in this age of short-run, digital print production someone would have attempted that by now. Wouldn't they?

    The main reason for this post though is to see if anyone else had, or has heard of, a not ideal copy of Lowdown?
  18.  
    Mine's got chapter 1. I've read it after a fashion and it's got lots of interesting stuff in it but it's all over the place in terms of narrative and structure. Good detail here and there yet miniscule detail on large tracts of their career/music. It's really a work in progress. A poor first draft with promise.

    Opportunity lost? Well, yes. Worth buying? Unfortunately, yes but not for what it sells itself as.