REVIEW by Ted Parry

NWR Issue 105

The North (And Almost Everything In It)

by Paul Morley

Some books are best judged by their cover. This one is a monochrome of mist, TV aerials, church and chimneystacks. The title is similarly revealing. That bracket looks boastful but ‘almost’ is another word for failure. The failure’s nature is suggested by poet Simon Armitage’s strapline, ‘A personal odyssey’.

Morley flashes this personal poetic licence even at his own life, unilaterally declaring history:

For the sake of this book – estimating, assuming, inventing, elaborating and consolidating in the ways that history most often gets written – I have decided that the exact day I arrived in Reddish... was the day the Beatles played their one and only gig in Stockport.

Meaning it’s OK to make it up – that’s what everybody else does. But it’s not. They don’t.

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previous review: Dark Actors: The Life and Death of Dr David Kelly
next review: My Family and Other Superheroes


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