Where Did It All Go Right? : Growing Up Normal in the 70s

by Andrew Collins | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0091886678 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 3/12/2004
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, March 12, 2004
In Andrew Collins own words, "S**t happens. But sometimes it doesn't" - a memoir about an ordinary life, is there such a thing?

(15/06) review to follow

AC complains a lot during the book about being 'normal', like it's a crime,
or at least some embarrassing admission of privilege & lack of ambition
(what do you mean you're not a club-footed waif from the slums of the
Glasgow, what kind of pathetic mam-sap are you?
) Growing up in a quiet
provincial town (Northampton), not having any serious illnesses (except multiple 'chills' and a in-growing toe nail), and not coming from a broken home or otherwise disadvantaged upbringing, AC has very little of the normal biog staples here to draw on. For him there was no death, disaster, disturbance, or, to be honest, much of interest either! Lots of detail about Christmas presents, teachers, going 'down the field' to play, boy friends, girl friends - too much detail already!

I did enjoy it in parts, AC being only 2 months older than me, I recognised
a lot of the 70's iconic stuff, the music (disco, through punk to new
wave/new romantics), food & drink (Soda Stream, Supermousse, chips made from peeled and chopped potatoes, exotic fayre like real pasta, not Heinz in a tin! "I've checked neither pasta or rice were invented until about 1986", the novelty of 'ice cold' coke), TV, comics, games/toys (action men, Mousetrap, Operation - dreamt about but not owned) etc. etc. His themed anecdotal chapters were funny, but the extracts from his journals and the detailed footnotes were just too much information, for example "Today Dad and me went to town and I spent my birthday money on a Slade poster and its smashing" Why, oh why, couldn't I skim-read these or skip altogether, it would have halved the length of the book, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more. I think AC gives us all this information just because he can, having kept diaries every year from 6 years old, and seemingly having a phenomenal memory for details of places, dates & people. Hold on a moment, writing a diary from six to sixteen (and beyond for all I know??), are you telling me that's normal behaviour! Maybe his upbringing has been typically uneventful, but I don't think AC is in any way 'normal'.

I'm sure there's a better book to come from AC (funnier, pacier, more
consistent, less a personal nostalgic ego-trip), when he consigns those
diaries back into the box in the attic!

Strangely enough I will soon be reading 'Diary of a Nobody' for a book
group. It will be interesting to compare this with 'Diary of an Anybody from
Nowhere' Apologies to Gary from Northampton (exiled to the highlands
o'Scotland) who's destined to read this book next as an RABCK :-)

Last, which will mean absolutely nothing to most people, but the Collins family didn’t fully embrace the Welsh language despite going to the same farmhouse in the Lleyn peninsula every year for 10 years (maybe this explains where the obsessive behaviour comes from?) "I daren‘t tell you how we pronounced Trawsfynydd & Llanystumdwy for fear of sinking still further into a caricature of imperial ignorance. Alright Transfinnywinny and Lanstuddymuddy"

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan at on Sunday, July 04, 2004
Released on Saturday, July 03, 2004 at RABCK in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Posted to Gary in Deeside, formally of Northampton. Enjoy

Journal Entry 3 by deebookfairy from Aboyne, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, July 09, 2004
Garys Wife! Recieved via post. My first contact with this web-site, what a fantastic idea!! (Have already released into the wild another book this afternoon!) Gary not a great reader, unlike myself, but may be persuaded with this account of an upbringing in our home town, particularly as we now live approx 500 miles away in the North of Scotland. May bring back some homesick nostalgia.......will let you know!!

Journal Entry 4 by deebookfairy from Aboyne, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, July 19, 2004
Have now finished reading. The book held my attention mainly because I grew up not a million miles away form Andrew Collins (in a Northamptonshire village somewhere near Roade, which gets a mention, in the same era. I think the recognition of places talked about in the book held my attention, more than anything else. An interesting and amusing nostalgia trip, but by the end I was skimming, particularly some of the more tedious diary entries!! Now passing it on to Deebookmans intended recipiant, my other half, who is not a great reader, but even if he skims this think he should take a look. Andrew Collins childhood does bear an uncanny resemblance to his own Northampton suburbian upbringing (particularly the annual welsh holiday and action men!!)

Journal Entry 5 by deebookfairy from Aboyne, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, July 25, 2004
reserved for cucoreidka, when the other half has finished reading it!

Journal Entry 6 by deebookfairy at -- Controlled Postal Release in Aboyne, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Released on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at controlled postal release to another bookcrosser in Aboyne, Scotland United Kingdom.

As part of a trade.

Journal Entry 7 by cucoriedka from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 17, 2005
A good book - all the better because I used to live in Northampton and know allthe places he talks about!
Am posting this to a friend who still lives in Northampton - think she'll like it too.
PS - Book found at last - received it last summer, and it has just re-surfaced!

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