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Book Giveaway: Clothes, Music, Boys by Viv Albertine

(23 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Jul-14 10:24:08

Clothes, clothes, clothes. Music, music, music. Boys, Boys, Boys is featured in our Summer Reads this year, and we’re excited to be able to giveaway 50 copies of Viv Albertine’s remarkable memoir this week.

Everything is here, unvarnished and unwashed: art school, squatting, on tour with The Clash, and being part of a brilliant, pioneering group of women making musical history.

As one M'ner rightly put it, 'it's not only fascinating about the 'punk' years but also about her struggles and finding a path in life as an older woman.'

Click here to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy.

This giveaway is sponsored by Faber & Faber Publishing

TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Jul-14 12:32:35

This giveaway has now closed, thanks to everyone who applied. We'll be in touch with the winners shortly.

keriku Thu 24-Jul-14 14:09:53

Thanks mumsnet, just received a copy of this today. Will look forward to reading and reviewing it!

Fleabite Fri 25-Jul-14 16:30:29

Thank you. My copy arrived this morning. Can't wait to start reading it.

hjeffers Sat 26-Jul-14 21:01:19

Received my free copy earlier this week and am loving it so far.....

sumac Sun 03-Aug-14 19:57:52

As Suzanne Moore says in her brilliant review this book is 'quite something.'
Viv Albertine has original ideas and a lot of energy. She questions a woman's role in society in many interesting ways and expresses herself eloquently with clothes, music and words (not necessarily in that order).
The second part of the book (side two), about her life after the Slits, is even better than part one, which is a feat.
She seems fearless and brave and at the same time lacking in self-confidence. This book is very honest.
It is written in the present tense, as a series of episodes in her life, this really works. She does not attempt to include everything that ever happened to her (a good thing, as the best writers know what to leave out).
Viv name-drops a lot but somehow not in an showy-off way. She knows all sorts of people and writes about them here. At art college she meets a young (pre Clash) Mick Jones. He asks her to go and see The Battle of Algiers. They fall in love.
Later, much later, Viv is living in Hastings, looking after her daughter, well away from music or any other scene. She receives a letter from Vincent Gallo. She doesn't know who he is but a friend assures her he's a famous quirky film director. They meet in New York. It is slowly dawning on Viv that Vincent is an arse when Patti Smith walks into the restaurant (a sign).
Although I feel The Slits can be a little over-rated, it is still amazing that they blazed a trail all those years ago. Especially when you consider today's young women performers, even some of the intelligent and talented artists, seem to have to project the 'sexy girl' image.

Emrob86 Wed 20-Aug-14 17:38:19

Thank you Mumsnet for this book! I've not finished it yet but will leave a comment when I do! It's difficult for busy mums to find enough reading time smile If only there were more hours in the day!

Babelange Mon 01-Sep-14 15:22:46

I feel very guilty over posting this review so late and I was so overjoyed to receive the book, especially after I read a review in Mojo.

This is a very spirited account of Viv's life from her childhood through to the present day. Frankly I was agog at some of the anecdotes she shares with the reader! This makes complete sense after reading the book - disclosure and honesty are part of her raison d'etre.

Her biography is split into two sides, like an old vinyl record, and the first half is a romp through her musical career - lots of name-dropping but an insight into the vibrant music scene in London in the 1970s and early 1980s. To be honest I don't usually really go for this kind of 'muso-bore' writing (although DH laps this kind of biography) - in Viv's favour, the material is very accessible and a colourful account of a life lived in the public eye. There's plenty of material here for anyone interested in the social history behind the newspaper headlines (I am thinking of punk and Viv recounts how she was virtually stalked by Fleet Street Journalists).

The second part is so much more personal and covers her illness, motherhood and rediscovering her creative spirit. It's heart-felt, gritty and very moving.

It is one of the most rewarding books I've read in a long time. I've already got a queue of people wanting to borrow it, have bought it for a (male) friend as a birthday present and will be buying further copies for other friends.

keriku Thu 04-Sep-14 21:54:44

Apparently, Viv was in The Slits, an all girl punk band in the 1970s. Although, I was a teenager in the 70s; while she was hanging out with The Sex Pistols and sleeping in squats, I was sellotaping together Donny Osmond posters from the Jackie and being a swotty Patrol Leader and Prefect!
Yet, although I was never a punk, I absolutely loved this book. Each chapter is about a different year in her life. I could relate to so many of the events and people she mentioned. Viv writes with great humour and emotion. Post-Punk, she worked as a film-maker, artist and Pineapple dance coach, even settling down at the seaside with a husband and daughter! She is a true survivor of both serious illness and a brutal father.
A truly fascinating woman – I may never be a punk but I would love to meet her.
I loved the reminders of how hard it was to contact folk in the 70s and 80s. Very few of her friends even had landlines, so putting together a gig involved a lot of bus journeys and plenty of change for call boxes.
Viv kept loads of souvenirs from her punk days. My favourite? A wee hand written poster with the eternal words “On After Top of the Pops!”

Rhimchugh Tue 09-Sep-14 16:17:48

Not finished the book yet but really enjoying it. I will be honest and admit I did not know who Viv Albertine was before this giveaway, but what an amazing woman! I will feed back a full review once I finish.

Dolallytats Tue 09-Sep-14 17:19:41

I've just had an email to say that I should have received a copy of this by now, but I haven't had anything. Anyone else still waiting??

BumgrapesofWrath Tue 09-Sep-14 18:12:39

Currently reading this book - really enjoying it - will post a full review when I'm finished!

ktmd Tue 09-Sep-14 19:31:03

Still waiting...looking forward to it!

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 09-Sep-14 19:47:14

This is a very good book. Viv writes with great honesty, wit and enthusiasm and has lead a fascinating life. I don't think you need to be a fan of punk to enjoy this book.

doubleshotlatte Wed 10-Sep-14 10:38:28

Had to wait for Dh to finish reading the book first. I'm still reading and will post a detailed review on my blog.
I was so moved to receive this book in the post, Viv's life resonates on so many levels with mine. Though I was not in Punk, or music even, I totally identified with her struggle to retain her creativity and as a woman torn between being a mom and an artist... I had to stop reading as I got a bit too emotional (am going thru a rough patch) but aim to finish it now...

MamaMummyMum Thu 11-Sep-14 12:57:58

I have to admit it took me a while to read this book.

I've been dipping in and out of it for a couple of weeks.

I didn't actually know who Viv Albertine was before receiving this book, I think for me this made the book all the more interesting.

I loved that the book was split into two as such, one part is all about her career in music, this in itself was fascinating to me. The other part is much more personal, I admire people who can share so much.

What Viv managed to write was honest. Funny and witty at times whilst full of raw emotion at others. I was amazed at the details she could remember, considering I struggle to recall what I had for dinner the day before!!

You don't need to know a thing about Viv or about punk music to truly enjoy the words that are spilled on the pages.

Really enjoyable, much better than the normal autobiography!!

Shells Fri 12-Sep-14 21:12:54

Has taken me a while to get around to reading this. Absolutely loving it. Fresh, honest writing. She comes across as complex and fantastic. Want to meet her now.

bernie77 Thu 18-Sep-14 14:19:53

A very different type of book, I enjoyed the insights into the music scene of the late 70's but found her style hard going. An interesting read but it did seem to raise more questions than it answered.

CarolLesley Mon 22-Sep-14 18:54:52

Thank you so much for the book - it was a lovely surprise when it arrived. I too had not heard of Viv Albertine or the band, but am interested in the 70s generally. Like the previous reviewer I have had some trouble engaging with Viv's style and have not yet finished the book.

patsfan12 Thu 02-Oct-14 20:18:03

Loved this book! A young woman growing up against the grain, then asked to conform to marriage & motherhood, embracing both, losing one, yet always listening to her inner 'punk'. Poignant and empowering.

Emrob86 Fri 10-Oct-14 08:51:41

Thank you for this book! Even though I have never heard of viv before this was a very interesting and enjoyable read!

The book has got a bit of everything - it is funny at times and full of emotions and personal development.

You do not need to know of Viv or be into punk to read this book.

Rhimchugh Mon 03-Nov-14 18:39:10

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it- as has been stated in other reviews, you don't need to have heard of Viv Albertine, or be a fan of Punk, or be a woman to enjoy this book. It is a wonderful story of how one woman "turned her can'ts into cans, and her dreams into plans". A remarkable story of how a strong young lady followed her dream to be a punk guitarist- even though she couldn't even play a guitar, at first. It is the story of a young girl growing up, trying (and succeeding) to fit into a largely male dominated world. The second half of the book is just as inspirational. I have already lent it out and have other people waiting to borrow it.

barricade Tue 11-Nov-14 09:59:30

Phew!!! ... have finally read the books piled up with the mail when I returned from my trip abroad. Many, many thanks to and Faber & Faber Publishing for the opportunity to read and appraise this book.

--> Review has been posted!!!


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