Book review: Stories We Could Tell by Tony Parsons

Parsons-Stories-We-Could-Tell.jpgThis is a wonderful #music #history #novel that was written before we had hashtags dominating our reading preferences. Nonetheless, there are dozens of potential hashtag references dotted through the story: #JohnLennon, #CarnabyStreet, #Mods, #Punks, #Riots, #MelodyMaker and on and on.

So what happens? Terry, Ray and Leon are all music journalists at various stages of development/disintegration, partly trying to grow up. But they’re in an age when we didn’t really have to grow up! Yes, it’s the 1970s and the fashion, music, non-fashion and non-music is tossed around the narrative with happy abandon. Let’s just say that Parsons appears to be a bit OCD about the 70s and the emergence of the attitudes and yoof-kulture of the time.

Which I totally enjoyed. However, the Mini cars, mini skirts, punk fashion and punk music are the backdrop to an unfortunately soap-opera bunch of characters and mini-story-arcs. In most cases the characters don’t actually tell much of a story. Perhaps the book’s title is just a teaser. Perhaps there will be some great stories to come from Parsons. He did write for New Musical Express and wrote many excellent articles, and did marry another star-music-journo Julie Burchill.

So maybe Parsons will eventually tell some solid and gripping stories with a lot more flesh and bone — instead of left-over Eastenders story ‘plots’ like in this book. Anytime soon would be good.

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