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Good Pop, Bad Pop: The Sunday Times bestselling hit from Jarvis Cocker Hardcover – 26 May 2022
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**AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK**
What if the things we keep hidden say more about us than those we put on display?
We all have a random collection of the things that made us - photos, tickets, clothes, souvenirs, stuffed in a box, packed in a suitcase, crammed into a drawer. When Jarvis Cocker starts clearing out his loft, he finds a jumble of objects that catalogue his story and ask him some awkward questions:
Who do you think you are?
Are clothes important?
Why are there so many pairs of broken glasses up here?
From a Gold Star polycotton shirt to a pack of Wrigley's Extra, from his teenage attempts to write songs to the Sexy Laughs Fantastic Dirty Joke Book, this is the hard evidence of Jarvis's unique life, Pulp, 20th century pop culture, the good times and the mistakes he'd rather forget. And this accumulated debris of a lifetime reveals his creative process - writing and musicianship, performance and ambition, style and stagecraft.
This is not a life story. It's a loft story.
Poignant in a subtle, understated way; Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time for the age of the Ford Cortina... This book is about a very normal childhood and the everyday detritus it left behind. Common people indeed. -- Will Hodgkinson ― The Times
Incredibly entertaining...a trip through the things that have made him who he is. -- Jessie Thompson ― Evening Standard, *Books to Look Out For 2022*
Rummage through its pages - through the plastic and nylon, the tin and vinyl - and it's real gold, its shirts second-hand, of course, but its storytelling first class. -- Victoria Segal ― Sunday Times
Brilliant...Good Pop, Bad Pop is more than anyone dared hope for -- John Aizlewood ― i newspaper
Brilliantly fabulous: at once very witty, self-depreciating and moving. ― Evening Standard
Thoughtful and very funny... terrific -- Caroline Sullivan ― The Guardian
Engaging and evocative. He [Cocker] paints a vividly drab picture of the north of England under Thatcherism. And his book is beautiful to look at, too, set out like pop art. ― Daily Express
Like a pop culture Proust... a testament to just how rich this junk is that Cocker can weave such a compelling take. ― Record Collector
Insightful and delightful. ― Hi-Fi Choice
Good Pop, Bad Pop... pulses with the thrilling energy of adolescence and early adulthood... Cocker uses his objects to tell real stories about the past, leaving in the dirt and disappointment around the moments of excitement. ― Prospect
With laugh-out-loud passages of comedy and stylish illustrations... [this] is the story of how he [Cocker] made himself into who he is, his acquisition of a personal style and outlook... Hopefully we will not have to hang around long before his next trip to the loft. ― Financial Times
Like little madeleines, each relic is offered up to the reader in the intimate, confiding voice familiar from Cocker's lyrics. ― Sunday Times, *Summer Reads of 2022*
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : Jonathan Cape; 1st edition (26 May 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1787330567
- ISBN-13 : 978-1787330566
- Dimensions : 17 x 3.4 x 24.2 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Top reviews from United Kingdom
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This book seems to have come at exactly the right time, and I think the pandemic has played a considerable part in this. Many of us stuck at home in lockdown have found comfort in the nostalgic memories and music of our youth. Many more of us have tried to make a better effort in looking on our own doorstep to pinpoint what’s most important in our lives, instead of always looking to the horizon for the next big exciting thing. Jarvis does precisely this by examining the contents of his old loft and weaving together a story of his early life through objects that most people would think were mundane, if viewed out of context. But in context, these objects reveal an entertaining insight into his life—his influences, failures, successes and values, to name a few.
This isn’t a “wasn’t everything better in the old days?” book by any means—but a sweet ode to how unremarkable ephemera can have immense value in your life, no matter where you come from or what your story is. I loved it, and I know I’m not alone in hoping for the next chapter in Jarvis’s story someday.
Good Pop, Bad Pop (2022)
The premise is that Jarvis Cocker is cleaning out his loft. He explains the significance of an incredible array of ephemera. For example, toys or sticks of chewing gum or old packaging etc take him back to his childhood, old photos, flyers, tickets etc prompt memories of starting Pulp. The recurring item is a notebook detailing Pulp’s manifesto which Jarvis started planning as a pre-teen.
I listened to Jarvis narrate the audiobook complete with PDF containing photos of all the items. I loved every second. This is the way Jarvis tells chunks of his life story. It's ridiculously entertaining and enjoyable.
It all ends with Pulp still yet to achieve any kind of breakthrough so all the signs are that there will be another instalment before too long. It can’t happen soon enough.
It's a great and original way to review a life. Thanks Jarvis.