Absolute Beginners

  • Title: Absolute Beginners
  • Author: Colin MacInnes
  • ISBN: 9780749005405
  • Page: 351
  • Format: Paperback
  • Absolute Beginners London Soho Notting Hill a world of smoky jazz clubs coffee bars and hip hang outs in the center of London s emerging youth culture The young and restless the Absolute Beginners were creating
    London, 1958 Soho, Notting Hill a world of smoky jazz clubs, coffee bars and hip hang outs in the center of London s emerging youth culture The young and restless the Absolute Beginners were creating a world as different as they dared from the traditional image of England s green and pleasant land Follow our young photographer as he records the moments of a young teenLondon, 1958 Soho, Notting Hill a world of smoky jazz clubs, coffee bars and hip hang outs in the center of London s emerging youth culture The young and restless the Absolute Beginners were creating a world as different as they dared from the traditional image of England s green and pleasant land Follow our young photographer as he records the moments of a young teenager s life in the capital sex, drugs and rock n roll, the era of the first race riots and the lead up to the swinging sixties A twentieth century cult classic, Absolute Beginners remains the style bible for anyone interested in Mod culture and paints a vivid picture of a changing society with insight and sensitivity.

    • Free Read [Contemporary Book] ☆ Absolute Beginners - by Colin MacInnes ↠
      351 Colin MacInnes
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Contemporary Book] ☆ Absolute Beginners - by Colin MacInnes ↠
      Posted by:Colin MacInnes
      Published :2019-05-07T20:14:21+00:00

    About Colin MacInnes


    1. MacInnes was born in London, the son of singer James Campbell MacInnes and novelist Angela Thirkell, and was educated in Australia He served in the British intelligence corps during World War II.He was the author of a number of books depicting London youth and black immigrant culture during the 1950s, in particular City of Spades 1957 , Absolute Beginners 1959 and Mr Love and Justice 1960.


    963 Comments


    1. Absolute Beginners is remarkable - a dream of a novel. It is fast-paced, sweet-tempered, open-hearted, a golden book in many ways – a paean to youth, to a future brimming with possibility, to a present that is lived vibrantly and joyfully. It is also about selling out, junkies, prostitution, and race wars. How can this be? I suppose it is all about point of view, and the protagonist’s perspective is the embodiment of Live Now and Love It. This is one of those rare novels that make the reader [...]

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    2. One of the reasons I picked up Absolute Beginners again was because of historian Dominic Sandbrook's daft grudge against Colin Macinnes (in Never Had It So Good). I last attempted it in my teens. It had been a slowish read – proved to be the same this time round – and was easy to give up on back then because the library copy was a horrible mouldy one. Now, the vintage atmosphere and detail in the story was way more interesting so I hung around to savour that (when younger I'd filed this era [...]

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    3. I always had a soft spot for Julien Temple's film Absolute Beginners. I guess it was a bit overly ambitious to make a modern musical based on a 1958 novella, but I am grateful for the attempt. It produced a beautiful soundtrack featuring songs from Smiley Culture and the Style Council; wonderful vignettes from David Bowie (tap-dancing across a giant typewriter), Ray Davies, and Sade; and an opening sequence of black and white photographs from 1950s London which are nostalgic and heartbreaking to [...]

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    4. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. It's the first book of the year and the first book I had to read for this semester of university (for my post-1945 literature class) and it definitely sets the tone for a good year of reading.It was way funnier than I expected and I really enjoyed the episodic element of the story. We basically follow the main character who is a young photograph in 1958's London through 4 different days in 4 different months of the year. The main character's narrative voi [...]

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    5. On the plus side I could still remember whole scenes from this work although it has been at least twenty years since I last read it. The negative is that it hasn't aged well. It rings a true as a lead pound coin. The author's attempt to approximate working class and youth cultural speech is cringe worthy and patronising. The reality was that McInnes was from a middle-class background and grew up in pre-war colonial Australia long before the concept of the teenager as an entity existed. He vacill [...]

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    6. Interesting book. A good read and did well to portray the time and place but not the classic I was expecting. Definitely worth a read though.

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    7. Lately I've been into mid-century books narrated by teenagers. While I was traveling in London a couple of weeks ago, I started reading Absolute Beginners about 1958 Notting Hill in the run-up to the race riots. Now I'm reading José Agustín's La Tumba, which was published in 1964 and follows a rebellious, literary teenager as he attempts to navigate the stiff, adult world of 1960s Mexico City. I realized why I'm finding these books appealing when I watched the recent documentary on JD Salinger [...]

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    8. “Now, you can think what you like about the art of jazz – quite frankly, I don’t really care what you think, because jazz is a thing so wonderful that if anybody doesn’t rave about it, all you can feel for them is pity: not that I’m making out I really understand it all – I mean, certain LPs leave me speechless.” ― Absolute BeginnersColin MacInnes' novel "Absolute Beginners" (1959) is a wide-lens view of pre-Beatlemania London, with characters, images and ideas that remain pop fi [...]

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    9. To be honest, this book was more interesting to me for its historical value than for anything contained in the story. Absolute Beginners' narrator felt like something of a dull archetype – the arrogant late-teenager convinced he knows more than those around him, and unaware of his own failings.Perhaps it was more of a novelty in 1958, when it was written. Which brings me to what I thought was most intriguing about the novel. To me at least, it read for all the world like the anachronistic work [...]

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    10. It’s London in 1958, and the narrator of Colin MacInnes’s novel is living in what seems to be a new-minted teenage paradise, where teens, for the first time, have money to spend and the freedom to spend. It’s a world where all races, creeds and levels of society mix, a world where the (never named) narrator feels totally at home — the only cloud on the horizon being that the love of his love, Suze, has agreed to marry her homosexual boss as a front (homosexuality being illegal at the tim [...]

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    11. I started reading this novel with bad intentions. I wanted to laugh at it. For some reason I assumed it was going to be corny, poorly written and absurdly naive As it happens, it does contain some language that has dated in such a way that it brings a smile to the lips of the modern reader, but it's simply not possible to read this book right through with an ironic smirk. It's just too good, too exuberant, too smart, too accomplished, and the issues it raises are acutely appropriate for our own [...]

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    12. (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

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    13. This is the second book I read for the books1001 LiveJournal book club community. It was not one I would have picked up to read on my own, and probably wouldn't otherwise have finished even if I did start reading it. The reason is that I found the language difficult to follow, being full of slang and dialect that I am unfamiliar with. Also, after the first hundred pages or so, I realized that nothing was really going to happen. This book is more a portrait of a lifestyle, or of a generation, tha [...]

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    14. I wanted to read Absolute Beginners because of its ties to the development of Mod culture. I was expecting to get a glimpse into late 1950s British youth culture, but the book explores a whole lot more than that. I found the first 10 pages or so a little hard going until I got my head around the rhythm of the speech patterns, but once I was used to it and sorted out a few of the slang words it made for easy reading. The first person narration really gives you a really personal look into the life [...]

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    15. I had to take some time to organise my thoughts on this. It's difficult to assess exactly what I think of a book that is so firmly set in and attached to a particular time and place. A further problem is that the time is a couple of decades before I was born and the place is the opposite side of the country. As a result, I have no idea if the events or the narration of Absolute Beginners are in any way authentic. I also don't really care. The narration really reminded me of Anthony Burgess's A C [...]

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    16. I loved this book for its energy, its youthfulness, its optimism and its realism. Reading it made me feel like a teenager again - populated as it is with young people who were England's first ever teenagers (and doing far more with their youth than I ever did with mine). The distrust of adults and the scepticism of their austere rules creates a bubble in which young people move, with a freedom adults resent. And of course, it just goes to show that the same arguments come round again and again. [...]

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    17. After I got a little bit into this book, with its outdated slang and its theme of youth rebellion and after glancing at the copyright page -- it first came out in 1959 -- I realized, "Ah, this is the British response to 'On the Road.'" England is a smaller country, of course, so instead of tooling across the North American continent in search of wigged out jazz musicians and so on, the characters are taking cabs between Soho and Notting Hill to listen to some skiffle in a pub. And instead of Dea [...]

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    18. Die Auflehnung der Jugend gegen jegliche Art von Autorität, resultierend in einer Ziellosigkeit und gegenseitiger Rivalität. Die Angst vor Verlust von Eigentum, Freiheit und persönlichem Recht, resultierend in Klassenkampf und Wut gegen Einwanderer.Was sich wie eine sehr knappe und einfache Analyse der aktuellen Lage in vielen Ländern anhört, ist aber die Grundbeschreibung des Inhaltes von "Absolute Beginners" - dem 1959 veröffentlichten Roman von Colin MacInnes. Im Roman beschreibt der Au [...]

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    19. I love this book. I read it at that special time when I was a teenager as with Catcher in the Rye when these two novels meant the world to me because I could identify with the main characters. I am certain that if I first read them as an adult I would not hold these two books so dear. Nostalgia is a great thing.I think Absolute Beginners suffered in popularity because of the 1986 film, as I recall they left out my favourite character The Great Hopite and I didn't care for all the Jazz hand/point [...]

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    20. Mysteriously out of print for many years, this classic novel of teenage life in fifties and sixties London charts the late and largely unlamented cafe bar culture of the period, full of sharp suits and casual violence. Despite being slightly dated, in particular due to its outdated terminology, the book evokes the period in expert fashion. It is chiefly memorable for its depiction of early immigration into Britain from Africa and the Caribbean. Made into a by all accounts lamentable film featuri [...]

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    21. A non-stop frenzy trip around the sixties' teenage movements and a total dictionary annihilator for whom, like me, English is not our first language and even less all the jargon that drench every single paragraph.

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    22. Allerdings auch ein Kandidat für die "Kleine Bibliothek der übermäßig von sich eingenommenen Erzähler" (zusammen mit "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance").

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    23. 2.5 stars. This book was interesting for the history but some of the writing felt awkward and I didn't really feel too invested in the characters.

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    24. despite how long it took me to read for such a short book - I really enjoyed this!! The narrator was witty and fun and I wish it was longer :)

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    25. Written in 1959, it evokes the youth subculture of the 50s. Bursting with energy, bitter-sweet, and enthrslling. Don't judge it by the movie version.

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    26. From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:Colin MacInnes's cult classic about teenagers, style and racial tension in 1950s London

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    27. Stephen Worthington jest wykładowcą literatury i od kilku lat jest singlem. Nie radzi sobie za dobrze z kobietami i jest do bólu przewidywalny. Dlatego tak bardzo denerwuje go panna Wilde – jego inteligentna i prowokująca studentka. Któregoś wieczoru Stephen spotyka Julię Wilde pod barem i odwozi ją do domu. Ta z pozoru niewinna przysługa kończy się w mieszkaniu panny Wilde, a konkretnie – w jej łóżku. Stephen obiecuje sobie, że już więcej nie spotka się ze swoją studentk [...]

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    28. This book reminds me a lot of Kerouac's On the Road, only nobody goes on the road and it's set in London! You have to read this book in the voice its written in for it to make sense - not exactly Cockney English but rather, late 1950's British slang. Really loved the stream of conscious style writing - it takes you right back to the origin of the "teenager", who for the first time, were developing a voice in society. The scene is at the intersection of the seedy underbelly of London's projects a [...]

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    29. Though published 8 years later, this could be considered the British Catcher in the Rye - and at the very least a suitable precursor to A Clockwork Orange. But as one finds themselves further immersed in Absolute Beginners, the more uncomfortably prescient it becomes - particularly in regards to race relations and the idea of being a bystander - both to history and to events unfolding immediately before you. It was almost uncanny - scrolling through Twitter between chapters how easily history re [...]

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    30. This is a very good book but not quite a 5 stars one. I find the nicknames of all the characters more confusing than characters with beautiful yet complicated names in a Dostoievsky novel. I was about to write more but then who am I to review a cult novel written in 1959. It teaches you a lot about 1950s London youth and it's a pleasure to ride through the capital's street aboard the narrator's vespa. Don't hesitate and read it but maybe wait for summer.

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