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Notebooks of a Naked Youth by Billy Childish
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Notebooks of a Naked Youth

by Billy Childish

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Oh dear..... You know how it is, when you really want to like a book? Well, I rather admire Billy Childish as an artist (it has to be said that getting the disparagement of Tracey Emin rather helps his cause) and I so wanted the multi-talented chap to have my praise in another sphere (not that I would pretend my yea or nay holds any sway).

It is, therefore, with some disappointment that I review this book. The cover of my particular paperback edition is proud to quote a review from the Daily Telegraph, "Raw, unmediating, bruisingly shocking". Why do "artistic people" not call something crude? It is "raw and brutal"; no, it is crude. I tried to work out whether I was supposed to sympathise with this deviant creature who steals unwanted items, burns himself with his cigarette and stalks a girl considerably younger than himself but, the problem is that he is not some poor uneducated child; he is literate and intelligent. Sorry Billy, but I was not shocked, I did not cry for the poor boy; I was bored. He is not a realistic picture of the people who fall off the social spectrum and, more importantly, for a fictional character, he is not interesting.

I would report upon the story but, in the best tradition of artist books, there isn't one. If this tome had been handed to a publisher with the author's name marked as Albert Higginbottam, one surmises that it would have been returned, with a rejection slip, faster than the speed of light. Perhaps the famous should be cautious about multi-tasking because work such as this, once released cannot be recalled. I give it one sympathy star. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Apr 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753510170, Paperback)

Highly personal and uncompromising, Notebooks of a Naked Youth is narrated by one William Loveday, an acned youth, possessed of piercing intelligence, acute self-loathing and great personal charm. Over the course of the novel, he leads us through a series of encounters and adventures from industrial North Kent to the sleazy sex clubs of Hamburg's Reeperbahn.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Highly personal and uncompromising, Notebooks of a naked youth is narrated by one William Loveday, an acned youth, possessed of piercing intelligence, acute self-loathing and great personal charm. Over the course of the novel, he leads us through a series of encounters and adventures from industrial North Kent to the sleazy sex clubs of Hamburg's Reeperbahn.… (more)

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