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The Colour of Memory (1989)

by Geoff Dyer

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1222177,459 (3.42)1
In the race to be first in describing the lost generation of the 1980s, Geoff Dyer in THE COLOUR OF MEMORY leads past the winning post. "We're not lost" one of his hero's friend's says, "we're virtually extinct". It is a small world in Brixton that Dyer commemorates, of council flat and instant wasteland, of living on the dole and the scrounge, of mugging, which is merely begging by force, and of listening to Callas and Coltrane. It is the nostalgia of the DHSS Bohemians, the children of unsocial security, in an urban landscape of debris and wreckage. Not since Colin MacInnes's CITY OF SPADES and ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS thirty years ago has a novel stuck a flick-knife so accurately into the young and marginal city. A low-keyed style and laconic wit touch up THE COLOUR OF MEMORY' THE TIMES… (more)
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Geoff Dyer is a master of prose. THE COLOUR OF MEMORY is his first novel which has been reissued. If it had a plot it just might have been a good book. But lacking that I can't recommend it. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Sep 4, 2014 |
Really enjoyed reading this. I saw it described as 'curiously plot free' which is a fair assessment, but it was very evocative of lazing around with friends while unemployed, and also of living in Brixton. Found myself distracted by trying to identify places he was talking about. Loved the fact it mentioned the Lambeth Country Fair at Brockwell Park. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Feb 3, 2008 |
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Epigraph
There are happy moments but
no happy periods in history.
                                       Arnorld Hauser
What remains of our hopes is a long
despair which will engender them again.
                                              John Berger
Dedication
FOR MY
SOUTH LONDON FRIENDS
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In August it rained all the time - heavy, corrosive rain from which only nettles and rusty metal derived refreshment.
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In the race to be first in describing the lost generation of the 1980s, Geoff Dyer in THE COLOUR OF MEMORY leads past the winning post. "We're not lost" one of his hero's friend's says, "we're virtually extinct". It is a small world in Brixton that Dyer commemorates, of council flat and instant wasteland, of living on the dole and the scrounge, of mugging, which is merely begging by force, and of listening to Callas and Coltrane. It is the nostalgia of the DHSS Bohemians, the children of unsocial security, in an urban landscape of debris and wreckage. Not since Colin MacInnes's CITY OF SPADES and ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS thirty years ago has a novel stuck a flick-knife so accurately into the young and marginal city. A low-keyed style and laconic wit touch up THE COLOUR OF MEMORY' THE TIMES

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