Friday
Jul232010

Things Ain’t What They Used To Be

Philip Glenister, edited by Philip Dodd

This book is a fun and affectionate romp through the landscape of the 1970s and 1980s in the generally cheerful, but often sardonic company of Philip Glenister, the actor best know as DCI Gene Hunt in the BBC’s hit series Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes – though let’s hear it as well for his performances in Cranford, State Of Play, Calendar Girls and Clocking Off. If you’re going on a nostalgia trip, you couldn’t ask for a better guide.

Philip manfully grapples with the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing highlights of those decades, and compares and contrasts them with their contemporary equivalents. Inspired to fond memories or impassioned rants, he weighs up their pros or cons and pronounces on his preference between Curly Wurly or Green & Blacks, Clacton or CentreParcs, Mousetrap or Wii, Cresta or Smoothie, Lashings of Gravy or A Drizzle of Jus (“Please don’t get me started on jus. Jus? Jus? If it’s gravy, call it gravy. I refuse the jus. Jus will never pass my lips.”).

In the battle between the Post Office Tower and the Gherkin, Parky and Paxman, DLT or Moylesy, the short back and sides and back, sack and crack, Philip doesn’t always come down on the side you’d expect.

As he says, after this journey back in time “to a long lost world of coq au vin and Cortinas, Crackerjack and the Carpenters, savour these memories while you can. Because there’ll come a day when a jaunt down Memory Lane turns into a wander down Amnesia Avenue…”

Sphere
Hardback, 240 pages
Published 16 October 2008, ISBN 978 184 744 2666
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Paperback
Published 2 April 2009, ISBN 978 075 154 2066 
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Audio version read by Philip Glenister, Hachette Audio, published 6 November 2008, ISBN 978 140 550 5567
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Reviews

“Hang on to your Sodastream, your Finger of Fudge and your camel coats, this ride on the Nostalgia Express is so funny even Gene Hunt might crack a smile.”
Daily Record

“For readers who yearn for the age of Curly Wurly bars and Green Shield stamps, Philip Glenister has written Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. As DCI Gene Hunt, Glenister has single-handedly revived the reputation of the 1970s. He carries on the good work in this book.”
Sunday Times Books of the Year

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