Broken Greek (Paperback)
  • Broken Greek (Paperback)
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Broken Greek (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 592 Pages / Published: 10/06/2021
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Waterstones Says

The coming-of-age story from popular music journalist Pete Paphides brings together his experiences as a child of Cypriot parents growing up in Birmingham and his early immersion in pop music in vivid and poignant prose.

'Do you sometimes feel like the music you're hearing is explaining your life to you?'

When Pete's parents moved from Cyprus to Birmingham in the 1960s in the hope of a better life, they had no money and only a little bit of English. They opened a fish-and-chip shop in Acocks Green. The Great Western Fish Bar is where Pete learned about coin-operated machines, male banter and Britishness.

Shy and introverted, Pete stopped speaking from age 4 to 7, and found refuge instead in the bittersweet embrace of pop songs, thanks to Top of the Pops and Dial-A-Disc. From Brotherhood of Man to UB40, from ABBA to The Police, music provided the safety net he needed to protect him from the tensions of his home life. It also helped him navigate his way around the challenges surrounding school, friendships and phobias such as visits to the barber, standing near tall buildings and Rod Hull and Emu.

With every passing year, his guilty secret became more horrifying to him: his parents were Greek, but all the things that excited him were British. And the engine of that realisation? 'Sugar Baby Love', 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart', 'Tragedy', 'Silly Games', 'Going Underground', 'Come On Eileen', and every other irresistibly thrilling chart hit blaring out of the chip shop radio.

Never have the trials and tribulations of growing up and the human need for a sense of belonging been so heart-breakingly and humorously depicted.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9781529404449
Number of pages: 592
Weight: 410 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 44 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'..the book's greatest asset is its abundance of material about musicians and songs, and the way that they have guided its author through experiences that would have been impossible to navigate alone.' - The Guardian

'Paphides uses music the same way that Nigel Slater uses food in his autobiography Toast, vividly recreating his formative years through the songs of the era.' - The TImes

'... not purely another pop culture nostalgia fest. What sets it apart is that it is seen through the eyes of a child...' - The Sunday Times

'Tender, clever and as funny as it gets ... a heart-piercing joy' - Lauren Laverne

'I ADORE this utterly wonderful coming-of-age memoir. Joyful, clever, and a bit heartbreaking' - Nina Stibbe

'So wonderfully written, such a light touch. Drenched in sentiment yet not in the least sentimental' - John Niven

'It's brilliant. Sad, really funny and beautifully written ... just fantastic' - Alexis Petridis

'Heartfelt, hilarious and beautifully written, Broken Greek is a childhood memoir like no other' - Cathy Newman

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Hardback

“Must-read for music fans, and, well, everybody”

'Do you sometimes feel like the music you're hearing is explaining your life to you?'

I absolutely adored this book. I received an ARC from Quercus at the start of the year (thanks!) and put off... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 40

“Evocative coming of age tale from a proper music writer”

Pete Paphides is a well respected music writer and broadcaster , with a great record collection and a passion for pop music.
Broken Greek is his first book and it charts his vivid childhood memories alongside the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 26
TripFiction

“Memoir set in 1970s/80s BIRMINGHAM (terrific if you are fan of the music of the era)”

I listened to this on audiobook and it took me right back… to a childhood of pop music, Top of the Pops, Woolworths, Wimpy and being able to smoke on the top of metropolitan buses. All in the 1970s/80s.

Takis, who... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

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