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Previous Convictions: Writing With Intent

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A.A. Gill is probably the most read columnist in Britain. Every weekend he entertains readers of the Sunday Times with his biting observations on television and his unsparing, deeply knowledgeable restaurant reviews. This is a second collection of travel writing.
Published 2007 by Phoenix (first published November 9th 2006)
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Jan
May 18, 2008 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A.A. Gill is a renouned newspaper and magazine writer who I've heard quoted and praised before but never read anything by. Previous Convictions is a collection of some of his articles split into two sections: home and abroad.

The domestic articles include one on Glastonbury and one on father-son relationships but for the most part are about traditional outdoor activities - stalking, shooting and golf. A.A. Gill writes about these subjects with a lot of humour, unaffected opinion and a remarkable
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Mitchell
Feb 26, 2014 Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
There’s not much to say about this that I didn’t already say in my brief review of A.A. Gill Is Away. Gill is a travelling journalist (as opposed to a “travel writer”) who pens short articles that are both very funny and very serious. This compendium (which at least three separate people mistook for Bear Grylls’ autobiography; personally I think he more closely resembles Ralph Fiennes) sees him wandering around Glastonbury, reflecting on Edward Hopper, examining the wonderful contents of the Roy ...more
Luke
Sep 06, 2013 Luke rated it liked it
Another anthology of A.A. Gill's columns. My hopes weren't raised by his misspelling the name of one of his editors - a former co-worker of mine - but given that I happened across this at a $2 stall on election day, I wasn't all that fussed.

Gill is frustrating in that when he's on, he's pretty readable, and when he's phoning it in it's plainly obvious. There's a couple of clangers in here that read with all the verve of a sodden phone-book, but they're offset in the pieces that work.

It seems t
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Debra Komar
3.5 stars out of 5

More uneven than some of his other collections but even hit-and-miss Gill is worth a read. Some of the essays, like "Dog" or "Las Vegas" are spectacular, while others falter a bit. The premise is "here" and "there," "there" being travelogues from various locations. One, entitled "New York" has absolutely nothing to do with the city - its about gyms, and its a stretch to include it in that framework.

The pieces that work best are the "funny ones," where Gill's trademark biting wi
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Meryl
Sep 18, 2015 Meryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meryl March 2016
Really loved this book of travel stories and observations. Gills style of writing takes a little bit of getting used to at the beginning, it's dense, and a little ostentatious, pummelling away like a deep tissue masseur who has recently won a local award, so enthusiastic for his trade he is.
But we settled down together, Mr Gill and I and he got less intense and loquacious and I stopped noticing when he over did it.
He observes and then gives you his opinion. Your possible disagre
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Arnold
Dec 12, 2007 Arnold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Long time columnist for Britain's Sunday Times and QC magazine. Almost incalculable abilties with the english language as it should but rarely is written. Deep insight combined with almost hilarious humour. Not recommended for reading in public. I started on this back in the lounge at Changi Airport in Singapore and brought a good section of the pasengers to my side asking if I was Ok. Uncontrollable near hysterics.

One of his great lines as an example

"Nostalgia is the waiting rom of history"

His
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John
Jul 07, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, library_books
Yet again, a book that really deserves 3.5 stars.

Pros: excellent quality of the writing, as well as being funny and using just the right analogies and cultural references.

Cons: first 1/3 of the book consists of miscellaneous essays (filler) not related to travel, which largely failed to hold my attention; nor could I get into the two or three travel essays featuring his rather boorish associate, Jeremy.
Sam Banchowski
Apr 19, 2011 Sam Banchowski rated it really liked it
Gill has to be one of the funniest critics writing today. This collection of essays, reviews, and memoirs spans a range of topics. Just when you're about to dismiss Gill for his extreme arrogance, albeit hilarious, you read the piece titled Father, which is probably the most touching work of short non-fiction that I've ever read. Definitely need to read more Gill.
Shiva Shetty
Feb 06, 2012 Shiva Shetty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. AA Gill writes like a really good driver taking a very fast car for a very aggressive spin. SOme of the essays are simply Outstanding. My fave section was 'THERE' and with it, Gill displaces Bryson as my fave travel author. And check out the last 2 chapters, Mykonos and Amsterdam where he has fun at Clarkson's expenses! Funny.

Buy the book.
George Masora
Oct 24, 2013 George Masora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A.A. Gill is one of, if not THE most accomplished writer of our times, no pun intended. In Previous Convictions, he employs his usual clubbable and familiar writing style to good effect, keeping the reader engaged from cover to cover. A thoroughly enjoyeable holiday read!
Clarke
Jan 23, 2010 Clarke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
collection of AA Gill articles; eloquent & blunt writer. total immersion from all of his writings.
Alex Hallatt
Although there were some funny parts, I got tired of his voice, his friends and his attitude to others.
Sara
Oct 24, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book of essays.
Rebecca
Nov 02, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I love AA Gill...the Glastonbury essay is a hilariously, satirical take on hippydom and the one on Brits and their pets - simply brilliant. What a wit
Paul
May 18, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book did not work for me at all it was rather boring. The second half proved why A.A. Gill is the best travel writer currently writing. All of the stories were top notch.
Anika
Jan 03, 2009 Anika rated it liked it
i don't thinik i'll ever read Gill again, his arrogance, (even self aware arrogance) ruins much of the great writing.
Ellroy
Jan 26, 2014 Ellroy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid collection of typical Gill. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Lauryn
Lauryn rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2013
Keen
Apr 14, 2017 Keen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is another lovely written collection from Mr Gill and his amanuensis. He is like a well informed guide taking us on his travels but is never scared to whisper the odd unsuitable or inappropriate comment along the way, just to assure you that he is pretty much on the same page as you. As ever with the man there is plenty to learn and plenty to enjoy as he immerses himself in various environments at home and abroad.
Rob
Rob rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2016
Holland
Holland rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2015
Col
Col rated it really liked it
Nov 24, 2008
Róisín
Róisín rated it liked it
May 01, 2017
Guy Wilkinson
Guy Wilkinson rated it really liked it
May 01, 2016
Alejandor Mccrmck guerra
Alejandor Mccrmck guerra rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2013
Katy
Katy rated it really liked it
May 16, 2010
Alec
Alec rated it it was ok
May 16, 2012
Casey
Casey rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2008
Greg
Greg rated it liked it
Sep 03, 2013
Katya Martyniuk
Katya Martyniuk rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2015
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