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Previous Convictions: Assignments From Here and There

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

Critic, essayist and cultural savant A.A. Gill is probably the most widely read columnist in Britain. His books The Angry Island and A.A. Gill is away have found delighted fans in America as well, and sparked a loyal following.

His new book of travel essays, Previous Convictions, ranges from Gill's nearby domestic locales of Glastonbury and the English countryside to Haiti

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Hardcover, 270 pages
Published November 9th 2006 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Jan
May 18, 2008 Jan rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2016 Mitchell rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Luke
Sep 12, 2013 Luke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2015 Debra Komar rated it liked it
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
Mar 07, 2016 Meryl rated it it was amazing
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
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 16, 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
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
Jul 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
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!
Alex Hallatt
Mar 21, 2014 Alex Hallatt rated it liked it
Although there were some funny parts, I got tired of his voice, his friends and his attitude to others.
Rebecca
Dec 09, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jul 06, 2012 Anika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i don't thinik i'll ever read Gill again, his arrogance, (even self aware arrogance) ruins much of the great writing.
Lauryn
Lauryn rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2013
Holland
Holland rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2015
Col
Col rated it really liked it
Nov 24, 2008
Clarke
Aug 17, 2015 Clarke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
collection of AA Gill articles; eloquent & blunt writer. total immersion from all of his writings.
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
Jul 06, 2012
Alec
Alec rated it it was ok
May 16, 2012
Casey
Casey rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2012
Greg
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Nov 07, 2013
Katya Martyniuk
Katya Martyniuk rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2015
Erica
Erica rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2013
Patrick
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Jul 04, 2009
Xavier Vale
Xavier Vale rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2013
Edward Turbeville
Edward Turbeville rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2016
Alec
Alec rated it it was ok
Jul 06, 2012
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