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The North (And Almost Everything In It)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Here is the north, this is where it lies, where it belongs, full of itself, high up above everything else, surrounded by everything that isn't the north, that's off the page, somewhere else...

Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven, old enough to form an identity but too young to be
Hardcover, 584 pages
Published June 6th 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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MJ Nicholls
A sprawling personal epic chronicling Morley’s North (his childhood in South Reddish until his swift relocation to London as a protégé at the NME), interwoven with anticlockwise trivia from the late seventies until the 12th century, omitting most of the post-seventies stuff that happened in the author’s absence. A continuation of sorts of Morley’s memoir Nothing, this is another fine entry in a sequence of books that act as a kind of roman-fleuve: mixing autobio with well-researched factual heft ...more

pub 2013
spring 2013
non fic
br england>

BBC BLURB: 'Here is the north, this is where it lies, where it belongs, full of itself, high up above everything else, surrounded by everything that isn't the north, that's off the page, somewhere else.'

Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven, old enough to form an identity but too young to be aware that 'southern' was a category, Morley has always thought of
Steve Duffy
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Know your place": it's a phrase that many people from the North have heard pretty often down the years, and it's also the driving principle behind this personal memoir of the North and Northern-ness from one of our most original and distinctive voices. Morley's style divides opinion, but it suits a book like this down to the ground; his love of digression and his delight in variety animate the sprawling, discursive text. I honestly didn't find it a difficult read (one of the two most frequently ...more
From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week:
'Here is the north, this is where it lies, where it belongs, full of itself, high up above everything else, surrounded by everything that isn't the north, that's off the page, somewhere else.'

Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven, old enough to form an identity but too young to be aware that 'southern' was a category, Morley has always thought of himself as a northerner.
A vast, sprawling book, which I can see how some people would hate. It rambles at times, and flits from subject to subject, but it's like a diamond mine: there are raw, sparkly bits littered throughout.

I learnt a lot of interesting facts, read a lot that I previously knew, but it's presented with real heart and feeling.

Having read Paul Morley's Nothing, I knew the ending wasn't happy, but this transcends his personal story, riveting as that is.

No matter what you think you know, or believe about
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Frankly wanted to enjoy this more than I did. Rambling and disjointed, entirely self-indulgent. As a personal memoir it was lacking; as a history of the North it was piecemeal.
Michael Tweed
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part history, part memory of Paul's life in the north of England.(Mainly the west side of the pennine's) Told in a mixed-up but never dull style.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
A curious book this. First the title "The North" is totally misleading. "North Reddish", a small suburb in Stockport may have been more accurate. It is not really a history of the North as the title and the cover suggests. It is more an autobiography of Morley's youth, growing up in, well, North Reddish. This main narrative is interspersed with vignettes covering key events in the North of England over the past 600 or so years, but again they have a strong Manchester bias. This didn't bother me ...more
Tango Dancer
Aug 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A sprawling book - which is more Paul Morley's biography than it is any kind of assessment of the North. With the exception of Stockport, Manchester and Liverpool the rest of that area of England above Crewe just gets a passing mention, in a mismatch of historical snippets.

From someone who claims to have grown up loving sport(football and cricket) I found two glaring errors
- Bob Shankley and Brian Redbone!

Bob, I believe was the legendary Bill Shankley's brother who to my knowledge had no
the great gretsby
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
still not quite sure how i feel about this book, it’s a bit of a difficult read because there’s so many historical facts about different people and places being thrown at you (i’m only 20 and had never heard of a lot of the important people mentioned because they were before my time), but i still like how personal it is and how it manages to capture what the north actually feels like. it’s a very authentic book but also very specific to the north west (particularly stockport, manchester and ...more
Peter Jordan
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: north
Well, not quite what I was expecting. I thought it would be more in the mode of Maconie. Nevertheless, a fascinating dialogue of Morley making sense of his place in the world - and finding a sense of place. Also interspersed with fascinating historical detail.

But it should really be called the North West!
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not for the empirically-minded who might want more from a study of a region and its culture than what reads like a Wikipedia mashup. As it happens, The North is about Paul Morley and, to be fair, I should have read the reviews of this more carefully: the ones that said 'personal odyssey' and 'memoir'. Mea Culpa.
Jonathan Carr
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read. Essential reading for anyone from the North, in the North, or interested in the North. As someone who grew up in Stockport who attended the same school as Paul Morley, there were parts of the book that were particularly poignant.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
I guess if you are from the North it might be interesting to hear those words every sentance, but for the rest of us maybe not
Jonathan Walker
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I wasn't able to read all of this, because I had to return my library copy, but it probably works best when sampled anyway. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Liverpool.
Stuart Frazer
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The North (And Almost Everything In the North-West) more like ...more
Paul McFadyen
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It’s a good job that you only write reviews at the end of a book (or you should do, anyway). Approximately one-third of the way through this, I was reaching a point of complete exasperation with it – I even had the first line ready,

“I quite enjoyed ‘Manchester’ by Paul Morley, or ‘The North’ as he sees fit to call it”

I should explain…

The books starts with and stays mainly focussed on what some of us used to call “Granada-land” – i.e. that part of the NW of England that gets Granada Reports as
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the most difficult book to rate that I have read since joining goodreads. There have been moments when I would have rated it two stars and then moments when I would have given it five. Just to add to the confusion, sometimes these moments occurred at the same time!

I need to say something of myself, in order for this review to make sense. I come from Rochdale, Lancashire and am of a similar age to Paul Morley. I don't know Reddish and know Stockport only slightly, but our years growing up
Steve Porter
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This extensive examination of Northern England is subtitled 'And Almost Everything In It'. At just short of 600 pages, Paul Morley makes a fair stab at including everything, or at least everything he can find that's relevant to his own personal concept of 'The North'.

At that length, it's a fine achievement that this book, which I read on Kindle, doesn't seem as long as that and given the variety of content covered I maintained interest throughout.

Being picky, I wondered about one or two of the
Anders Hanson
The North by Paul Morley is part autobiography, part social history and part travelogue, and by fulfilling all of these is an unusual book.

Although its full title is 'The North (and almost everything in it)" it would be better titled 'Greater Manchester (and a little bit outside it).' That's not to say that is a lesser book because of that, as it is an interesting read, but if you are coming to this expecting a tour of the whole of the North of England (as the inclusion in his final chapter of
Ian Brydon
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first became aware of Paul Morley as a regular talking head on documentaries about rock music, and gradually came to recognise that his opinions generally coincided with my own. He tended to speak to the camera with commitment and authority, and he has continued in that vein here.

This book encompasses a variety of tones. Perhaps principally a selection of his own memoirs, focusing on growing up in Reddish, in the close hinterland of Stockport, he also offers an enlightening history of the
Shelly Dennison
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Hypnotic and infuriating in equal measure. This is actually more memoir than the title really suggests and as such focuses on Stockport and Manchester (plus to a lesser extent, Liverpool), there are sections of history woven in, going back through time, and these were the most interesting parts but lacked any kind of narrative thread. The illustrations are in random places, often nowhere near the relevant sections. The prose is in many places very hard work with an overly 'poetic' style which is ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It took me a long time to read, but it is about 550 pages, and non-fiction, so I would read it for a few days, put it down, read something else, and come back to it.
I have to say it's very north-west focused, not as much about the other side of the country, but I enjoyed that as it's closer to where I'm from.
It alternates chapters going backwards in history with chapters going forwards about Morley's life and things more personal to him, which I felt made it easier to
Connaire Demain
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Firstly, this isn't a book of the North, its more Morley's north, the people and places and indeed bridges that were home to him. if your looking for something that's more akin to a travelogue of the North, this isn't it (But Stuart Maconies may be for you)

Secondly it, is written in a very specific way, sporadically jumping from a narrative to a historic tidbit. It takes a while to be used to it, but then when he explains why, it makes perfect sense.

Its a very well written and indeed hefty
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. I was astounded at how similar Paul's early life was to mine. I was born in Heaton Chapel just around the corner from Reddish, 11 years after Paul, moving to Woodsmoor at the age of 3. Attended Stockport Mile End school, across the road from Stockport Grammar, used to get the 192 bus to Stockport where I bought my first record 'Eat To The Beat' by Blondie from Nield & Hardy record store. A lifelong fan of Manchester City and The Smiths. A fascinating insight into ...more
Ben Tye
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Stockport native, born and bred, albeit on the Bramhall side of the Mersey unlike Morley. His North is my North, radiating out in expanding circles of time and space from Stockport. I suspect if I didn't share the same origins this book wouldn't get the five stars from me, but it deserves a four.... A superb, Sebaldian travelogue, history lesson cum biography.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Clearly a 'marmite' book looking at the reviews. Not really what it's billed as. More semi autobiographical rather than an examination of 'the North'. Rambling and repetitive at times. Just not my cup of tea.
Glenn Jones
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting biography of the North approached from both a factual and personal viewpoint. The author invites us into his upbringing in Stockport and allows it to relate to the bigger picture of the North. Highly enjoyable and a brilliant showcase of England’s Northern regions.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is deliberately all over the place, as befits its subject matter. Entertaining and informative this is a personal hymn to the North of England. Recommended.
I am a big fan of Paul Morley and certainly of the North however this book just wasn't what I expected but I couldn't really say what I did expect !!! Strange one
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Paul Morley is an English journalist who wrote for the New Musical Express from 1977 to 1983, during one of its most successful periods, and has since written for a wide range of publications. He has also has been a band manager and promoter, as well as a television presenter.
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“Pessimists can be such bores, and it's lazy to believe the worst.” 2 likes
“All change begins with someone having a thought.” 2 likes
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