'Unflinching and heartwarming' - Adam Kay
'Tender, clever and as funny as it gets ... a heart-piercing joy' - Lauren Laverne
'An exceptional coming-of-age story [...] Pete Paphides may very well have the biggest heart in Britain' - Marina Hyde
'I ADORE this utterly wonderful coming-of-age memoir. Joyful, clever, and a bit heartbreaking' - Nina Stibbe
'Heartfelt, hilarious and...more
As soon as I learned he written a memoir, Broken Greek, I was keen to read it.
My expectations were sky high and, I am delighted to report, they were exceeded.
Broken Greek is flipping brilliant.
I don't how but he achieved it, but Pete perfectly captures his adolescence, and the associated quest for identity, all exacerbated by being a kid of first generation immigrants, whilst being ...more
He captures memories with such precision that the frequent use of a time machine would seem to be the only plausible explanation for their clarity. They bring the sense of living through that period bubbling up, from forgotten lagoons in the brain.
The book is about the difficulties in his parents' marriage; the search for his own identity, knowing where he fits in, wh ...more
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 soon wanted to be called Peter, was the son of Greek / Greek Cypriot parents, who were, as it turns out, unhappily married. As a couple they ran various fish and chip shops around Birmingham and had to work hard ...more
Sometimes almost nothing can happen in 600 pages, and a book can still feel epic. Broken Greek is one of those books. It’s the story of a kid growing up on the outskirts of Birmingham between the ages of seven and twelve. A kid with a Cypriot dad and a Greek mother who run ...more
But that doesn't matter in the context of this book, because it's enjoyable all the same. As it's praise from fellow journalists and readers suggests, it is frequently funny, deeply ...more
Sometimes it read like reading a music mag of the chart every day, first reviews and impressions. Other times, it’s a heartfelt look at what growing up in Britain in the 70s/80s was like.
But the themes that keep you going throughout are the ...more
My attempt at bringing some of the songs together
I absolutely adored this book. I received an ARC from Quercus at the start of the year (thanks!) and put off reading it for a few weeks as it is quite lengthy, but then the amazing reviews started to flood in and I just had to throw myself in. I'm surprised at how quickly I've got through it - I found it extremely readable, and part of me wishes that there was more for me to delve into!
Initially, my interest fo ...more
This was extremely pretentious in the writing. I got about a quarter of the way through, he was still in primary school and there were endless pages of really pretentious drivel about how, when his parents abandon him then Brotherhood of Man or Kiki Dee or Abba were going to become his new parents and look after him. More and more pages of introspective philosophising as a seven year old. He claims all the ...more
I struggled with the tone of the book. It is presented ...more
I liked this very much - Paphides' unapologetic enthusiasm for the favourite music of his childhood years is infectious, and it's these parts where the book really comes to life. But I also found myself engaged by the part ...more
Despite being comfortably 15 years older than Pete Paphides I remember the discovery of the new - especially music in detail, such a precious part of life. It could be argued that we had it better - but what generation doesn't make that argument. The self-questioning, the doubt, the peer groups, the invincibility of the young are all brought to life through the stories of life in Birmingham. This al ...more
Peter Paphides effortlessly weaves together a coming of age tale with brilliant observations about pop culture and snippets of music mythology, creating an immersive journey which is at once deeply personal and universal. As a brummie I recognised a lot of the landmarks and as a music fan I adored the backstor ...more
I was worried I wouldn't be cool enough or music-y enough to read it (as is sometimes the case with books about music constantly referencing niche bands) but there was no such problem with this book. Pete takes you on a journey from his early years to age 13 sound-tracking it with bands such as Abba, Dexy ...more
If you grew up in the 1980s in the US, well...for me, not so much. The writing is excellent, the parts about growing up were great, but there was so much of a deep dive into music that I wasn't familiar with that I found myself skipping past them....and that meant skimming through a LOT. Imagine reading Chuck Klosterman but as someone with very little knowledge of US pop culture -- it's just not really for you.
TBH, I wou ...more
Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and stirring. I was gutted when it ended, I could have kept reading for another 600 pages.
Brilliant, brilliant book.