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Stories We Could Tell

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,223 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Tony Parsons writes for the first time about his rock and roll years in a touching novel about friendship and growing up. This is the UK of the summer of 1977 - in the midst of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, a generation are trying to grow up and discovering the limits of freedom. It is 16th August 1977 - the night Elvis died - and for the heroes of STORIES WE COULD TELL ...more
Paperback, 309 pages
Published August 4th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2005)
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,223 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Aug 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lad-lit
Written to the standard Tony Parsons formula - disappointing.

I’m not sure why I keep reading Tony Parsons’ books. The two I’ve read in the past, Man and Boy and One For My Baby, haven’t impressed me at all. Part of the problem is that he only seems to do one set of characters: a younger generation struggling with relationships, middle-aged parents who’ve had it tough but who make-do-and-mend and don’t complain, and an elderly relative who dies during the course of the book. Throw in lots of musi
Jane Withers
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this .... it’s set the day Elvis dies in 1977 and the whole book is just about the one night ... I really liked that idea ... it’s also pretty much how I remember 1977 on TV with the racism .. it’s pretty shocking to read it now but it’s true !!! Also if you are into 1970s music there is a lot of reference to it .
Jim Skinner
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable piece of fiction, obviously based on the author's time working at the NME. The spirit of the times was captured brilliantly, with anecdotes & habits peppering the text. (I used to buy the NME a day early too, and yes, you could see bands for a quid at the Marquee)
Juliana Graham
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
I found this book really infeasible and in the end was just willing it to be over. Set over the course of one improbably long night the story follows the exploits of three young characters, Ray, Terry and Leon. However, it may as well have been set over the course of a week or more (as that much was unrealistically crammed in) with just one generic young male character (as the three were practically indistinguishable.

I think that Tony Parsons really conveyed the excitement of the time with the
Mar 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
Set over one long night in 1977 (the night Elvis died), this coming-of-age tale is set against the backdrop of punk, the music press, drugs and civil unrest. It follows three friends, who work for The Paper and their trials and tribulations - Terry, who is in awe of a fading rock star and in love with the girl of his dreams; Ray, who seems out of step with new music and must interview John Lennon to keep his job and Leon, an aspiring radical who discovers true love and disco, then loses his job ...more
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A really good book especially if you are very much into music as you get a behind the scenes look at the lifestyle of the stars and the people on a music paper who write about them covering many key events in recent musical history.
The ending was a little bit of a letdown as in my mind none of the main protaganists stories was finally completed, i was left with the sense that Terry was not COMPLETELY happy being with Misty and that he was staying with her because she was expecting, Leon just gav
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is about some young music paper journalists who are following their passion. Along the way they discover new paths as the life unfolds before them.

Although I don't have any background whatsoever on British life on late 70s, i think the writer captured the changing times in a most simplest way. But I was a bit frustrated/sorry that the characters thought they don't have anything left when they are so young. And to me it felt like they surrendered a bit too early.

I can go ahead and call
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You're ought to appreciate a novel, which plot takes place on the exact day (and night) when you were born, but it's all the easier when it's such a damn good one. Everyone with an interest in the culture of pop music should check out this story of three young music writers on different trips and missions on one special night in London, while trying to grow up in their own ways.
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Tony Parson's voice is very familiar to me and i find it incredibly jarring.
Pippa Ainsworth
I really wanted to like this book but I failed to connect with it throughout the whole story. On balance, a wild night in 1977 set against the swirling, tribal excitement of music on the night when Elvis died, should be brilliant but it really suffers from problems with the three central characters. They are journalists working for 'The Paper' (imagine the NME and Melody Maker) and are all in their late teens and early 20s, this lends them a level of self obsession found only in young people of ...more
Ruth Bradbury-Horton
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
great book, easy to read, satisfied with the ending.
Bearing in mind the entire story unfolds over one single night, namely the night Elvis died, you would expect this story to be Elvis through and through. Well it isn't. Which is good. Instead you follow a group of young music journalists, not much older than very early twenties, cock sure of what they are doing and where they are going, only to find 12 hours later that everything has changed, mostly for the good. Pretty much a coming-of-age bo
Conor O'mahony
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having read a few books by this writer I had wrongly assumed this would be a well-written book about family and the woven relationships within them. Turns out to be a story of young people in 1977 with a love for the new music who all work for a music paper.

The characters and fun, young and likeable, their stories well written. They overlap well and build to an action-packed night late in the story. It was cool to hear about the music styles from the year after I was born and how some of the you
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty dull boys' own fantasy.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've read other books of Tony Parsons; Man and boy, my favourite wife and was relatively pleased with their storylines. I picked this book up in a second hand store and was expecting a good storyline based on my previous experiences, however I have to admit I found it disappointing.
The characters weren't fully formed in my opinion and were quite weak. I pictured the characters from 'the young ones' and feel they may have influenced some of the characters in this story.
The plot line moved slowl
The Brain in the Jar
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: realism
The Family Way had a good enough approach, but Parsons never read like a author who has a great book in him. Stories We Could Tell doesn't hint at a great book either, but it goes to places I didn't think Parsons was capable of. The Family Way was a decent, character-centered book that still ended up too simple. Stories We Could Tell, instead, has so much more grey areas and content that now I will continue reading Parsons, hoping maybe I judged him too quickly.

The beginning is pretty bad. The w
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Der 16. August 1977 ist nicht nur der Tag, an dem Elvis starb, sondern auch der Tag, an dem sich im Leben von drei Jugendlichen alles verändern sollte. Leon, Ray und Terry arbeiten als Journalisten für eine Musikzeitschrift und haben das Gefühl, damit alles erreicht zu haben, was im Leben wichtig ist. Man trifft die Stars, bekommt Schallplatten umsonst und kennt immer die angesagtesten Clubs und Konzerte der Stadt. Doch nach und nach müssen sie erkennen, dass das Leben trotz allem noch ein paar ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I really liked this book, it was a bit complicated because It was set in a time that I don't really understand or know, and it mention lots of bands, muscicians and songs that are completly unknown to me. But that is a part of what make it so interesting and fresh.

I loved the triviality of it, the Teds the Dogs, the punks, the people at the Disco, the old ones at The Paper, loved the feeling of trouble that came every time they were mention on the book. The Book let you understand the music back
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it
What to say about this book really. I chose it as I needed a book for my beach holiday and I had not long read one of his previous books. Having quite enjoyed it I thought I would "play it safe" with this, except I ended up with a book in a total different style.

It is an intriguing book set at the end of the 70's and really drums home the end of an era and the country changing around us all. I wasn't alive during the period this was set but the depth and story building involved made me feel like
Ian Mapp
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2005
Stories We Could Tell - Tony Parsons new book. It is quite different from his previous ones. This time it is about three about twenty-nothing years old guys, that are all music journalist at The Paper. It is 16th August 1977 - the day Elvis died. So basically it's about the rock music culture of the late 70s (when everything is changing) and three confused guys who need to grow up.

I was very dissapointed with this book, cos it isn't nearly as good as Parsons's previous ones. Okay, TP kind of man
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This has been on my shelf for some while. I think I have found Parsons too sentimental in the past, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Set in the day when I was still a teenager, I wallowed in the nostalgia. This novel was rammed with period details - even gonks (and yes, my niece didn't have a clue what I was talking about).

I loved the reminders of my youth, and am glad to say my memories have more of a rosy glow than the punk-glamour of drugs and violence that Parsons evokes.

But it brought bac
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
this is a pretty interesting book - but maybe im biased because im interested in that decade's british music scene, having studied it for one of my us college classes. a niche book. interesting in how it portrays youth and identity and the underlying humanity... even though it may not be the best role models to follow, considering all the cigarette and drugs reference. very descriptive and engaging. the form itself is pretty interesting since it revolves around a single night, but it also did a ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is themed on the music scene at the end of the 70's (Summer of 1977)- a bit before my time perhaps but it's hard not to be enthralled by the history and the comparisons with my youth (perhaps 20 years later!). It was good fun to relate to the angst, soul-searching and romance that the three central characters experience through the book. The characters "come of age" as the story unfolds over just one night although, with the various ins and outs of each character being recounted, it se ...more
Phil Shaw
Nov 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Honest? I got about half way through this one and gave up. I found it in a local charity shop for £1 and as I'm trying to expand my library I decided to give it a go. The synopsis on the jacket sounded ok, unfortunately the book itself was pretty uninteresting and I realised I was reading it just to finish it. I had no interest in or care for any of the characters, in fact several were beginning to irritate me.

So I'm sorry Mr Parsons, but you haven't won me over with this one, and I cannot recco
Nick Davies
I like Tony Parson's fiction, and I am into my music, so I expected to like this - but it fell slightly short. Though the characters were likeable and believable, and though the style was witty and touching in places.. I just felt that Parsons was slightly shoe-horning in the 'late seventies music' setting - and the echoes with 'High Fidelity' were distracting (the author being aware of that book, perchance guarding against too many similarities). As someone too young to 'get' the cultural reson ...more
Tanvir Muntasim
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Finished this on a long flight and really liked it, especially how the love of music has been related to coming of age. Reminded me of my school days and all the music I used to hear (even though the time period of the book is before my time) and I found the observations about rock N roll generation really insightful. This is quite different from Parsons' other books and the authenticity based on his experience as a journalist shines through. An era gone by with all the glitz and dark sides come ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Natürlich ist alles so unwahrscheinlich, dass es manchmal beim Lesen schon fast ein bisschen weh tut, und große Literatur ist auch etwas anderes. Aber ich konnte das Buch nicht mehr aus der Hand legen, und es hat sofort die Sehnsucht nach dem intensiven Lebensgefühl, dass man mit Anfang 20 hatte, reaktiviert. Für alle, die Leidenschaft und Musik zu verbinden wissen. Außerdem eine wundervolle Hommage an Elvis.
Неплохая история трёх юных журналистов, живущих рок-н-роллом. Очень разные, опьянённые молодостью, музыкой и наркотиками, они живут, почти не заботясь о дне завтрашнем, 30-летних коллег считают глубокими стариками, а семейные ценности - устаревшей чепухой. Ночь, в которую умирает Король рок-н-ролла, меняет их жизни. Пути друзей расходятся по тем или иным причинам, но жизнь продолжается.

Цитат не будет, потому что очень сложно на бумаге их помечать =)
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't grow up in the UK, I was born around the time this book was set, I am not a young male.. (nor have I ever been). For these reasons I think I did not identify well with this book. I found it artifically stuffed full of experiences that were glossed over. It had too many characters who seemed to almost be the same at times... I struggled on but did not get the resolution I hoped for. On the plus side it filled in some historical evetts for me...
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this in a couple of days by the pool on my honeymoon, so as you can imagine i just saw it as a sort of entertaining, quick holiday read. It didn't disappoint in that respect. I loved the setting - the different music scenes of the 1970s and as a music fan really appreciated all the attention to different bands and trying to evoke the spirit of the time. So, while it's fairly lightweight i'd definitely recommend it.
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Tony Parsons (born 6 November 1953) is a British journalist broadcaster and author. He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror. Parsons was for a time a regular guest on the BBC Two arts
“She wasn't the kind who cared about signs, she moved through the world as if she had a right to be there - anywhere, everywhere. Like a woman in a book, like a girl in a song.” 7 likes
“Everything ends. It does. Sooner or later. This - all this - it has to end sometime.” 4 likes
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