Fiction Fishwick, Michael Smashing People

ISBN 13: 9780099285953

Smashing People

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9780099285953: Smashing People

It's the 1980s. Thatcher's Downing Street, champagne is the drink du jour, it is the hour of the entrepreneur.

Wilf Wellingborough is not really the man for the moment. Pleasant, friendly, puzzled by life and by love, he's astonished when Jimmy Spalding, whom he's known since childhood, gives him the job of editing Arts Unlimited, a magazine with no circulation to speak of but with enormous prestige.

The story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of the media in the 1980s, Smashing People is written with a wickedly funny eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and a profound wisdom about the ways of the human heart.

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Review:

Well-known in literary circles as Publishing Director at HarperCollins, Michael Fishwick is now striking out with his debut novel. Not surprisingly, as with most well-advised virgin authors, he has turned to the material he knows best: the smashing people (smashing in every sense) of London's books, magazines and booze-flooded lunches, as they make their way up the greasy pole during the 1980s.

No doubt some will find titillation in attempting to identify the originals of some of his more unlikely and endearing characters, but for the rest of us.... Wilf Wellingborough is a hapless young Oxford graduate who suddenly finds himself heading the respected but dull Arts Unlimited--following the death of his girlfriend's father in suspicious circumstances after having just-that-minute sold the monthly to Wilf's childhood friend Jimmy Spalding. It's the kind of arsenic-laced lucky pill that Wilf is too fond of swallowing.

In time, not surprisingly, girlfriend Grace walks out; Wilf acquires as lover a ruthlessly ambitious New York-based editor; he loses the job, and finally finds himself drawn to Spalding's wife, and a Vauxhall squat which somehow leads (in a sudden crazy spiralling of the plot) to sinister deadly attacks. The 1980s are evoked in a litany of lost icons--Wayne Sleep, Mrs T, Ludovic Kennedy, Wogan--and invocations of "the new ruthlessness", "the new amorality", but the best and most real moments of Smashing People come when the forced, nasty humour of London's literati is left far behind, and we explore Wilf's roots. Fishwick's plan is to relate all this 1980s decadence in his characters' shared youth in Shropshire and Oxford. It seems true of his tale that, no matter what road these people take, they all lead back to Shrewsbury. There Fishwick finds a tenderness and depth that his smashing people can never provide.--Alan Stewart

Review:

"Its portrayal of the vulgarities of literary London hits just the right note" ( The Times)

"A rollicking read. Fishwick has a fine ear for the absurdities and pomposity of the in-crowd chatter" ( Guardian)

"Michael Fishwick's debut is not only brilliant but also different. Packed with unobtrusive felicities of phrase and feeling, this wickedly wide-eyed picture of life in the eighties among the magazines and takeovers, the waif-like women and the strangely pathetic domestic lives of those who live by and among the media is top-notch satire" ( Evening Standard)

"Michael Fishwick has captured the essence of that nasty decade and its catastrophic insensibility" ( Sunday Times)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s the 1980s. Thatcher s Downing Street, champagne is the drink du jour, it is the hour of the entrepreneur. Wilf Wellingborough is not really the man for the moment. Pleasant, friendly, puzzled by life and by love, he s astonished when Jimmy Spalding, whom he s known since childhood, gives him the job of editing Arts Unlimited, a magazine with no circulation to speak of but with enormous prestige. The story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of the media in the 1980s, Smashing People is written with a wickedly funny eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and a profound wisdom about the ways of the human heart. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099285953

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s the 1980s. Thatcher s Downing Street, champagne is the drink du jour, it is the hour of the entrepreneur. Wilf Wellingborough is not really the man for the moment. Pleasant, friendly, puzzled by life and by love, he s astonished when Jimmy Spalding, whom he s known since childhood, gives him the job of editing Arts Unlimited, a magazine with no circulation to speak of but with enormous prestige. The story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of the media in the 1980s, Smashing People is written with a wickedly funny eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and a profound wisdom about the ways of the human heart. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099285953

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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 128mm x 198mm x 17mm. Paperback. It's the 1980s. Thatcher's Downing Street, champagne is the drink du jour, it is the hour of the entrepreneur. Wilf Wellingborough is not really the man for the moment. Pleasant, friendly,.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.185. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099285953

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. It's the 1980s: champagne is the drink du jour and it is the hour of the entrepreneur. This is the story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of media, written with an eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and the ways of the human heart. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 134 x 17. Weight in Grams: 186. . 2002. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099285953

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Smashing People, Michael Fishwick, It's the 1980s. Thatcher's Downing Street, champagne is the drink du jour, it is the hour of the entrepreneur. Wilf Wellingborough is not really the man for the moment. Pleasant, friendly, puzzled by life and by love, he's astonished when Jimmy Spalding, whom he's known since childhood, gives him the job of editing Arts Unlimited, a magazine with no circulation to speak of but with enormous prestige. The story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of the media in the 1980s, Smashing People is written with a wickedly funny eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and a profound wisdom about the ways of the human heart. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099285953

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Book Description Vintage, 2002. Book Condition: New. It's the 1980s: champagne is the drink du jour and it is the hour of the entrepreneur. This is the story of seven friends from Oxford and their adventures in the world of media, written with an eye for the absurdities of journalism and publishing and the ways of the human heart. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 134 x 17. Weight in Grams: 186. . 2002. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099285953

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