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  • England's Dreaming

  • The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock
  • By: Jon Savage
  • Narrated by: Chris MacDonnell
  • Length: 21 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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England's Dreaming

By: Jon Savage
Narrated by: Chris MacDonnell
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Summary

England's Dreaming is the ultimate book on punk, its progenitors, the Sex Pistols, and the moment they defined for music fans in England and the United States. Savage brings to life the sensational story of the meteoric rise and rapid implosion of the Pistols through layers of rich detail and exclusive interviews. This fully revised and updated edition of the book covers the legacy of punk 25 years later and provides an account of the Pistols' 1996 reunion as well as a completely new introduction. 

©1991 Jon Savage (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about England's Dreaming

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A must read for Pistols and punk fans in general.

Its kinda the one book on the Pistols and punk that everyone who is interested should read. Don't get me wrong I like it very much but it's not without its issues.
First up, I really dislike the actual reading of the book. No disrespect to the narrator but he is just the wrong man for the job. I found his tone and timbre for a book like this completely wrong. seriously off putting.
The book itself can be a little pretentious and "up itself" often imbibing events, people and songs with a gravitas that I don't think is justified.
Be warned, the quoting of lyrics by this narrator is enough to curdle your milk.
For a book so well researched the occasional clunky factual error can jar and cause you to lose faith in the narrative.
All that said its still a great book packed with engrossing detail and never before angles on the often documented events. It could be argued that it lacks a sense of humour about itself but for me the main problem is the very much wrong feel of the voice.

Still worth it for anyone who cares.

1 person found this helpful

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insightful

from someone who was in their early teens when the punk revolt started and who benefited from a I want to do it my way attitude ( as a girl) . I enjoyed this audio as it helps to put and fathom a lot of the cultural and political out pouring amongst us, the young at the time. it also answers why America was seen as the birth place of punk for which I couldn't fathom - but, I guess, it was in the attitude and still remains..... this is a surprisingly good book and listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Great history of start of UK punk

really enjoyed this in depth history of the environmental factors around the start of punk, the influence of McCartney and Westwood and the struggles between the band, the press and record companies. fascinating

1 person found this helpful

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Heavy going.

Enjoyable once it got past Malcolm and Vibienne’s life stories. All very interesting though. Brought back lots of memories.

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The whole story...

Very detailed story of an iconic, if short lived punk group. Loved hearing about the roots of the Punk movement and its subsequent self destruction.

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All the filth and fury

Great read for people interested in the Pistols and British punk in general, in depth and informative, highly recommended.

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Punk

As full a history of a change in time of music and more importantly, culture, as you’re likely to read. Brilliantly narrated. A book you wish would never end. Fantastic

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Waited for this book for so long…

This has been on my wishlist of books that get an audio production for years. The story of the Pistols and the UK punk scene is vividly and vibrantly told in Savage’s prose. Unfortunately, the narration doesn’t match that vibrancy and overall this fascinating tale is slightly flattened. A missed opportunity.

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If you want to know anything about punk, read this first

England’s Dreaming is a rarity in music journalism; it’s a book that focuses on the facts and the music, not on the personal life of the author. You won’t find a more compelling, informed history of the Sex Pistols, or a clearer history of the birth of punk.

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Profile Image for R. Silverman
  • R. Silverman
  • 08-02-22

Excellent Anthology of British Punk

Excellent chronical. The book dives deeply into how a store owner and a few misfits turned the country, and eventually the world, on its head. It is such a preposterous story in so many ways, but Jon Savage makes sense of it and explains how it happened. He also does an excellent job of impressing upon the reader why it matters and what the long run impact of this tiny slice of time would go on to be. The narrator, Chris McDonnell takes some getting used to, but once you get accustomed to his style, it is easy to follow and he does a very good job presenting this dense and rich material.

2 people found this helpful