(10 customer reviews)
Publication Date: 28 Apr 2021
Categories: Contemporary, HumourISBN: 9781913551773
Enter the immersive world of 1970s London
Between the hippies and skinheads and the era of disco and punk, there was a time when attitudes became outrageous, music more fun, fashions glamorous, and pop stars shocking – welcome to the age of glam rock.
Here we meet Mark, trying to be cool but not quite pulling it off. He is still a virgin and feeling left far behind by his more successful best mate. He wants to trip on LSD but is terrified of bummers. He fancies Samantha, the Pre-Raphaelite beauty at college, but lacks the confidence to approach her. In the north-eastern extremities of suburban London, Mark and his friends live for the weekend parties. They make regular journeys up west to the hip boutiques, restaurants and record shops; especially Kensington’s Biba, Mr. Freedom and Kenny Market. They take drugs, have sex and march against the Tory government.
"It's 1971 and Mark is a Jewish teenager living in the London suburbs trying to navigate the choppy waters of love, sex and friendship... Throw in his determined effort to drop acid, the burgeoning glam rock scene and the huge importance of music and fashion in his life and you have the intoxicating ingredients of Martin Silverstone’s lively and humorous rites of passage debut novel, Budgie Wore My Jacket... For anyone with a penchant for those patchouli-soaked, cannabis-fogged days, Budgie Wore My Jacket is a Technicolor nostalgia trip that doesn’t disappoint... And with its rich dialogue, flashes of comedy and huge potential for fantastic costumes and a great soundtrack it feels like a natural fit for a TV treatment."
– Jane Clinton, Camden New Journal
Martin Silverstone worked for several decades at one of the global giants of the corporate world where he sold multimillion-dollar technology, software and services solutions. He has also travelled the world, scuba-dived deeper than the safest limits, trekked high up in the Himalayas, overdosed on adrenalin while white water rafting, and cycled across inhospitable deserts. He lived for four years in the Middle East and also lived in a centuries-old apartment on the Left Bank of Paris for two years, but has now settled in Hampstead, London.
Deckless (Guest Review) - 08 Aug, 2021
If you don't like sex, drugs or rock n roll then don't buy this book !! A great read, very informative and believable characters - so realistic I felt like I knew Mark ( the main protagonist) . Loads of nostalgia that anyone of a certain age will relate to - evening ins & all the big firsts. And I loved the The Container & The Contents , genuinely funny & evocative .
Kilburn Towers (Guest Review) - 31 Jul, 2021
I loved this nostalgic trip to the early 1970s with a 'wannabe cool' but ultimately quite sensitive main character. It's a bit like "Please Sir" meets Jonathan Coe's "The Rotters' Club" with its references to bygone music, narcotics, attitudes, fashion and interior design. It's a coming of age story for the main protagonist who initially comes across as a bit of an idiot but to whom the reader will ultimately warm. After all, he just wants to 'belong' and to experience what other cool people have experienced. The opening section, whilst funny and enjoyable, does feel a little bit crass but gradually you start to recognise the characters, what makes them tick, and 'believe' the relationships between them. Well worth the read, especially if you like the particular era.
Eve Gartshore (Guest Review) - 02 Aug, 2021
If you were around in the 1970s, or even if you are just interested in that period, Budgie Wore My Jacket is a rollicking good read! It's funny, relatable, the narrator can be both deep and shallow but always likeable. Some of his sociological theories are an absolute hoot, and I learned a lot - from a very different use for Haliborange, to a unit of time based on the length of a side of a vinyl album. Finally, it contains the absolute best description of the difference between East and West London I've ever read! I highly recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.
NetGalley review (Guest Review) - 19 Aug, 2021
This book immediately immerses you in 1970s London and holds nothing back when introducing the characters. In the limbo between the peaks of the hippie and punk movements, Mark is a kid who wants desperately to be cool and get laid. The environments Martin Silverstone creates are so well built it is impossible not to envision exactly what Mark is seeing. The story opens at a party that is so thoroughly described it felt like I could almost smell it. The readers who were part of this crowd in their teens, will undoubtedly be met with a massive rush of nostalgia.
While Mark and his friends will likely be off-putting to some readers, it is almost impossible to find them likeable and relatable as the story progresses. Any person who has wanted to be cool but no matter what felt a bit out of place will feel a sense of connection with the narrator regardless of what their teen years actually looked like. Budgie Wore My Jacket is a whole different kind of historical fiction & I cannot wait to see what worlds Martin Silverstone creates next.
Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/222510/review/768104
Andrea (Guest Review) - 31 Jul, 2021
A thoroughly enjoyable trip down 70’s memory lane. All the characters were well rounded and interesting. The protagonist was an open book and really developed throughout. I look forward to the sequel. A well observed snapshot of a young man’s life.
Mark Baird (Guest Review) - 31 Jul, 2021
Budgie Wore My Jacket is a truely honest observation of being a young man discovering the minefield of complications when experimenting with the art of Love and Romance.
Set in the 1970s central character Mark doesn't have the hindsight of the 'me too' movement or politically correct rules of the millennium years, which restricts so many writers and creative processes today, therefore it allows the reader to become fully immersed with the period of time. Which is essentially why it is so good and honest.
This is brave novel, unafraid to confront teenage frustration and pressure. MEAN STREETS, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, QUADROPHENIA and now BUDGIE WORE MY JACKET a great read.
Jonathan Guest (Guest Review) - 06 Aug, 2021
I highly recommend this immersive coming of age book about a suburban London teenager and his friends, during the time when the glam rock era evolved out of the last gasps of the hippies and skinheads.
They discover all that’s brand new and just for them in the seventies: glamorous new rock stars, dramatic and shocking clothes, different music and outrageous attitudes.
A bit like a grown up and hipper Adrian Mole on acid, getting into sex, drugs, the latest looks and glam rock.
I found the story very funny with laugh out loud moments, and with a page turning story line underpinned by Mark’s (the main protagonist) quests to lose his virginity, to be cool, to get off with the girl of his dreams, and to trip on LSD.
It is entirely immersive and accurately describes this pivotal time in the early seventies when everything changed. It is dry, satirical and full of very original observational humour.
The book arrives half a century after so many events, breakthrough artists and a wealth of albums that have become all time classics. With flares back in fashion, attitudes in tune with that era and celebrations of fiftieth anniversaries, this novel captures the zeitgeist perfectly.
Toni Lewis (Guest Review) - 06 Aug, 2021
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Would highly recommend. Totally deserving of the 5 stars I rated it. I look forward to the sequel.
Nadine Morrison (Guest Review) - 15 Aug, 2021
Coming from North London and being a teen in the 70's, I could relate to so much in this fabulous adventure back in time. Made me laugh out loud at the deep and earnest thoughts of a sensitive, self-conscious student trying so hard to be one of the lads, then fitting in with the left-over hippies of the 60's. Boy, the drugs, sex and rock and roll were everything, but best of all it's in the details - describing the music of that era, the clubs, the trends and for me, the fashions, the trips to Kenny Market, Mr Freedom and best of all, my heaven on earth, Biba - what all the cool girls were wearing! Loved it from beginning to end..........
Jonny (Guest Review) - 16 Feb, 2023
Read this wonderful novel last summer & its vibe has stayed with me ever since.
The author takes you through a multiple layered journey of youth, music, culture & social awareness at an unstoppable pace.
The colourful descriptions of events & thought provoking subjects seen through the eyes & mind of the lead character awaken your own sense of inquisitive thinking.
With some enticing theories (or possible truths?) the dialogue drops in some great historical links to that very special era of transformation that had such a powerful impact on our current culture.
Brilliant read & would love another follow up novel.