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Andrew Collins was born 37 years ago in Northampton. His parents never split up, in fact they rarely exchanged a cross word. No-one abused him. Nobody died. He got on well with his brother and sister and none of his friends drowned in a canal. He has never stayed overnight in a hospital and has no emotional scars from his upbringing, except a slight lingering resentment that Anita Barker once mocked the stabilisers on his bike. Where Did It All Go Right? is a jealous memoir written by someone who occasionally wishes life had dealt him a few more juicy marketable blows. The author delves back into his first 18 years in search of something - anything - that might have left him deeply and irreparably damaged. With tales of bikes, telly, sweets, good health, domestic harmony and happy holidays, Andrew aims to bring a little hope to all those out there living with the emotional after-effects of a really nice childhood. Andrew Collins kept a diary from the age of five, so he really can remember what he had for tea everyday and what he did at school, excerpts from his diary run throughout the book and it is this detail which makes his story so compelling.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780091894368
ISBN-10: 0091894360
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 127mm x 20mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Ebury Press
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions


UK Kirkus Review » Following the trend of relentlessly ordinary memoirs initiated by Sylvia Smith's Misadventures, this is the male coming-of-age version. Totally unmarked by traumas and hardships, the author states that he's been inspired to redress the balance by all those who have written miserable accounts of their terrible childhoods. In this book, Andrew Collins re-acquaints himself with the young Andy and is able to see himself more clearly than most. It's not everyone that gets to look back on a day-to-day record of their growth and development with a dispassionate and sympathetic eye. He owes a debt of gratitude to one of his grandfathers who kept every single card, letter and postcard he'd sent him, and to his parents, who have 'the complete artistic works of the young Andrew Collins stored in a suitcase in their attic'. More Adrian Mole than Alan Clarke, most of the early entries are of the 'we went, we saw, we played, we ate' variety. In the first diary, aged eight, the young Collins views his world almost exclusively through TV programmes such as Tom and Jerry, Jackanory and Play School. He is immune from childhood ailments and describes himself as hardy, full of energy and seemingly unbreakable. As the diaries progress, there is very little childish introspection. Andrew's parents are hazy figures and he doesn't appreciate his four grandparents as people until he is out of his teens. Even his home town is unremarkable. Of Northampton, he writes: 'There's no outward mythology to the place. Nothing to remember it by or plan a return visit for.' By his teen years, the author admits that the diaries exhibit an irritating smugness and blames The Goodies and Monty Python for this. Entries have become 'scribbly entries with lazy, rudimentary drawings, torn pages, dishonest tampering with the text', especially with his allegiances to different girls. Despite the plethora of girls' names he admits to not being much interested in them. He doesn't lose his virginity until 18 and true to the pledge of ordinariness this rite of passage is totally excised. The author concludes that his first 17 years on earth had seemed like one long 'good stroke of fortune'. One of the drawbacks to this of course came when he hit the world outside - 'I thought that this was what life was going to be like in the foreseeable future.' Extensively footnoted, this is an enjoyable wallow in the minutiae of daily life in the '70s. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Andrew Collins

Andrew Collins was born in Northampton. He began his journalistic career at the NME and went on to edit Q magazine. He has written for Select, The Observer, New Statesman, Word, The Guardian and Radio Times, where he is Film Editor. He won a Sony Gold award for 'Collins & Maconie's Hit Parade' on Radio 1 and co-presented Collins & Maconie's Movie Club on ITV. Andrew was a scriptwriter for EastEnders and Family Affairs. He hosted Radio 4's weekly film programme Back Row for nearly three years, presents a daily show on BBC 6 Music and fronts The Day The Music Died on Radio 2. His first sitcom, Grass, written with Simon Day, aired on BBC2 in 2003. He also co-wrote and performed Lloyd Cole Knew My Father on stage and for Radio 2. In addition to Where Did It All Go Right?, Andrew is the author of Still Suitable For Miners, the official biography of Billy Bragg, and Friends Reunited. He is married, lives in Surrey and cares deeply about the world.

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