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Seasons in the Sun Audiobook

Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979

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Publisher's Summary

In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the '60s had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish '70s had been forgotten.

Dominic Sandbrook has recreated the gaudy, schizophrenic atmosphere of the early '70s: the world of Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, David Bowie and Brian Clough, Germaine Greer and Mary Whitehouse. An age when the unions were on the march and the socialist revolution seemed at hand, but also when feminism, permissiveness, pornography and environmentalism were transforming the lives of millions. It was an age of miners’ strikes, tower blocks, and IRA atrocities, but it also gave us celebrity footballers and high-street curry houses, organic foods and package holidays, gay rights and glam rock. For those who remember the days when you could buy a new colour television but power cuts stopped you from watching it, this book could hardly be more vivid. It is the perfect guide to a luridly colourful '70s landscape that shaped our present from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom.

In Seasons in the Sun, Dominic Sandbrook explores the bitter, turbulent world of Britain in the late 1970s, the years that brought punk to prominence and Margaret Thatcher to power. With inflation mounting, rubbish in the streets, bombs going off across London, and the economy in meltdown, the days of national greatness seemed a fading memory. Across the Western world, Britain was mocked as the "Sick Man of Europe", a byword for decline and self-destruction. In 1976 alone, race riots disrupted the Notting Hill Carnival, the retirement of Prime Minister Harold Wilson was overshadowed by allegations of corruption, the Sex Pistols made their shocking debut on national television, and Britain had to go cap in hand to the IMF.

Yet as Seasons in the Sun shows, there was more to late 1970s Britain than strikes and shortages. From rock music and television sitcoms to the novels of Martin Amis and the birth of the first home computers, this was a society caught between old and new: nostalgic for what had been lost, but already looking forward to a new and very different political and social order.

©2012 Dominic Sandbrook (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (22 )
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  •  
    Steven 07-12-14
    Steven 07-12-14 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    "Carry on, Britain!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This and "State of Emergency", Sandbrook's other book about the early '70s in the UK.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Like "State of Emergency", Sandbrook continues to blow my mind about how desperate these times were for the Brits but how they always managed to persevere.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The story of Liberal Party head Jeremy Thorpe, involving a plot to murder a former lover. The would-be hit-man did manage to kill the lover's dog. Crazy story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I was depressed when I finished it.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Sandbrook's books on Britain in the Sixties were available on Audible. Can't wait for his books on the Eighties. This gave me great perspective on where the Thatcherite movement came from.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr G. 02-08-13
    Mr G. 02-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "First rate social and political history"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Ok so this is a fairly narrowly focused book, so unless you have an interest in British social and political history it may not appeal to you. That being said it's easily one of the best non fiction books I've ever read/ listened to. The pacing and detail level is perfect, and what should be a fairly dry subject is brought to life with a journalistic style reminiscent of Bill Bryson or Michael Lewis. As someone who was a small child in Britain during this period the book had incredible resonance with me. What was a real education for me was how close we came to economic and social collapse. I was much too young to understand at the time what the power outages and strikes meant but the books thorough explanation of the politcal climate at the time has given me a much deeper understanding of the forces that shaped the Britain i grew up in.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best part for me was the clear explanation of the political intrigues of the time, from the bitter infighting and decline of a fractured, militant Labor Party to the passing of the old guard conservatives that allowed the seeds of Thatcherite monetrism to grow from the ashes of the IMF bailout and winter of discontent.


    What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

    David Thorpe's performance is a tour de force, the narration on its own is clear, precise and a joy to listen to however what makes this book stand out from anything I've heard before is the voices of the celebrities and political figures of the time. The impressions are so accurate i was easily able to visualize the people being represented speaking the words as if i was a child watching them on the news in the late 70s and early 80s. Unless you know of, and have heard the people involved speaking you just can't appreciate how accurate his impressions are. If you listen to the book and don't know who some of the politicians are i would challenge you to find clips of them and compare. I hope there will be more in this series and that David Thorpe will read them. I couldn't imagine a better narrator for this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley 08-26-17
    Bradley 08-26-17
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    "Excellent narration of an interesting book"
    If you could sum up Seasons in the Sun in three words, what would they be?

    A good, quite listenable history of the UK from 1974-79. The narration is wonderful, enlivened by spot-on accents that enrich the story.


    What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

    Very fine use of accents and impersonations of public figures adds life to the narrative.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 03-04-15
    03-04-15
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    "Buy this one!"
    Where does Seasons in the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best--I would have paid full price for it!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them--uh, except the killers. I mean I felt a degree of sympathy for nearly all of the political figures.


    What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Thorpe's impersonations! I've been listening almost nonstop. I hope he is recording another work of nonfiction by Sandbrook right now!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    1/31/15
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    "Fascinating dissection of the late 1970s"

    I enjoyed the author’s account of the early 1970s and how dismal life was, but this book reminds me that the late 70s were even worse. Harold Wilson avoided too many strikes by letting the strong unions have what ever they demanded inevitably leading to massive inflation. Little did we know that he was drinking to excess and falling victim to the early symptoms of Alzheimers disease. I leave the book feeling sorry for Jim Callaghan who inherited an economy in crisis and was helpless to stop the country grinding to a stop in the ‘Winter of Discontent’ with rubbish piling up in the streets, bodies unburied and supermarket shelves empty.

    The weirdest thing for me was the upheaval in many schools where radical ideas led to abolishing conventional teaching which, taken to extreme, meant pupils deciding what to learn (or not) with no testing or prizes. Universities, particularly in the social sciences, were also subject to severe disruption by a minority of militants of the hard left.

    Inevitably this book is dominated by politics, but there are a few lighter moments as other themes are visited. This was an event-filled time with not only political conflict but also the Provisional IRA active in mainland Britain and moves for Scottish and Welsh devolution.

    No era is unaffected by what came before and it in turn will influence what happens next. The late 70s are a prime example: the troubles started under Heath and the anarchy of the late 70s are main the reason why Margaret Thatcher won a decisive victory in the 1979 election.

    It's a very long book, but my interest never flagged. The narrator does the author proud. He’s a pretty good mimic and reads with verve.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Jim Barrett
    9/23/17
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    "Excellent text and narration."

    An excellent book that I've now both read and listened to. The narration is superb, probably my favourite of all the books I've listened to. My only slight criticism is the editing which doesn't leave enough silence at the end of each chapter and makes the ending very abrupt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WILLIAM GREENWAY
    7/1/17
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    "Blimey!"

    Loved it. My teenage years vividly recreated, with the added political colouring I missed then

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Simon W D Borland
    4/28/17
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    "Brilliantly research and written work of history"

    I just could not stop listening to this wonderfully narrated work. Beautifully written insightful work of modern political history. simply fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. Menashy
    Bushey, London United Kingdom
    8/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "We had Joy, We had Fun..."

    What wonderful audiobooks these are (considered as one with its prequel, "State of Emergency").
    As someone who lived through these times it explains what was really going on whilst I was growing up. Comprehensively deals with all the issues of those heady days of the '70s.
    The real clincher is the amazing reading David Thorpe provides, "the Narration Revelation"... Every sentence is weighted perfectly and the large cast of characters is brought to life as Thorpe expertly provides wonderful impressions of Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Kenneth Williams and a whole host of others. This is definitely a case of the audiobook surely being more enjoyable than the printed edition.
    I've now exhausted the Dominic Sandbrook audiobook titles available; can we have "Never Had it So Good" and "White Heat" please Mr. Audible?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa Cooper
    6/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like the seasons......."

    A nostalgic walk down memory lane, full of things that have people of a certain age saying " ooh yes I remember that! ". Well written and researched by Dominic Sandbrook and brought to life by David Thorpe, loved his vocalisation of the characters, leads me to say " good book, well worth reading ".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AnalogBoy
    Bodmin Cornwall
    5/28/16
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    "1970s Britain... just as I remember it!"

    superbly written and narrated... can't praise enough. felt some degree of sorrow for sunny jim

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr James R Turk
    6/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "HOW AN AUDIOBOOK SHOULD BE."
    What made the experience of listening to Seasons in the Sun the most enjoyable?

    The superb narration. This book comes alive in the voice of David Thorpe. I was born in 1972 and I have no real recollection of the events described in this book, but this superb study of the time put me right in the midst of what was happening in 1974-79.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of it. A super concise history of the period. The fact that many of the main protagonists are still alive, and a few are still politically active today.


    Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favourite?

    Tony Benn


    Any additional comments?

    This is how an audiobook should be done. David Thorpe sounds like he enjoys what he is doing. The writing is top draw, history at it's best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farwest
    2/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent and very comprehensive"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone interested in 1970's Britain, very comprehensive and thorough. Reminds you very mush about how dark and depressing it got in the 70's.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like political history a lot and there was a lot of quotes and lesser known political info and detail.


    What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Thorpe brings a seriousness and clear reading, although some of his impressions when quoting could have been a little better.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this to anyone studying political history in the 70's, lots of detail. The audio could probably have done with a few more light hearted facts or popular culture, it was dominated by 70's politics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • TONY
    7/31/14
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    "History that should never be forgotten."
    If you could sum up Seasons in the Sun in three words, what would they be?

    Simply superb read.


    What other book might you compare Seasons in the Sun to, and why?

    Many good historical record books are available but nothing better than this.


    What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

    Everything and especially his wide range of voice impressions.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Having started my own business in the 70's the author's descriptions of just how bad things were is spot on and how easy it would be for history to repeat itself given the caliber of our current politicians.


    Any additional comments?

    Just read it !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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