Posts Tagged ‘writing’
• An absolute must-read for anyone who loves quizzes. Alan knows everything, knows everyone, and writes beautifully too. I loved it! (Richard Osman)
• Alan Connor has the mind of an entertainer and the soul of a quizzer. I can’t think of anyone better placed to lead readers through this weird, wonderful, competitive and dastardly trivial pursuit (Victoria Coren Mitchell)
• A jaunty journey into the world of the quiz, from the question editor of BBC2’s Only Connect, sometimes in the form of 300 excellent quiz questions
In 1938 Britain started to quiz. Since then, quizzes have become ubiquitous entertainment from pubs to primetime, suffered major criminal investigations, created unlikely folk heroes and been subjected to the rigours of question checkers.
The Joy of Quiz tells the history of quiz and its makers, wonders how we came to make a game out of remembering scraps of information, looks at the tactics of professional quizzers and reveals the shadowy worlds of setters and checkers.
Along the way, it asks questions such as ‘What is a fact, anyway?’ and ‘Whatever happened to prizes like sandwich toasters?’
★★★★★ Connor, like all the best quiz masters, is a genial, companiable host… He writes with wit and fluency… Above all, Connor succeeds in communicating the joy of quiz without taking it all too seriously. An absolute delight. — Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday
Book of the Day: Connor, whose last book was a charming look into the history and culture of the crossword, has again succeeded in explaining the enduring popularity of a curious pastime. The Joy of Quiz offers an entertaining sideways social history that takes in debates over quizzing and public morals, government oversight, and – I’ve started so I’ll finish – the strange things otherwise ordinary people will undergo to win a round of drinks. — John Gallagher, Guardian
Book of the Month: Alan Connor’s hugely entertaining book… gives us a cheerfully fascinating history of the whole quizzing business — Reader’s Digest Recommended Read
Proofs now in! If you love quizzes, you'll love 'The Joy of Quiz' by Alan Connor, complete with a quiz game cover pic.twitter.com/ij5aW1mOlD
— Allen Lane (@AllenLaneBooks) August 11, 2016
• Today programme, Radio 4, 25 Oct 2016, with John Humphrys and Anna Ptaszynski [audio] [video]
• Radcliffe & Maconie, 6Music, 4 Nov 2016
• Mark Forrest BBC Radio show, 7 Nov 2016
• Signing at Blackwells Holborn Book Quiz, 6.30pm, 10 Nov 2016
• Talk, Richmond Literary Festival, 7pm, 24 Nov 2016 [slides]
• Playful Book Quiz, Waterstones Guildford, 7pm, 1 Dec 2016
• The Monocle Weekly, Monocle Radio, 4 Dec 2016
• Playful Book Quiz, Waterstones Birmingham, 6.30pm, 7 Dec 2016
• Playful Book Quiz, Waterstones Brighton, 7.30pm, 14 Dec 2016
• Radio 2 Book Club, Radio 2, 6 Mar 2017
• Kew Bookshop Playful Quiz Evening, Tap on the Line pub, 8pm, 11 May 2017
• Talk, Festival of Learning, 7pm, 7 June 2017 [tickets]
Here’s a playlist of the music mentioned in the book:
— Particular Books (@ParticularBooks) October 18, 2016
Update: Luddites can see The Rack Pack on terrestrial TV
during the World Snooker Championships c2130, 30 April at 10pm, 16 July, BBC2.
Just been to the premiere of Rack Pack. It's out on Bbc I player on 17 th January Whatever you do don't miss this it's totally brilliant.
— Barry Hearn (@BarryHearn) December 17, 2015
Oh my! Snooker fans! Just watched The Rack Pack. Funny early but by the end I had tears of sadness. It's brilliant! https://t.co/UM8PAmLlzb
— Steve Davis (@SteveSnooker) January 13, 2016
@jamesdanw IMHO it's an superb portrayal of Alex, Me, Barry and the snooker scene back then. The poetic license afforded it adds 2 the drama
— Steve Davis (@SteveSnooker) January 13, 2016
Detailing the complex relationship between Steve Davis and Alex Higgins, and the part played in it by Hearn, the sport’s ringmaster, the film is by turns hilarious and tear-jerking. Its re-creation of an era of quite magnificent sleaze is so precise you can almost feel your shoes sticking to the snooker hall carpets as you watch — Jim White, Telegraph
Delightful… What this is not is a cartoonish romp through snooker’s glory days. For the most part it is very moving. But despite all this, Shaun Pye, Mark Chappell and Alan Connor’s film is still a wonderful nostalgia fest for all us 1980s kids, hearing names you haven’t heard uttered for 30 years — Ben Dowell, Radio Times
Shifts beautifully between laugh-out-loud moments and characters pressing the self-destruct button — Alyson Rudd, Front Row, Radio 4
For 90 minutes of pure nostalgia, this takes some beating — Hector Nunns, Times
…hilariously recounts the tension between the pair.
Hearn has seen the film and says it is ‘absolutely fantastic‘. He goes on: ‘It captures exactly the spirit of that time, the conflict between Davis and Higgins and the birth of modern-day commercial snooker. I had to rub my eyes sometimes; it was as though I was watching the real thing. It’s sensational.
‘The film is brutally honest.’ — Tom Parry, Boudicca Fox-Leonard, Mirror
Snooker is famed as the perfect TV sport, but it never looks as good as this — Andrew Collins, Guardian
Snooker fans will have tuned in to the final of this year’s Masters on BBC Two, but over on iPlayer a more thrilling portrayal of the sport was playing out — Rachel Ward, Telegraph
…the only puzzle about The Rack Pack is why the corporation [is] uncertain how to categorise what is simply superb drama — Martin Hoyle, Financial Times
- A film by Brian Welsh
- Luke Treadaway, Will Merrick, Kevin Bishop, Nichola Burley, James Bailey
- Created and written by Shaun Pye, Mark Chappell, Alan Connor
- Producer Barney Reisz
- Executive Producer Peter Holmes
- Executive Producers Shane Allen, Victoria Jaye, Gregor Sharp
Never mind what Lemmy said – with respect, Ace of Spades can be viewed as a metaphor. You could look at it as the Lemmy philosophy of living just how you want, in the full knowledge of the inevitable consequences.
The Dylans decamped to rural New York state for some peace. They didn’t get it. The presence of Bob Dylan gave the tiny town of Woodstock such countercultural kudos that its name was given to an “aquarian exposition” – the famous 1969 festival in a neighbouring county which didn’t feature Dylan, but did bring half a million people into his back yard.
For some of them, “Dylan’s back yard” was no metaphor, and they never went away. The Dylans soon wearied of finding hippies in the trees around their home and Dylan became frightened that he might have to use his “clip-fed Winchester blasting rifle” to keep them from his family. Onwards, then, to an Arizona ranch.
A piece about the origins of Louie Louie and the FBI’s investigation for the BBC News Magazine.
The Kingsmen noticed that their audiences now included middle-aged men in suits and shades and were soon questioned by the Feds, apparently being told: “You know we can put you so far away that your family will never see you again.”
They insisted that Louie Louie was innocent, but as ardently as they’d sought reds under the bed, and over the course of two-and-a-half years, the G-Men contrived a series of eye-wateringly unpalatable images and practices from Ely’s mumbles.