Obligatory Golden Hour Book Vol. II Hype:
Since publication in June 2009, the Golden Hour Book Vol. II has had some great reviews from a wide range of sources. I’ll save your eyes the trouble of actually reading the whole things and just print the brilliant blurbs here. However, in case you think we’re faking, you can check out the links to the real actual articles!
* Edinburgh International Book Festival Programmer, Roland Gulliver, admits he has the GHBII on his bed-side table in Canada’s National Post newspaper.
* The often brutally honest Scott Pak of Me and My Big Mouth Blog says:
“A very impressive literary and music anthology. A dinky little paperback packed with stories and poetry, most of which are very good indeed, and a 20 track CD full of bands I have never heard of but also mostly splendid. (****)”
Read the whole thing here. We did. Many times.
* The Edinburgh Evening News selects the GHB II as one of their favourite local reads of the year. Considering Edinburgh’s Unesco City of Literature status and super-star literary status, we were choking on our Christmas Nog. The back of book blurb reads:
“An eclectic, experimental, gently explosive treasure trove that brings together some of the creative combustions which light up the Forest Cafe.”
Doesn’t that sound sweet as sugar? Read the whole review here.
* Just to prove that we can’t please everyone — This folk at The Beat Surrender say,
“the book itself didn’t do a great deal for me, the poetry I could take or leave and aside from a couple of short stories I found it heavy going and had to force myself to get through it.”
The good news is:
“The CD though makes up for the book they really have landed some peaches for us here. Not everyone hits the spot out of the twenty but they have more than enough quality through the majority of tracks to warrant a purchase.”
Boom! Even the guy who hates the book says you should Buy the Book. Convinced yet?
* Well, The Skinny said you should stuff your stocking with GHBII. They say:
“To those weary and wary book hunters, the reluctant gamblers and the open hearted, pick up GHBII, it’s a sure bet.”
You don’t get many “sure-bets” in life. And even the ones that you think you have end up with the card table fliped over and a gun in your mouth. Just ask Kenny Rogers. We promise that if you Buy the Book, it won’t get that ugly.
* The mostly music-loving kids at Unpeeled gave massive respect to both the book and cd. I can’t resist posting a good chunk of the review mostly because their site’s motto is so bad-ass:
“We like music. We listen to it. We write about it. We don’t do favours & we don’t tell lies.”
Sound trustworthy? – here’s some of what they said:
“The CD sounds like that tent you find in the middle of the madness of one of the larger festivals. You know the tent, the one where you have no idea who any of the people on the stage are, but you find yourself staying there all day just to see who’s on next. With over 20 contributors, including the likes of Billy Liar, Withered hand, Skeleton Bob, Johnny Berliner, Chandra and The Black Diamond Express amongst others, I can almost guarantee that your new favourite song is contained within, waiting to be discovered.
‘When we Were Broke’ by Ericka Duffy is possibly one of the most beautiful and true stories I have ever read. It’s been a long time since a story has made me choke up. Other highlights, which are hard to pick out from a book made up of highlights, include ‘The Birds, Like’ by Phil Harrison, a wickedly captivating tale told from the point of view of a frustrated bully, and the poem ‘Lunch’ by Aiko Harman, if only because it mentions peanut butter, which in my world is a condiment. All in all this collection is a superb little package that you will return to over and over, highly recommended. ”
I can’t find the whole review on the Unpeeled site but could find it on Robin Grey’s. His song, Women, was also lauded by Unpeeled. You must hear it.
* Lastly, the great literary magazine Northwords Now produced a flattering review which has yet to appear on-line. Here’s a small blurb:
“Reviewing this collection is like trying to herd cats into a sack — beautiful cats, strangely furred rippling, not quite tamed. It is a bold and commendable venture: to give voice to a number of (relatively) unknown artists although many of the writers have been short-listed for or won prizes. The Forest is to be applauded for the originality of this project. There is simply too much to cram into this review …. Best thing to do: buy a copy. Invite some friends round. Open some bottles. Host your own Golden Hour. Dance to poetry. Then do it again next week.”
We like that suggestion! Mini-Golden Hour’s all over the world, linked by satellite, linked by love of words and music, linked by a sense of literary fun and musical adventure. Won’t you join us?
IS THE GOLDEN HOUR BOOK SUITABLE FOR YOU?
If you enjoy words, the answer is ‘yes’. If you enjoy sounds, the answer is ‘yes’. Even if you have not answered ‘yes’, the answer is still ‘yes’. For The Golden Hour Book Volume II is not just a book: it is also a natural resource that may save your life. Its pages will burn without being consumed. It keeps tigers away.
The accompanying CD is equally essential: it can be used as a plate, or better still, sharpened and thrown like a shuriken into the throat of your enemy. Even if the end approaches, there is still the consolation of the words and sounds within — fine poems, stories, and songs from over three dozen poets, writers and musicians — all of which are guaranteed to take your mind off things.
Special thanks to Ron Butlin who gave us these advanced words of appreciation:
“There is genuine wit, deep feeling and real entertainment in this most enjoyable volume. Light-hearted and serious by turns, The Golden Hour Book Volume II contains some of the best and freshest new writing I have come across for quite a while.”
– Ron Butlin, Edinburgh Makar
With Big Love to the Scottish Arts Council and all the hard-working volunteers at The Forest without whom none of this would have been physically or financially possible.
The Golden Hour will be touring again in March and June. If you want us to come to your city, town or village contact me now. Otherwise, look out for our upcoming dates!