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The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas

Published Date: 2nd November 2015

Available in

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EBook
9781910633380
£5.99
December 2015
Paperback
9781910633373
£8.99
March 2016

Description

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll doesn’t necessarily mean a band. It doesn’t mean a singer, and it doesn’t mean a lyric, really. It’s that question of trying to be immortal.’ Malcolm McLaren

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is the timeless story of the quest for such pop immortality. When a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager propelled by a dark, malign voice in his head …

Can Max Mojo’s band of talented social misfits repeat the success and pay back the mounting debts accrued from an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and hope for the best? Featuring much-loved characters from the international bestseller, The Last Days of Disco, this is an absurdly funny, riotously ambitious and deeply human story of small-town rivalries, music, confused adolescence and, above all, hope, from one of Scotland’s finest new voices.

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.*Two Exclusive singles from the Miraculous Vespas below: The Miracle of Love & First Picture*

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Miracle of Love

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First Picture

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*Exclusive ‘interview’ from The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas
(starring Colin McCredie as Max Mojo, and Theresa Talbot as Norma) 

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‘More than just a nostalgic recreation of the author’s youth, it’s a compassionate, affecting story of a family in crisis at a time of upheaval and transformation, when disco wasn’t the only thing whose days were numbered’

Herald Scotland

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By turn hilarious and heart-breaking, more than anything Ross creates beautifully rounded characters full of humanity and perhaps most of all, hope. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It s rude, keenly observed and candidly down to earth’ The Scotsman

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If you lived through the early Eighties this book is essential. If you didn’t it’s simply a brilliant debut novel’

John Niven

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‘A madcap romp through the 1980s with Ayrshire’s greatest band. It captures a world of indie rock and fucking wallopers with hilarious élan’ Stuart Cosgrove

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‘An hilarious and caustic Boy’s Own tale of achieving every wannabe pop star’s dream … a No.1 Hit Single. The closest you’ll ever get to being on Top of the Pops. A solid gold hit of a book!’ Colin McCredie

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‘Ross dedicates the book to “Bobby, who inadvertently planted the seed”, and on the Orenda Books website one can find a recording of The Miraculous Vespas’ hit single, written especially by Robert Hodgens, aka Bobby Bluebell, whose band, The Bluebells, had a massive hit in 1984, just like the Vespas. This little bonus treat is typical of the care and effort Ross is putting into his Kilmarnock Trilogy, and if the final book is up to the same standard he will have carved out an enduring place for himself among contemporary Scottish novelists.’ Herald Scotland

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Best Soundtrack at the book oscars 2016

Fabulous interview With Bobby Bluebell and Irvine Welsh on BBC Culture Show

Feature in Daily Record

Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his bestselling debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction.

Website:  www.davidfross.co.uk

Online reviews

‘The brilliance of David F Ross is his ability to plunge us into 1980s Ayrshire  in all its madness, violence and despair (with a smattering of hope). Pummelled by Thatcher, unemployment, crime and drugs but still full of great tunes, exciting bands and an awful lot of chancers. It’s a vivid and colourful world and could only have been created by someone who was there. Too many novels today are strong on plot and weak on prose. David F Ross is great with both, and that’s what makes it. The dialogue is muscular and spot-on, the locations come alive and the characters are believably flawed. There’s another novel to come and then Ayrshire has its own Barrytown Trilogy, and it’s long overdue. These books will last, because the stories and the characters really live and the place deserves its chronicler’ Words to Terrify

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‘If you read The Last Days of Disco you will know that there are guaranteed laughs along the way. However, Mr Ross once again succeeds in taking his cast through some emotional highs but down into the darkest places too – it is compelling reading’ Grab This Book

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‘What I absolutely adore about this book is the accuracy of the 1980s vibe. I was young in 1982, but I remember it all. It was a time before the internet and mobile phones. I was hooked on Peter Davison in Doctor Who, books and Top of the Pops. There are just so many references to this time and they all made me smile. Masses of music and cultural references, that are fabulous. I guarantee most of the readers will be checking out their 1980s music and having a sing-along. One of my favourite scenes is the wonderful encounter between Max Mojo and Boy George. Ross is a genius with these comic moments and creating the perfect nostalgic read’ Northern Crime

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Interview with David Ross and review: EuroDrama

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Guest post by David F. Ross about writing in vernacular : Click here

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‘The list of characters along with their names and rather ‘unique vernacular are what sings from the song sheet that is this book – Wullie Blair aka ‘The Painter, Hobnail, Washer Wishart. Oh and the memories from ‘ the pictures aren’t the same without the Revels” to the time one of them wears a kilt of sorts to a football match and which is described as “His find was less kilt, more tartan blanket with big belt holding it up.” The days of Train Spotting, Scottish banter in the music world at its best’ The Book Trail

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‘Yet Ross hasn’t just written a book to make his readers laugh. As with The Last Days of Disco, there are a number of poignant moments throughout the book that seem to creep up on the reader when they least expect it. The narrative is so well balanced in terms of generating an array of emotions in the reader that even when Ross evokes an image of sadness, the reader knows that there will be a moment of hilarity just around the next page’ Segnalibro

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‘Whilst in a book full of nostalgic musical nods, the band’s emotionally scarred drummer, Maggie, brings to my mind a more modern reference point in Frank Turner’s Tell Tale Signs and the tenderness of her relationship with Grant is soaked in warm compassion. In my review of his debut I wrote that David Ross “demonstrates a gift for expressing life that surely has more to give” and it is good to have that prediction come true in his second offering’

Live Many Lives

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‘The humour is just superb. David Ross totally gets the working class lad: the banter, the mayhem, the ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. But there is also the undercurrent of violence with the different factions; the local gangsters and the revenge-seeking hard men from Glasgow. Not everyone is having a laugh’ Reading Writes

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‘Social commentary, gang war, relationship ups and downs, interband relationships, Spinal Tap moments, humour and heartbreak and the power of music; it’s all here. There’s a lot going on in this book and David F Ross, an author to watch, injects it all with an genuine passion for music, an  unquestionable talent as both a writer and storyteller and, above all, a wicked sense of humour; The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vestas is uproariously funny’ Mumbling About Music

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‘The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas is very much a story of nostalgia. As soon as I started reading it I was transported back to the eighties with memories of Top of The Pops and getting ready with my tape recorder to record my favourite songs that were in the top forty’ By the Letter Book Reviews

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‘The writing in this book excels because it takes what would ordinarily be page upon page of humour and one-liners, keeps them, embraces them and yet at the same time the story is poignantly crafted, the wit balanced out with pure, genuine emotion. Having said that, that’s not to underestimate David’s one-liners of which there are too many to mention but you will laugh reading this book and I mean really you will’ Reviewed the Book

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‘The Miraculous Vespas simply oozes nostalgia, and delights in its eighties vibe and its Ayrshire setting. Possibly the only book to come with its own 7″ single too! And there’s a brilliant, hilarious cameo by a certain pop star from the period who is somewhat of a … chameleon’ Espresso Coco

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‘The whole vibe is spot on, music, TV, food, films they all get mentioned and instantly spark recognition. I had totally forgotten the absolute hype of appearing on Top of the Pops. Almost innocent days of perfection before all the modern social media that is taken for granted so much these days. For all the wannabe musicians/band members this shows how tough the whole scene can be and the elation if the pinacle is reached’ Cancer Sucks

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‘Those of you who are unfamiliar either with Ross’s earlier work or Trainspotting, for instance, may struggle initially with the Scots dialogue, but do read on: there is both much humour to be found in the rise and fall of the band, and darkness in the shape of Alzheimer’s and gang warfare’ This Little Bag of Dreams

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‘The book has its comic aspects, whether it’s a trip by the be-kilted Max and Grant to see Scotland play England at Wembley (and to make contacts in the music business), the running joke of the local Shabby Road recording studios, or the bizarre gig the Vespas play in support of “The Heid”, a fading local hypnotist who’s surprised in his dressing room while enjoying the close attentions of his daughter in law. (The Heid seems to be a fraud with a bunch of stooges, including said D-I-L: but still he manages to leave one of the Sylvester boys believing he’s agoraphobic – tricky if you’re the guitarist in an up-and-coming band). But the background is bleak, set in the lead up to, and during, the Miners’ Strike. It is though less engaged with national events than Last Days was with the Falklands War (although the strike and the uncertainty that preceded it are referred to as one of the reasons that business is so bad for the three rather bumbling local crime families)’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘Now I’m going to make you acutely aware that I’m neither Scottish nor was around going to gigs and disco-ing in the early 1980s.  In fact as a 7 year old when Boy George came on Top of the Pops singing “Karma Chameleon” I asked my parents if he was a man or a lady, I’m not sure they gave me an answer. However David is such an excellent wordsmith and story-teller that I was transported into an era and place I have no knowledge of, I was there living it.  In fact as David likes to see me as some kind of Cockney barrow boy (I’m actually from Essex!) I thought I may struggle with the dialect in the book….people south of the border don’t panic, it’s easy to pick up and understand!’ Chris Clark

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Fabulous review and a great interview with David Ross, plus David’s Desert Island choice of music! Click Here

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‘What Shane Meadows did for 80s nostalgia south of the border with ‘This is England,’ Ross seems to be doing the same in Scotland. Indeed, he dropped the hint that he’d like to see it made into a film, & there is a certain rollicking cinematographic quality to both books’ Mumble Words

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‘This novel was a revelation for me, a breath of fresh air and I can honestly say I have never read anything like it. Roll on the final book in the trilogy!’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

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‘The novel succeeds on the strength of the characters with the band themselves a well-drawn and sympathetic creation, while their manager Max Mojo, a hoodlum recreating himself as a Malcolm McLaren style impresario will live long in the memory’ Press & Journal

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‘the Rise of the Miraculous Vespas takes one back to the not too distant past, and it works really well. All sorts of old technology – from vinyl discs to cassettes to tape recorders – feature. It was a simpler pre social media time! It really is a book of the 80s… And there is a nice final touch. After the story ends, there is a ‘where are they now’? couple of pages that records how life develops for the main protagonists between the 80s and the present day. It almost makes you thing the book is a true record of events (and I even Googled The Miraculous Vespas to make sure it wasn’t!)’ Trip Fiction

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‘The Rise & Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas is the second part of a trilogy, but you don’t need to have read the first part, The Last Days of Disco, to enjoy it. How do I know? Because I haven’t and didn’t feel I had missed out for one moment. Having said that, I certainly will rectify that now. Mention of a trilogy made me think of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown books, and there are parallels between The Rise & Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas and Doyle’s first novel, The Commitments. Like that, it is written with an eye for the absurd but a genuine love of the music both writers reference. Ross doesn’t want you to laugh at The Vespas, he wants you to laugh with them, and at the madness that surrounds any band when there is a sniff of possible success. Just ask Boy George, who makes an unforgettable and prophetic appearance. There’s a riot going on, and The Miraculous Vespas are at the centre of it.’ Scots Whay Hae

Reviews