In The Gutter

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A few days ago I found this exceptional book in the library. I was initially drawn to the cover and back image but after flicking through it, it threw out a some fantastic surprises. Written by a Fleet Street journalist during the hey day of Punk in Britain in 1978, Hennesy naively (and quiet honestly offensively) tries to compare the adornments of the punk style to tribal body modifications. These base comparisons are shown quite graphically side by side on most pages by having on one page a London punk being suitably insulting and on the other page a person from Africa, Asia or South America (i.e pretty much the entire world) wearing a vaguely similar nose ring or make-up, behaving in a very normal way. Although the book is beyond being dated, it’s layout is really rather attractive and the utter fear the journalist radiates out of the book in its comparisons reminds the reader of how terrified people really were of punk at the time. Other than the patronising content on behalf of both the punks and the people of the world exhibited in the book, it does have some great documentation of young punks which can be seen here.

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