Welcome to my
online journal...

My name is Alexander Gordon Smith, and I'm the author of various books including The Inventors series and the brand new Furnace series.

This is my blog, and is where I talk about books, writing and, well, probably other stuff too...

Radio Head


Last night I went to the launch of Radio Head: Up and Down the Dials of British Radio by my good friend John Osborne. It was a really great evening, with John reading from the book and also performing a hilarious poem about Pat Sharpe in his wonderful, inimitable style. It's a brilliant read, and well worth buying, especially if you are in to radio, but even if you're not! Here's the blurb:

John Osborne has long been a fan of radio - from late night sessions of John Peel to Test Match Special at dawn, he has always enjoyed tuning in to the riches of our best broadcasts. When his dull temporary job became drearier than ever, John decided to remain attached to his headphones all day to listen to some of Britain's more unknown stations as well as revisiting the mainstream to fully experience the breadth of our radio output. The result is a funny, disarming ride through aspects of Britain that are uplifting, informative and sometimes plain bizarre. Throughout his month of intensive radio listening, John flits through talk radio, sports shows, dips into the mainstream and the minority, exalts in specialist music shows, comedy and local radio before expanding his mind with an experimental arts channel. It seems there is something for everyone at the turn of a dial, whether that is the ranting of the permanently enraged, the gentle tinkle of a string quartet, West Indian stomp or the sound of frozen peas being thrown around Elephant and Castle underground station.John also gets under the skin of the radio business by interviewing presenters such as Mark Radcliffe and Nicholas Parsons as well as industry insiders. John's daily life is directly affected by his radio habit as he finds himself organising a poker night during exposure to The Jazz, and Zane Lowe's energy on Radio One goads him into cooking his stir fry at the same speed as Morecambe and Wise prepared their breakfast. Finally, John decides to turn his life around and radio becomes his saviour.


It never ceases to amaze me just how successful my friends are, and how many of the guys I went to university with have already got book deals. John is already working on his second, for Simon and Schuster; Tim Clare is about to have his first book published by Ebury, We Can't All be Astronauts; Joe Dunthorne reached the giddy heights of literary fame with his first novel Submarine; and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Anyway, enough gushing. Well done, John, I hope the book is a huge success!

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