Gods, Mongrels and Demons: 101 Brief but Essential Lives

Gods, Mongrels and Demons: 101 Brief but Essential Lives


By (author) Angus Calder

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 30mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 15 November 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0747568758
  • ISBN 13: 9780747568759
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 963,035

Product description

Oddballs, tinks, heidbangers, saints, keelies, nutters, philosophers and freaks - these apparently marginal lives are not only interesting in their own right but often tell us more about the mores of a country or a time than the lives of its better known citizens (and some of them are included here too). Here, the Japanese poet Basho, the baseball star Babe Ruth and the singer Billie Holiday rub shoulders with Ganesh, Johnny Faa, the Gypsy Laddie and Eliza Donnithorne (true-life model for Dickens' Miss Havisham). Angus Calder has created an original, ex-centric and richly entertaining compendium of brief but essential lives.

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Author information

Angus Calder (b.1942) has taught all over the world, and is currently teaching at the University of Edinburgh. He was co-editor of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature (1981-7) and a recent collaborator with Alasdair Gray on a series of articles in the Scotsman. His many books include the seminal social history, The People's War: Britain 1939-45 (1969) and Revolutionary Empire (1981). His hobbies include cooking, shopping for food, music, cricket, curling and swimming in the sea.

Review quote

'Calder's characters and their motivations are quirky, murky and possibly deranged, but these brief lives deserve to flare brightly again for anyone interested in seeing what stokes the fire of human endeavour' Christopher Fowler, Independent on Sunday 'Stimulating and hugely entertaining ... an ideal bedside or bathside companion' Scotland on Sunday 'A book of diversions, in all the meanings of that word: an amusement, a variation, a turning-away from the grand narrative of history to meandering by-ways and cul-de-sacs God, Mongrels and Demons is disarmingly charming for a radical's rallying call' Scotsman 'A carnivalesque read, backed up by the depth of his research and the rigour of his intellect. It's also related with all the beguiling charm and conviction of a snake-oil vendor Calder is a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles that he skilfully transmutes into worthwhile knowledge' Glasgow Herald