Plot/Idea: A gonzo romp through the London outsider music scene, this book blends personal narrative with an exploration of a lesser-known artistic subculture.
Prose: The book is a sprawling ramble through a music community, written with a frenetic energy to match its subject matter.
Originality: This book is unique, depicting through a personal lens a niche artistic community not widely known outside its own enclave.
Character Development/Execution: The book is long, and readers not already familiar with the bands, venues, and lifestyle depicted may have trouble keeping up. Those that do will discover a rewarding experience with interesting, well-defined characters, and charming narration.
Date Submitted: December 27, 2021
"Only a vibrant cultural scene like the one covered by Thomson can produce such a memorable scene. The book succeeds because Thomson has found a way to tell stories from his recent past with a keen eye on the immediate future. He may not offer answers to our vexing philosophical questions, but he certainly knows how to present the questions in the context of his stories. He wisely leaves the deliberations, and any conclusions reached, to each reader. As we head into a winter of flflu and COVID machinations, Woo! is an excellent curl-up with at night book. You’ll travel shoulder to shoulder with Thomson as he goes to places we’d all enjoy visiting, and as we refifigure our new normal."
"Written with a cutting perceptiveness akin to Hunter S. Thompson, and with Anthony Bourdain’s ability to nose out juicy metaphors and similes, WOO! is a satisfying read. Likethat venerable punk bible, Please KillMe, or Henry Rollins’ hallowed tome, Get in the Van, WOO! is equal parts how-to DIY guide and spiritual helpmeet for the souls of the moshers, the music-addled and the amp-deafened. WOO! is a free-wheeling gonzo history of the last ten-plus years of south London’s fertile music scene."
"Favourite book of 2021: Most of my reading this year was of books released before 2021, though I’d definitely give a shout out to Dave Thomson’s Woo! for an honest and passionately written account of music fandom, which takes its inspiration from nights spent at our favourite South London music venue The Windmill."