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Bookhounds of London 1970s

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Faustroll

Dear Yoggies,

 

I am contemplating launching a 'Bookhounds of London' campaign but would prefer a new, 'fresher' setting for my gamers who happen to be quite familiar with the 1930's.

 

So I thought about the 70s, perhaps because it is a very rich turning point in British history and certainly because of all the (horror) movies and comics imagery I have been exposed to  :shock: .

 

I am looking for information on the everyday life in London and Britain in that period. Historical and political analysis are easy to find, it is more about the small details like technology, lifestyle, society, etc. that I need material.

 

Any idea about books, online sources, etc. in which I could find this ? Apart from a 3-part BBC documentary on 70s Britain, I have yet to find something (a bit) comprehensive.

 

Thanks in advance for the suggestions !

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Taavi

Minder?

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Pookie

It may sound crazy, but the TV series Life on Mars also captures some of the feel too (think of it a comedic companion to The Sweeney).

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rcaugust

@Pookie- worth noting that Life on Mars is set, very definitely, in 70s Manchester. While you can definitely get some good stuff out of it, Post swinging London it aint!!!

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Wembley

Lots of Arabs...the 1973 oil price shock and quadrupling in the price of crude meant that suddenly the London acquired lots of men in strangle clothes brandishing vast wads of cash and trailing veiled wives (according to the popular image), stripping Harrods and buying up property in fashionable areas. Soho was properly sleazy, and the West End was a lot tattier than it is now.

Also plenty of counterculture ("bloody long-haired student layabouts!"). Technology meant pocket calculators, telex machines and, later on, digital watches, which seemed like a pretty neat idea.

 

In 1972 there was an outburst of Tutankhamun mania with 1.7m million visiting the exhibition at the British Museum.

 

Minder and The Sweeney certainly caught some of the atmosphere; but the most utterly 70's thing I can think of for detail is Abigail's Party...

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rcaugust

Soho in the 70s is perfect for Bookhounds. And try White Chapell, Scarlet Tracings by Iain Sinclair for book hunting in sleazy London book markets. And the first section of Downriver would be great for it two

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GBSteve

My dad's a fan of the Dominic Sandbrook series, and there are two on the 70s: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141032154/

 

I remember the oil crisis and not having electricity every day. Our neighbours would come round to cook their food in our cooker because we had gas.

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Faustroll

Thanks for the tips guys !

 

I need to dig into the movies that could give a taste for further inspirations... Will definitely post the relevant ones for the rest of tha community ! 

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GBSteve

The Factory novels of Derek Raymond convey a horror and griminess that I'd expect from a 70s game. Or Dracula A.D. 1972 for the camp psychedelia of murderous cults.

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SpiderBobby

There was a much-better-that-the-usual-stuff-on-the-70s Dominic Sandbrook series about 18 months ago (maybe the one you saw) but I guess you have to ask yourself (and this may depend on the age of your players) do they want the 70s or the 70s the expect ? There is an awful lot of bilge written about the 70's even by supposedly reliable sources, it's like certain facts and takes on the decade have been agreed somewhere by an eveil cabal and those ideas must be repeated and reinforced. Personally I'd speak to people who lived through them for general atmosphere.

 

That aside I'd suggest that David bowie was the host to a Shan through the Ziggy period and Brian Eno was summoning intelligent sonic-entities from deep space with his strange experimental home-made synth sounds :-P


I can't recommend anything for London but for Northern Britain the Red Riding books 1974 and 1977 by David Peace have reams of 70s detail and horrific ritual crime.

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GBSteve

In the 70s in London there were hundreds of second hand bookshops. Many of them were very specialised, railways (Union St), SF and Fantasy (several but the Holloway Rd springs to mind), porn (several in Soho), antiquarian (Charing Cross Rd), esoteric (Skoob in Southampton Way), crime (Murder One).

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