We’ve all heard of the list of endangered animals, but no one has ever pulled together a list of endangered inanimate objects. Until now, that is.
Steve Stack has catalogued well over one hundred objects, traditions, cultural icons and, well, other stuff that is at risk of extinction. Some of them have vanished already.
Cassette tapes, rotary dial phones, half-day closing, milk bottle deliveries, Concorde, handwritten letters, typewriters, countries that no longer exist, white dog poo… all these and many more are big a fond farewell in this nostalgic, and sometimes irreverent, trip down memory lane.
21st Century Dodos was released in paperback by The Friday Project on 16 June 2014. The hardback was published in 2011, and this new paperback edition features an additional chapter that is dedicated to dodos that readers of the hardback have sent in to the author.
How can it be so hard to review a book that had me sighing and nodding in agreement all the way through? A book that started so many conversations in this house .... "Oh, do you remember ......"; "bloody hell, I've not thought of those for years ....."; "now I'm craving ....."
This is not a story, it's not fiction, nor is it a history book ~ well, I suppose it is in a way. I defy anyone over the age of 35 to read this without exclaiming in joy at least ten times throughout.
I remember EVERYTHING in this book - every single thing. The shops on the High Street, and not just Woolworths, but Athena and Our Price and C&A (did every C&A smell a bit funny, or was that just the Lincoln branch?). I remember the frustration of arriving in town at 2pm on Wednesday and remembering that it's bloody HALF DAY CLOSING.
Black Jacks and Fruit Salad chews at half a penny each; Spangles and sweet cigarettes; reading Mandy comic and always having a 2p coin so that we could ring Dial-a-Disc from the red telephone box.
21st Century Dodos brings back so many memories, and yes, I do look back fondly and it's easy to forget that this was mainly the 70s - the decade of very bad fashion mistakes, and terrible disco pants and rock stars who wore platform boots and glittery eyeshadow (and that was the men).
This is perfect book for one of those evenings or summer afternoon when you get all of your friends round, down a few bottles and start reminiscing about the 'good old days'. It will spark so many memories, so many conversations and I'd guess there would be a fair few arguments too.
This is funny and charming and will make you crave things that you'd not thought about in years. The writing is great, not stuffy or text-book like - it's easy and friendly and I loved it. I loved every page.
Huge thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.
Steve Stack is the pseudonym of a blogger and sometimes journalist. He is the author of one previous book, It Is Just You, Everything's Not Shit which can probably still be found in bargain bookshops and Poundland if you wanted to add it to your toilet library. It is also available as a specially priced (i.e. very cheap) ebook if you are all very modern and own one of those new fangled devices.
If you want to contact Steve Stack, you can drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also pay a visit to his blog at Me and My Big Mouth
Facebook : 21st Century Dodos
Twitter : @dodoflip