The Great British Dream Factory

  • by Dominic Sandbrook
  • Narrated by David Thorpe
  • 23 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Britain's empire has gone. Our manufacturing base is a shadow of its former self; the Royal Navy has been reduced to a skeleton. In military, diplomatic and economic terms, we no longer matter as we once did. And yet there is still one area in which we can legitimately claim superpower status: our popular culture.
It is extraordinary to think that one British writer, J. K. Rowling, has sold more than 400 million books; that Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country in the world; that James Bond has been the central character in the longest-running film series in history; that The Lord of the Rings is the second best-selling novel ever written (behind only A Tale of Two Cities); that the Beatles are still the best-selling musical group of all time; and that only Shakespeare and the Bible have sold more books than Agatha Christie.
To put it simply, no country on Earth, relative to its size, has contributed more to the modern imagination. This is a book about the success and the meaning of Britain's modern popular culture, from Bond and the Beatles to heavy metal and Coronation Street, from the Angry Young Men to Harry Potter, from Damien Hirst to The X Factor.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

"Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones"

Everything in culture is connected; "Toe bone connected to the foot bone" etc...

As I was born in 1956, the cultural phenomena discussed within this audiobook resonates very strongly. It was most pleasurable to stroll thorough my own and Britain's recent cultural roots. Brilliantly narrated by David Thorpe, who renders remarkable impersonations of the myriad characters quoted, from Lennon & McCartney (of course) to Thatcher, Kinnock and my fave impersonation, a wonderful Brian Walden.

From the "angry young men" of the 50s to Billy Elliot, by way of James Bond and Flashman, doubling-back to HG Wells and Tolkien then fast-forwarding to The Buddha of Suburbia and JK Rowling, each section is a delight. I'm no huge Damian Hirst fan but found even that chapter entertaining and enlightening. The changing music scene is ever-present in the background and groundbreaking TV series such as The Prisoner also get extensive coverage, (hence my review title...).

I've put all the other Dominic Sandbrook Audible titles in my library (also read by Thorpe) and can't wait to get rattlin' Dem Bones....
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- D. Menashy

very nice

Not as thrilling and in depth as Sandbrook history books, but a n interesting listen nonetheless
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- Mael Dujardin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-02-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios