Book review: ‘Ghost Town’ by Jeff Young

Ghost Town

There’s an old joke, which I very much enjoy repeating, that while Mancs and Brummies might argue about whether Manchester or Birmingham should be seen as England's ‘second city’, every Scouser knows that particular honour must surely go to London.

Ghost Town is a love-letter to Liverpool. As a woolly back from the Wirral, who worked for many years in that wonderful city, I enjoyed this book very much indeed. It has an unusual, mythical feel, blending personal anecdotes with unreliable tales, memories and perceptions, and taking inspiration from a voracious reading of literature.

Anyone who has spent any time in Liverpool will have stories of the characters they met. Jeff Young has spent most of his life in the city, and has met an awful lot of characters. It was also nice to be reminded of favourite haunts from my own youth, including the much missed bookshop Philip, Son & Nephew, and buying Captain Beefheart albums in Probe Records.

A book I shall certainly return to. Highly recommended—even if you’ve never been fortunate enough to visit England’s true first city.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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