Readers’ Reviews of ‘Radio Therapy: A musical memoir’

“This is the third of Spooner’s books that I have read and this represents a thorough revisiting of his first, FM247 This is Radio Binfield!, co-written with Andrew Worsdale. While it shares a very similar structure, and the same key characters, it develops a different tone that more readily serves as a ‘prequel’ to Radios in Motion. Though, having read Radios in Motion very recently, I had the happy experience of finding that this book seemed to ‘tessellate’ with it, providing further knowledge and understanding of the characters and their worlds.
To that end, it may not matter which order you choose to read them in, but I would heartily recommend that you do. There is a kind of ‘churn’ to these books that gets you very close to ‘The Captain’ and ‘The Emperor’: they get under your skin in a way that is unlike other novels that I have read. So much so that I was prompted by Radios in Motion to seek out a ‘socially useful’ way to spend my spare time, as a volunteer. They may not be a call to action for everybody, but they will be a call for consideration. This is a humane, warm reminder of how baffling all our lives can be. Spooner resists tying up the loose ends, and prompts us to tug a little at our own.
Try a little Radio Therapy, it makes you think.” – Russell Clarke, 29.7.22.

“The first thing that strikes you about Radio Therapy by Rob Spooner is how much love the author has for pop music and the radio shows that introduced us to the hits. The radio personalities, stations and main characters of this memoir all have pseudonyms – but these are mostly easy to discern and the narrative flows beautifully. The arrangement, or design, of the story is similarly indebted to the top 30 rundown shows of the era – we’re talking mostly 1970s in terms of musical references, but the memoir covers a larger time-scale than that decade alone – so we build towards the climax in much the same way as the ‘countdown’ of the charts heads inevitably towards the #1 record. There is also a strong feeling of place throughout this memoir as we travel between the extreme South West and South East of the country (UK). The protagonist, the delightfully named Lugwin Loggins, attempts to make sense of the issues and events that connect him to both regions whilst drafting letters to characters from his past. These are accompanied by references to pop and rock tunes which have resonances with the writer, the recipient, or both. As we follow the (mis)adventures of Lugwin and the other personalities in Radio Therapy we are taken on a ride that is at times personal, touching and comic – all within a framework that is constructed appropriately and concisely. Now this reader is very-much looking forward to the follow-up, FM247, Radios in Motion.” – Richard Crowe, 01.8.22.

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The following reviews were posted on the Amazon website: –

“It’s a very endearing book. Written in short chapters and headlined by a song of yesteryear which is very evocative. This is my second book by Rob Spooner as I enjoyed his first book so much.” – Alan Furneaux, 06.9.22.

“This is the second book by Rob that I have read. Typically I read them in the wrong order as this is a prequel to the other one, Radios in Motion. Fortunately, that doesn’t distract from the tales of Ludwig Loggins as he uses his disc jockey abilities to help him come to terms with his past (and set in the future events in Radios in Motion) by using ‘Radio Therapy.’ It’s cleverly done as he and another character, Winston Wyndham, record radio shows and share their thoughts, both spoken and private. What I especially like about Radio Therapy is Rob’s way of discussing mental ill health calmly and without undue dramatics. You get the sense that, for better or worse, fragile mental health is a fact of life for the protagonists and accepted in the same way one might accept an occasional attack of indigestion. It’s a neat trick that takes skill to pull off. The emphasis is always on the human story. Real people in motion. Each chapter is based around a song that’s important in some way to the main characters, and Rob displays a broad encyclopedic knowledge of music, which as a DJ himself perhaps isn’t surprising. One bonus is discovering new music through the pages of Radio Therapy, Debris by the Faces being a particular case in point. A good read, subtle and intriguing.” – Ray Canham, 15.9.22.

“This is a charming tale of a radio DJ who loses touch with an important friend and finds a way to reconnect through radio. The chapters are a countdown from 1-100 and are titled according to the song which best suits the chapter. The highs and lows of the DJ are incredibly well written and give detailed insight into both his past and present, with recurring characters both helping and hindering along the way. The short chapters make it an easy read but that doesn’t take anything away from the story. The mental health aspect of the tale is delicately addressed and resonated with me as a reader. It’s easy to think that you are alone with feelings of dissociation, anxiety or depression yet it’s important to realise that help and support is out there which this book highlights brilliantly.” – Terry Lander, 30.9.22.