Good news for those of you pondering paying a fortune for this. Baron’s Court, All Change by Terry Taylor has been reissued.
The last issue of this book was back in 2011. It didn’t hang around long and thinner reissue copies tend to go up for sale for something around the £50 mark. That’s a lot of money for a book barely 10 years old.
That version was the definitive version. It was produced in conjunction with the late Terry Taylor (who sadly died in 2014) with the text restored to the original wording, which had been adapted and tweaked over the years.
The new version uses the same text as the Five Leaves reissue, with Cripplegate Books tweaking the introduction to keep it up to date and of course, changing the cover. That’s pretty much it.
So if you want a review of the book, you can read my review of it as that’s pretty much the book you are getting, cover aside.
Why should you want it? Well, this is one of the best pieces of Mod-related fiction out there and like Absolute Beginners, it doesn’t once mention the word ‘Mod’. Oh yes, there’s another Absolute Beginners connection here too. The lead and unnamed character in Absolute Beginners was inspired by Terry Taylor, who was a friend of Colin MacInnes.
The difference between the two books is some gritty reality. The Modernist(s) of Absolute Beginners are a work of fiction, idealised and stylised by MacInnes. In Baron’s Court, All Change, you get the inside view and knowledge of the era and the subject matter. I’m not criticising Absolute Beginners. It’s a book I’ve loved since my teenage years. But Baron’s Court, All Change tells the story a little differently.
Yes, this is the London of shirt suits and jazz clubs, but it’s also not afraid to deal with the underside of city life. Drugs and drug dealing loom large – this isn’t the ‘clean living’ of MacInnes’ hero.
The reissue is out now via a small publishing house and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if the reissue was ‘real’. So I ordered one and it landed at the weekend. So yes, it is available.
Based on that last reissue, I wouldn’t hang about if you want a copy for your collection. At £9.95 it’s a fraction of the price of the last edition too. A no-brainer really.