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Billie Morgan Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Billie Morgan, a 46-year-old gift shop owner, reminisces about her reckless past and the bloody secret that crippled her with its "dirty stain of regret" in Brit Denby's gritty, forceful latest. After the death of her philandering father, a brutal rape and the steady neglect of her family, Billie joins a motorcycle gang called the Devil's Own and spirals down a path of self-destruction brightened primarily by her relationship with Mickey, an affectionate giant with a bad reputation. When a confrontation with Terry, a malevolent junkie, leads to murder, Billie and Mickey must cover it up. Billie has to learn to live with her guilt while supporting Jasmine, the heroin-addicted wife of the man she killed; Natty, her beloved, rebellious godson; and Monkey, Natty's faithful, handicapped best friend. This web of dependability is threatened when a reporter investigates Terry's "disappearance," fueling a chain of events that uncovers all kinds of skeletons. The diary format gives the book a raw power, and the creeping moral degradation is as fascinating as it is difficult to read about. (Sept.)
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About the Author

Joolz Denby was born in 1955 in the North of England. She married an outlaw biker at 19. She regularly tours with cult underground band New Model Army and is an internationally respected spoken word artist and illustrator. Her novel Billie Morgan was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; First Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852428651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852428655
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,322,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joolz is a writer, poet, spoken-word performer, tattooist, illustrative and fine artist, band manager and insomniac. Her first novel, Stone Baby, won the 1998 Crime Writers' Association New Crime Writer of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger. Her novel, Billie Morgan (2004), was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novels are 'The Curious Mystery Of Miss Lydia Larking & The Widow Marvell' (Ignite Books 2011)and 'Wild Thing' (Ignite Books 2011).

Joolz also works in the music industry as a recording artist and performer and is an illustrative artist for bands such as New Model Army, Ricky Warwick's Slingblade & Utopian Love Revival. Her touring exhibition, One Family, One Tribe - The Art and Artefacts of New Model Army, is a collection of her 30 years of art works for that legendary cult rock band. Her photographic exhibition/installation, Bradford - True North, was shown at Bradford University in 2006, and she curated a hugely successful and highly controversial exhibition on elective body modification - The Body Carnival - for Bradford's Cartwright Hall Gallery. Joolz was Artistic Director of Illuminate's Radical Bronte Festival in 2006, and was designated a Cultural Revolutionary in the North of England for her contribution to the region's Arts. Joolz is well-known for her work in prisons and with marginalized young people.

Joolz has performed her work all over the world, played innumerable rock, art and literature festivals, been featured on inumerable television programmes and broadcasts on BBC Radio 1, Radio 4 and local and community radio. She lives in Bradford.


Collections of poetry and short stories:

Mad, Bad, & Dangerous To Know, (Virgin Books, 1986)
Emotional Terrorism, (Bloodaxe Books, 1990)
The Pride of Lions, (Bloodaxe Books, (1994)
Errors of the Spirit, (Flambard Press 2000)
Pray For Us Sinners, (Comma Press, 2005)


Stone Baby, (HarperCollins, 2000)
Corazon, (HarperCollins, 2001)
Billie Morgan, (Serpent's Tail, 2004)
Borrowed Light, (Serpent's Tail, 2006)
The Curious Mystery Of Miss Lydia Larkin & The Widow Marvell (Ignite Books 2011)
Wild Thing (Ignite Books 2011)

Select Discography:

Love is Sweet Romance (EMI, EP with music by New Model Army)
Bad, Mad & Dangerous to Know (EMI, EP with music by New Model Army)
Hex (EMI, 1990; music by New Model Army)
Weird Sister (Intercord Records, 1991; music by Justin Sullivan)
Joolz 1983-1985 (Abstract Records, 1993; compilation of Abstract Records material with music by Jah Wobble, Justin Sullivan and other musicians, collecting her first audio recordings)
True North (Wooltown Records, 1995 or 1997, music by Justin Sullivan)
Red Sky Coven, Volumes 1&2 (1999, live collective recording of Red Sky Coven, with Joolz on some of the tracks)
Red Sky Coven, Volume 3
Spirit Stories (poetry set to music by Justin Sullivan) Attack Attack Records: 2008
Audio Books
Stone Baby (2000) - won the US Earphone award for best spoken book.
Billie Morgan (2005)
The Accidental (written by Ali Smith; audio recording by Joolz Denby)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EXR75 on March 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book - turns out it was unlike any other book I have read. The story is gripping, keeping your interest until the last page, having quite a few unexpected twists and turns.
Joolz Denby is quite the master at setting just the right mood, even small details are superbly described, pulling you into the story as if you are an invisible spectator in the room.
As for the characters - well, I just could not identify with them at all - not a single one of them. That kept me in the above mentioned spectator role and stopped me from feeling, loving, hating, laughing and crying with them.
The social criticism, sometimes subtle, hinted at, sometimes in your face, screaming at you, is superbly brought across.
As a last note - the editing for the Kindle edition is appalling. This can be kindly overlooked, as the novel as a whole was really a treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I LOVED this fascinating book . It kept me glued to the page and every twist and turn pulled me further into the story.

It features a wonderful cast of solid characters, all real as flesh and blood. I was moved by their stories and circumstances and the impact fate has on each of them. A wonderful, enjoyable, dark, emotional and moving book which made me both laugh and cry. One of THE best books I have read.

Joolz Denby is in my opinion an very underrated writer and I would highly recommend this book as an introduction to her work.
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