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Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk Paperback – September 26, 2012

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Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk + Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond, 1977-1981
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (September 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770410651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770410657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Perfect Youth effectively imparts a sense of agency to local communities, and easily demonstrates that punk was more than an imported phenomenon. . . . Sutherland colourfully illustrates how, when, and where Canadian bands contributed to punk's early development." —BC Studies

About the Author

Sam Sutherland is a Toronto-based journalist. He is a former Assistant Editor at "Exclaim! Magazine" and Music Editor of "Broken Pencil," whose work has appeared in such publications as "The National Post, Maisonneuve, Alternative Press," and alt-weeklies across the country. He currently works as the Online Producer of AUX.TV.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By blubberella on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Perfect Youth" explores some neglected history of the fungus known as punk. The chapters are short, and provide a rudimentary sketch of what was happening on the punk front in specific communities at a given time (ie approximately the beginning of their scene). Places like Regina or Edmonton get a chapter with a little history of some of the bands that were around and some anecdotes and a photograph. This is what is good about this book - as I know of no other book that references these neglected places. BUT - the quality of the information is very superficial, and so many relevant facts/scenesters that would help to understand the context of the time/place are unheard. I found the layout of the book confusing - it is not organized by a chronology of events or geography or even connected personalities. The writing style/skill is very simple, like a person with a solid B+ in grade 8 English wrote report on Canadian punk, one chapter at a time.

I wanted to like this book more than I did, but truthfully it felt like a box of notes that someone shuffled into a book. It has a lot of basic facts about some of the major players, with a few tepid tales that just sound like clunker lies (and I was there for some of it!). Ultimately it felt like so much relevant information was missing, and that the author just didn't get the experience of being a part of a maligned subculture, especially in a place that was not Toronto or Vancouver. It just felt cobbled together.

Another book that focusses on the Toronto-centric roots of Canadian punk is "Treat Me Like Dirt". It is much more intensively researched and interviewed but both books left the impression that Canadian punks of that time/place were just complete jerks.
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