Indoor Raincoat

Lavinia Greenlaw

When people equate pop lyrics with poetry, they expect pop to feel flattered and sometimes it is. So This Is Permanence reminds us that lyrics can reward close attention without being recast. The book collects the words of Ian Curtis, the singer in Joy Division, who committed suicide in 1980 at the age of 23. Joy Division belonged to the scene that emerged into the space left behind by punk. They are now part of the global adolescent ether as well as a staple of middle age. Last Christmas you could buy Joy Division oven gloves.

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[*] Bantam, 352 pp., £20, September 2014, 978 0 593 07317 9.