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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:genres & Styles / Punk
  • Language:English
  • Pages:200
  • eBook ISBN:9781543906059

Sulphated Dreams

A Novel of Manchester

by Michael Mackey

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Sulphated Dreams is a novel set in Manchester, England in the winter and spring of 1987. It is the story of Mick Russellton, a music journalist who one night meets two very different woman. Terry, one time Teresa, an outgoing if unemployed actress and Julia, an intriguing photographer. After a fling with Terry Mick starts an affair with Julia which ultimately creates a crisis in his life, as Julia is the partner of the man who is trying to buy the paper Mick writes for.

There is a epilogue set in Manchester in 1990 that shows how Mick's life resolved itself.

Sulphated Dreams though is more than a romance. It's a description of Manchester before it was Madchester and before regeneration that refers back to the other Manchesters and in some ways the Manchesters that could have been.


Sulphated Dreams is a novel set in Manchester, England during the winter and spring of 1987. It is the story of Mick Russell a journalist who writes for The Manchester Morning Post whilst editing Scene magazine which covers Manchester’s bands and music scene. One of the themes of Sulphated Dreams is the time in which it is set, between The Smiths and Madchester, a period when the city was still great but not as happening as it was at other times in its history. Not only is that a contrast to the Manchester of today but there is another contrast, maybe a bigger one in the media landscape the book is set in a world of small struggling magazines that were essential for both the writers and the bands trying to break through. Part of Mick’s problem, like a lot of young people who aren’t really that young anymore, is he can remember the city from ten years previously when punk broke through it powered by sulphate and for a while it was possible to believe life could be different but now he wonders where all the promise of that time went. Sulphated Dreams is some ways a book about not knowing what to do but knowing you have got to do something different. “Mick’s problem” is a hard way to describe what he and a good many other people go through. The euphoria of their youth and their music is behind them but how do you move forward? True Mick does drink a bit too often and in some ways is a daydreamer but this is not a story about the romance of self-destruction rather it’s about trying to find a way forward whilst holding on to what inspires you. One night Mick meets two very different women, Terry, an outgoing but out-of-work actress and Julia an intriguing photographer who is the partner of the man who is trying to buy the Morning Post. Whilst Mick and Terry enjoy a fling Mick later starts an affair with Julia that ultimately causes a crisis in his life. An epilogue set some three years later explains how it was resolved. Whilst very much a story set in the Manchester of its time and referring to the city’s music and media industries, part of the story is in Jamaica with America’s Chicago also having a small role. Manchester and its music though is the very much the star of Sulphated Dreams as Mick learns the joys, but also the pains, of moving on.

About the author

Michael Mackey did work on small music paper in Manchester but now is a business reporter in another city.

Sulphated Dreams is his first novel, he has two more on his computer and is already working on a fourth. When he is not working as a reporter, a job he loves, he spends a lot of time reading and listening to music. 

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