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Autobiography (Paperback)
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Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others. An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said 'Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.' Autobiography covers Morrissey's life from his birth until the present day. "Five stars. With typical pretension, Morrissey's first book has been published as a Penguin Classic.

It justifies such presentation with a beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation, revelling in a kind of morbid glee at life's injustice with arch, understated humour...It is recognisably the voice of the most distinctive British pop lyricist of his era". (Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph). "A brilliant and timely book...What is so refreshing about Morrissey's Autobiography is its very messiness, its deliriously florid, overblown prose style, its unwillingness to kowtow to a culture of literary formula and commercial pigeon-holing...Autobiography is a true baggy monster, a book in which a distinctive prose style is allowed to develop...A rococo triumph...Overwhelmingly this is a book to be thankful for...In the ways that matter, Autobiography reads like a work of genuine literary class". (Alex Niven, Independent). "Sharply written, rich, clever, rancorous, puffed-up, tender, catty, windy, poetic, and frequently very, very funny. Welcome back, Morrissey". (Michael Bonner, Uncut Magazine).

"Rancorous, rhapsodic, schizophrenic: Autobiography delivers a man in full' Andrew Male, Mojo 'If one is willing to accept that a Morrissey book could be a classic, then the book justifies its status remarkably early on..."As a work of prose Autobiography is a triumph of the written word". (Louder than war). "Funnier than the Iliad...A triumph". (Colin Paterson, Today Programme, BBC Radio 4). "One of the autobiographies of this or any year...A wonderfully entertaining read. He's as witty, acerbic and opinionated as you'd expect, but there's a welcome self-awareness throughout that makes the dramatic flourishes and hyperbolic dismay all the more hilarious. He may have more flaws than Manchester's Arndale Centre but he's just brilliantly, uniquely Morrissey". (Daily Mirror). "Morrissey's Autobiography is brilliant and relentless. Genius, really". (Douglas Coupland). "Well, so far Morrissey's book is an absolute masterpiece; no doubt the whole stinking country will hate it". (Frankie Boyle). "This is the best book ever. Like ever". (Wonderland). "Carried along on quite extraordinary prose". (Time Out). "The Best Music Biog Ever ...In the world of rock autobiographies, Morrissey's is nigh-on perfect".


BiographyBiography: generalBiography: arts & entertainmentMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresIndividual composers & musicians, specific bands & groupsMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresRock & Pop music Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Publication Date: 17/10/2013 ISBN-13: 9780141394817  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Customer Reviews

I must declare an interest and say that I love the Smiths, having done so from the first time I saw them live in 1983 and especially Morrissey whose humour and mellifluous voice still cheers me up decades later, just as it did during the politically and culturally dismal 1980’s. Being the same age, many of the experiences he relates in the book resonate with me especially the legalised assaults suffered at the hands (and canes, hurled pieces chalk and wooden blackboard rubbers) of the teaching profession in the 1970’s that he mentions and sings about in the Headmaster Ritual. I was always going to buy this book and be a sympathetic reader as I share many of his views especially of British “institutions” such as the monarchy and the judiciary, and our wonderful free press. I’ve not read any comments from Johnny Marr or the other members of the Smiths so only have Morrissey’s take on things, but then again his vituperative comments are very entertaining and I’m on his side completely. It was instructive and surprising to see how the Smiths, who are by no means alone in this, were naïve in their dealings with the record industry, and I’m sure today the young wanabees of today are nowhere near as gullible as the Smiths and others were. I must confess that that although many of the passages and incidents made me laugh and it’s especially interesting to read his account of the court case when Mike Joyce sued for a share of the royalties, there’s also a lot that is unsaid. I did find the last section rather tedious, this is a list of gigs played in various places around the globe with accounts of adoring fans besieging our Mozzer, that notwithstanding, I enjoyed 90% of this book, which works very well. I guess it’s aimed at people of my/his generation, though from his account of his world tours he does seem to garner fans from the younger generation in large numbers. Definitely not for those who don’t like Morrissey or didn’t grow up listening to the Smiths, nor for those seeking the sort of prurient details of a kiss and tell autobiography ghost written for some brain-dead non-entity. A suitable subtitle for Autobiography might be “O shut your mouth, how can you say I go about things the wrong way?” Very entertaining, often laugh out loud funny, and thoroughly recommended.

- 19/12/2013
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