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Autobiography (Special edition) Hardcover – Special Edition, 5 Dec 2013


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Autobiography (Special edition) + 25 Live [DVD] [2013] [NTSC] + Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of Morrissey and the Smiths
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Special edition edition (5 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141395087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141395081
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

With a life steeped in the acute articulation of what it feels like to be an "outsider's outsider"... Mr M continues to stir and shake us up. He's made a profound connection and difference to a multitude of lives. God bless Morrissey and all who ever dared to sail forth, with or without a compass (Annie Lennox)

A rococo triumph (Independent)

Brilliant and relentless. Genius, really (Douglas Coupland)

A beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation (The Telegraph)

Funnier than the Iliad (BBC Radio 4)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. A. Reeves on 5 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'I've had my face dragged in/Fifteen miles of sh*t/And I do not/And I do not/And I do not like it.' This surely is one of the worst lyrics ever written by a great lyricist, and unfortunately the bitter spirit of these lines dominates most of the autobiography. One of the best things to say about the book is that it feels as if the purported author actually penned it. Perhaps some bits were generously edited, but it doesn't feel as if it were ghost-written - for example, there are bitesize album reviews as well as bits of amateur literary criticism thrown in with the life story, a hotchpotch approach characteristic of an unprofessional writer. Otherwise, reading Moz's struggle feels like listening to a spoiled child crying at Christmas because other children were given toys as well. Still, Moz the singer will live on for a long time, and this 'interesting document' is thereby guaranteed a long shelf-life.
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222 of 248 people found the following review helpful By Rough Diamond TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
Train, heave on to Euston. Awaiting the launch of my Autobiography, Penguin Books have incarcerated me in a tawdry penthouse flat at 6 Grosvenor Square. The harsh London light through the floor-to-ceiling windows peels my eyeballs, my feet wince at the coarse touch of the cashmere and angora carpet, and as I numb the pain with a third Grey Goose, my mind drifts back to Nan's tenement at 69 Saddleworth Cuttings, Strangeways. Here, behind the rainy Salford Road, I would watch the damp grey wallpaper peeling slowly off the walls, licking my wounds after yet another day of casual brutality from the callous, sadistic teachers of Rusholme Secondary Modern, where the education was never modern, and my needs and feelings were always secondary.

The doorbell rings. Is it Jobraith? Is it The New York Dolls, on bended knee, begging me to become their lead singer? No, alas, it is the frightful and blancmange-like Debbie, my PA from Penguin, clutching an advance copy of my book. My heart sinks from wounds already inflicted and wounds still to come. Already the Penguin philistines have rejected my glamorous cover art (a black and white Alain Delon posing naked over Oscar Wilde's grave, drinking a glass of milk). Typical. I tear disinterestedly at the brown paper, fearing the worst. The cover is predictably a travesty. Although it mentions my name (in an insultingly small typeface) and features a dismissively small photograph of me, over 50% of the surface area is utterly wasted and makes no reference to me at all. Not one. It is yet another nail hammered through my palm by the uncaring powers that be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Sean Tynan on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Much of the criticism of ‘Autobiography’ seems to stem from the fact that the ‘Morrissey of the Imagination’ falls short of the ‘Morrissey of the Reality’ as revealed in this book.

It’s akin to the horror of meeting your Belgian pen-friend of twenty years and finding that someone you’ve invested a lot of emotional time and energy into, is actually, a git.

In short, Reader Meet Author.

There’s an old Zen Buddhist maxim - “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Autobiography is 493 pages of a poison pen letter.

The structure of the book is curious. The lack of chapters and paragraphs early in the tome seems to be faux literary attempt to invoke Joyce (James, not Mike) but fails as there are at least three distinct periods discussed in the book using different accusative tenses. This device is fine and dandy if the narrative is cyclical, but Morrissey’s narrative is very linear.

Then we have the coverage of the infamous court case. All 40+ pages of it. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Subjectivity is to be expected, but when it descents into so much juvenile name calling as ‘Wobbly Weeks’ and ‘Joyce Iscariot’ you really know the Thelma and Louise moment has been broached and the cliff has been totally driven off.

The bleak dark humour of what we all loved of The Smiths and Morrissey tinged with a British seaside postcard comicality is still extant, but the flaw is that Autobiography it’s minus the seaside postcard sensibility and what we’re all left with it is the bitter and bilious raw material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Davies on 4 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected this long-awaited tome to read like the longest ever Morrissey song, and he disappoint me... or did he? I have spent decades now defending him, as so many of us have: "No, he is NOT just a miserable bastard, you have to see the humour!" Two days later (that's something in his favour) I felt betrayed. He IS just a miserable bastard. Maybe this is just a triple (quadruple? octuple?) bluff. He wanted me to feel betrayed, so that the consequence of reading Morrissey is to feel Morrissey, to BE Morrissey, as so many fans have always longed to do.

It is in many ways exquisitely written, as are his lyrics, and the classically languid, perpetually underwhelmed style seeps through his accounts of his childhood and earlier life, to the point that you have to be glad he didn't grown up in the lap of bucolic Home Counties luxury. The poetry loses its way, though, once we get to the parts where he feels betrayed and undervalued. And boy, does Morrissey feel betrayed and undervalued, and hasn't he felt that way for a very, very long time? Again, maybe he was determined to highlight this fact through the sheer length of the "court case years". Perhaps everybody was out to destroy him, and perhaps the judge(s) did hate him on sight and pledge to grind him into the dirt (after all, it's easy to believe that Morrissey would do everything possible to avoid any chance of them taking a liking to him). But even if the entire episode really was a colossal conspiracy to expunge Planet Morrissey from the firmament, it should still only represent, what, maybe 10% of his life? The legal battle and its aftermath come across like War & Peace inserted into a newspaper review of Meat Is Murder.
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