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Bit Of A Blur: The Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Alex James
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

I was the Fool-king of Soho and the number-one slag in the Groucho Club, the second drunkest member of the world's drunkest band. This was no disaster, though. It was a dream coming true.'

For Alex James, music had always been a door to a more eventful life. But as bass player of Blur - one of the most successful British bands of all time - his journey was more exciting and extreme than he could ever have predicted. In Bit of a Blur he chronicles his journey from a slug-infested flat in Camberwell to a world of screaming fans and private jets - and his eventual search to find meaning and happiness (and, perhaps most importantly, the perfect cheese), in an increasingly surreal world.

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Product Description


Alex James is a witty, engaging guide to the mad goings-on behind the scenes of Britpop. Blur's bassist famously estimates that he blew around £1m on champagne and cocaine during the Nineties. Here's how. (INDEPENDENT)

Bright, passionate . . . James writes with wit and flair (TIME OUT)

*'The definitive guide to Britpop . . . this effervescent memoir emerges as the most fascinating, as well as hilarious, document to date of those times (OBSERVER)

Guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye - in a good way (ELLE)

Book Description

* The charming, witty and slightly disreputable memoirs of Alex James - artist, musician, bass player with Blur, and the perfect chronicler of the Britpop generation

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real surprise for me! 31 Jan. 2009
By Rebecca
My husband 'strayed off the birthday list' to buy me this book. I must admit I was not particularly overjoyed at unwrapping it, though I think I hid it well!. My lack of excitement was due in the main to two factors - firstly, I rarely enjoying reading autobiographies and secondly, whilst I appreciated Blur's music, and even bought some of it, I was never what you would necessarily describe as a 'Blur fan'.

It doesn't happen often, but right here, right now, I will admit that I was wrong!! This book, for me, was in fact a joy to read. I am surprised at some of the less favourable reviews but guess that probably, for the out and out 'musos' and hardcore Blur fans there perhaps was not enough of intricacies of making music and being in one of the biggest bands of the time.

However, what this book did offer was an honest and frank account of a life which, in its prime, was lived in a manner so far removed from my own and, I would guess, the vast majority of us. Alex's behaviour at times would to most people seem ostentatious, excessively decadent and a touch vulgar yet instead of disliking him for it, his honest and humourous approach to telling his tale, really endears him to the reader. He is not afraid to own up to moments and actions that he is less than proud of and does not attempt to excuse or justify his actions (and why should he).

In my experience of reading autobiographies - this is a real cut above. In the past, even when attempting to read of the lives of some of my most treasured heros, I have struggled - too much 'extra' detail, inability to 'tell a tale', lack of humour - all too frequently traits of the autobiog. Not here - Alex is a great wordsmith, full of charisma and good humour. He keeps the book fresh and interesting with every chapter and I found myself leaping through pages in a manner usually only induced by a blockbuster novel.

I cannot recommend highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Star shaped 18 May 2011
If you would believe the hyperbolic reviews from the 'proper' newspapers, they would have you believe that is the TRUE story of britpop, romanticised and unflinching, as told by one of its key players.

How disappointed I was with those reviewers who should really know better!

This does none of the above, it's a trawl through the more glamorous parts of Alex James' charmed life but I have to say, it's still a good read. Mr James' way of looking at things is as humorous as it is shallow and his use of purposefully short, clipped sentences is appealing although maddening in their lack of detail. Damon Albarn himself has said he found the book a 'wasted opportunity' and I would have to agree. There is hardly any mention of the Britpop protagonists, hell, even his bandmates get nary a look in as Alex says things like (not a quote!), "When I first met Graham he was eating a banana. I liked Graham".
And that's it, it's back to him! Amusing but annoying.

Overall though, that's what his personality is like so at least the guy is being self-admittedly shallow in his honesty, which saves this book from shoegazing tedium and actually makes it an enjoyable read. If you want to know what it's like being in a famous band, get this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read..... 29 Oct. 2010
To be honest I didn't think I'd like this book that much. I've seen Alex James on TV and thought he was not very articulate. However I am interested in the story so thought I would give it a go. This book has an easy, somewhat effortless style that makes for good reading. I think this probably illustates a degree of good writing that I hadn't expected. It is true that to a certain extent Alex manages to gloss over details and clearly leaves much unsaid - he glosses over the depth of his narcotic excesses until he states how much he spent on cocaine. Many stories do lack detail. If he included more indepth description the book may have been even better - it seems like he is trying to protect peoples repututations (including his own) which may be understandable to a certain extent. However, despite this lack of candid honesty it is a really good read. Having also spent formative years during the same time period I could relate to the period he describes. Alex describes his wealth and excess in a very matter of fact manner which could be annoying but is actually quite endearing. I would recommend this book, even if you are not a Blur fan (I'm not particularly) but if you are interested in the 90's and pop culture.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Prose 22 July 2007
I'm going to skip the five-in-a-bed coke-fuelled romps and the whirl of Britpop excess and mention the writing instead.

Alex James is a fine writer of spare, elegant prose with a striking vocabulary. A rare things in these times.

OK, the book is also a hoot to read for its tabulation of London life in the 90s and all the fun of being a pop star, but there's lots more than that - particularly the engaging enthusiasm for astronomy, mathematics and planetary exploration. The curious mind is a very attractive thing.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but perhaps a bit rose tinted 22 Jun. 2007
By Brucky
I thought this book was very entertaining and a nice insight, not into Britpop, but into Alex himself and what it was like to grow into and then out of Blur. Obviously, been written by Alex himself, there may have been many stories in the drinking years which he either cannot remember or chooses not to tell ( or only tells you bits of). As you would expect from a self penned book, he paints himself as a lovable rogue rather than the arse he may well have been during his excesses, but at the end of it I was left thinking what a nice bloke, interesting life, good book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Best rock memoir I have read
Flags a bit towards the end, but a well written and very entertaining record of sudden immense fame and wealth.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars the lure of blur
Hilarious, quirky. A very likeable chap
Published 2 months ago by vee
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present.
Bought as a present.
Published 2 months ago by Mr R
1.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a Bore
My favourite Blur album is Modern Life Is Rubbish. How much of this book is devoted to the writing, recording and release of that album? About two pages. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr NS Shark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by sammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good. Thanks.
Published 5 months ago by David Rumney`
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read but it seems that many of the events ...
A good read but it seems that many of the events were actually a bit of a blur to Alex James.
Published 9 months ago by Goonergroover
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the Britpop era - Alex James' memoir is unputdownable!
I've always liked Alex James, Blur's bass player, he's a good guest on TV shows, he's quirky, intelligent and quite opinionated. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read but don't expect revalations
Having read Louise Wener's autobiography recently I thought I'd give this a blast having never really warmed to Alex James before. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Susannah Gawn
5.0 out of 5 stars addictive read
I couldn't put down this book until it was finished and took it everywhere with me! Everything you want in a book: scandal, a love affair, self realisation and humour - and easy to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by annabel
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