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Bit Of A Blur: The Autobiography Paperback – 3 Jul 2008


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Bit Of A Blur: The Autobiography + All Cheeses Great and Small: A Life Less Blurry + Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119939
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on 31 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By theone&only on 18 May 2011
Format: Paperback
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 By Ms. S. J. Wake on 29 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By Maire Mannik on 22 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 By Brucky on 22 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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