- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 Oct. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845135970
- ISBN-13: 978-1845135973
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen Hardcover – 25 Oct 2010
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More About the Author
A former Assistant Editor of Q and regular contributor to MOJO and CLASSIC ROCK magazines, he is the author of PRETEND YOU'RE IN A WAR: THE WHO & THE SIXTIES (Aurum, 2014); IS THIS THE REAL LIFE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF QUEEN (Aurum, 2010) and PIGS MIGHT FLY: THE INSIDE STORY OF PINK FLOYD (Aurum, 2007 & 2013), published as COMFORTABLY NUMB (Da Capo, 2008) in the US.
'Richly detailed biography...draws on extensive interviews' ('Pick of the Paperbacks)(Daily Telegraph)
‘Mark Blake matches the detail of his Pink Floyd book with a fluid, muscular narration of the band’s rise. Crucially, he interviews the key players (which the other biographies don’t.)’ 8/10(Classic Rock magazine)
‘Presents the whole, splendid saga…sparkling anecdotes throughout.’(Mojo)
‘Genuinely adds to the fund of knowledge about this truly unique band.’(Record Collector)
‘Includes a highly interesting section on their origins…a well-researched account…A good choice for both Queen experts and more lightweight fans.’(Sunday Business Post)
About the Author
Mark Blake is a former Assistant Editor of Q and long-time contributor to Mojo magazine. He is the author of the definitive Pink Floyd biography, Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen, and editor of Stone Me: the Wit & Wisdom of Keith Richards (all published by Aurum) and also the editor of Dylan: Visions, Portraits and Back Pages and Punk: The Whole Story. He lives in London with his wife and son.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think Mark Blake's book is a triumphant attempt to decode the DNA of Queen, as well as telling their story magnificently well. I disagree totally with another reviewer who claimed the book offered nothing new. Even for the most hardened Queen geek, Blake has unearthed a wealth of new material, especially about the band's early days, partly through the first-person testimony of people who've never been interviewed before. He shows how the disparate personalities in the band meshed to create the unique and eclectic musical melange of Queen. He also follows the story of Freddie's remarkable early life in India and Zanzibar, as he gradually transformed himself from Faroukh Bulsara into Freddie Mercury.
For hardened Queen fans these early chapters may prove the most revelatory, though the rest of the story, lucidly and grippingly told, will likely satisfy most readers throughout. Any biography of Queen runs the risk of being overshadowed by the personality of Freddie, but Blake does an admirable job of keeping all four members of the band firmly in the story, and crediting each fully for his contribution. Again, he is able to draw on his own personal interviews with Brian and Roger - more material original to this book.Read more ›
That telling quote from Queen’s first publicist speaks volumes about the late, great Mr Mercury. He is one of the most famous performers that ever lived but we still know very little about him. That’s the challenge that faced Mark Blake or any author trying to get to the root of this enigmatic diva and he gets as close to the man as is humanly possibly now he’s gone. It’s the Queen equivalent of the book Last Train To Memphis about Elvis Presley (a similar hugely influential and enigmatic presence in music history like Mercury) by Peter Guralnick. Bob Dylan said you could feel Elvis breathe on the page in that book and you get that same feeling with Freddie Mercury here.
It does a superb job of reconstructing Freddie’s student days when he was trying to find himself both as a performer and and as a man. He cross-references recollections from people who knew him then to corroborate or, in some cases, contradict each other and it’s fascinating to see how many variations there are as people’s memories fade. Just take Freddie’s acceptance as the new singer of Ibex, one remembers him joining in a meeting in the Kensington Tavern pub while the other two can’t decide if it was at an audition in someone’s basement flat or at Imperial College. Unable to get to the truth, Mark Blake just presents the conflicting stories and lets us make up our own minds about what is true. In the student squat where Freddie was staying, his hippie housemates used to hide their drug stash in with the tea leaves but nobody told Freddie. He makes a cup of tea and they find him half an hour later tripping out as he listens to music.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Its style is nice and clear and the author made his homework and contacted some eye witnesses. It's nice to hear, for instance, John Anthony's and John Brough's sides of the story,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Johann
I read it for explaining to my daughter, a Queen fan. Not very exciting, but maybe their life wasn't. It's an honest, down to earth story. Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2013 by david osimo
Warts and all account of the Greatest Rock band of all time!
Buy it and you won't be disappointed! It's good
have not read this yet but love anything to do with the group queen . was bought for me for christmas on a new kindlePublished on 13 Jan. 2013 by dorothy