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Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs Paperback – 31 Jul 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing Ltd; New Ed edition (31 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859653412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859653411
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Rotten... captures the rancid flavour of Lydon's punk and pre-punk life... a good read' -- The Guardian, January 31, 2004

‘Lydon’s story is one of struggle and an almost foolhardy courage... for sheer eye-of-the-storm authenticity, this is hard to beat.' -- Kerrang!, January 24, 2004

‘This autobiography remains – ten years since it was first written – a nihilistic, gross-out masterpiece.’ -- NME, January 24, 2004

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, with all of the hype concerning the infamous Sex Pistols, their rapid rise and just as rapid decline and break-up, people have a tendency to forgot about the people involved in the band. Although Johnny Rotten is probably the most well-known member of the Pistols (I say probably because Sid Vicious is, quite possibly, more well-known), he is often seen as little more than a "punk rock" icon. In this book, he sets it straight, as he sees it. It is an incredibly good read, and Lydon (his real last name) is brutally honest about his home life, his childhood, his inclusion into the Pistols and the breakup and demise of the Pistols. The book is, at times, depressing, touching and upsetting, but it is always entertaining and, surprisingly, incredibly funny. Lydon is a very witty guy, and he holds nothing back in this autobio. Definately recommend for anyone interested in the man, the Pistols or punk in general.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 27 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
Last time I checked, this was out of print, so discussing Lydon and his amusing appearance on TV's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! I found it has been reissued. Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs is Lydon's first memoir, generally centred around his perception of life in the Sex Pistols (though he does offer other people's views); he is due to publish a second book, on his superior act after, Public Image Limited, which after reading this several times, is something I'm looking forward to...
Lydon has always been great with words, something you can't doubt from the lyrics to debut Anarchy in the UK alone; his lines at the notious winterland concert ("ever felt you've been cheated?") are typical of him. Whichever way you cut it, Lydon is one of the great English characters- he's up there with William Blake, Anthony Burgess, Graham Greene, Morrissey, Tony Hancock, Sid James, Pete Townshend, Virginia Woolf- a typically individual English voice...
No Irish No Blacks No Dogs probably tells it like it is, though of course we all have our own perspectives on experiences- Lydon discusses The Sex Pistols, the split after and of course Malcolm McLaren. Key events are seen from Lydon's POV, though perhaps the brilliant documentary The Filth&The Fury has surplanted that- I loved the scene from The Filth where the Sex Pistols played a Xmas party for striking miner's kids and a kid chucked a pie or cake in Lydon's face. This is why it seems perfectly natural he's on I'm a Celebrity!. Lydon makes lots of amusing bitchy comments about other people, from Shane MaGowan to Joe Strummer, and shows that he has remained an individual.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gershwin on 11 May 2006
Format: Paperback
John Lydon writes the way EVERY writer should write - clearly and concisely. Indeed, I would say that this is the best autobiography I have EVER read.

What immediately strikes the reader is John's wit. He is simply one of the most irreverant, unconvential, funny men I have ever discovered. Whether describing the pitiful Malcom McLaren or his Grandfather's genitalia, I was literally roaring with laughter at most of the sentences here. He is as sharp as a razor and just as deadly. If he encounters anyone in the slightest way stupid, contrived or dull, he will reduce them to the size of a pin-head in a matter of seconds. Everyone should be like John Lydon! (If everyone were like John Lydon, life might actually be a little more interesting.)

He has also invited various other people woven into his life story to write passages for this book - helpful when trying to get an accurate picture of the punk story and it's aftermath. It is actually a very interesting technique, asking other people to contribute passages for an autobiography, but an effective one, as it enables the reader to get an ENTIRE picture, rather than something one-sided. Also, it is a technique which few, if any other writers have used, but that is the essence of John Lydon - always breaking boundaries, defying expectations and conventions, always being challenging. He is nothing short of a genius.

For a man who has fronted two of the best bands ever, (Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited), he is surprisingly down-to-earth. Indeed, most people in his position disappeared up their own backsides years ago - but this is not so with Lydon. For all his money, success, and fame, he speaks with a fiercely honest, working-class tongue. How utterly refreshing!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely interesting and the description of Johns childhood and upbringing and the atmosphere of society in general and life in London at that time was really fascinating. As a child of the '70's growing up on a council estate where money was tight it conjured up all kinds of memories. Whilst I thought John wrote intelligently I was not too impressed by the editing of the book with its American spellings and, my pet hate, saying 'math' instead of 'maths'! His portrayal of his friend Sid was touching and honest and the aftermath of his death was not glorified in this book to cash in from fans of the macabre but was dealt with in a respectful manner. It was interesting that his fellow band members sided against him when he was fighting M.M. in court for ALL their interests! His a bigger man than many. Most of all this book presents in a logical and truthful way how the UK did not copy Punk from New York but that it grew organically from an entirely different seed.The Sex Pistols helped to cross pollinate the two.
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