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That Close Hardcover – 24 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (24 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085738953X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857389534
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Suggs is a singer, songwriter, DJ, actor and TV presenter. He is perhaps best known as lead singer with Madness, who have had 24 top-twenty hits and continue to tour. Suggs lives in Camden, London.

Product Description

Review

'Brilliantly nutty ... gloriously irreverent' Mail on Sunday.

'Beautifully recreates the memories of his early years' Daily Express.

'Wonderfully evocative' Scotsman.

'His early life would make a novel in itself' Ian Rankin.

'Really well written. Gripping' James Brown.

From the Inside Flap

A lawless brat, from a council flat, A little bit of this, and a little bit of that - Oh, Oh. Aerosol, the bricks.* A pigeon that was flying better dead than when it was alive, A second-hand suit and Dr. Martens boot, Punk, 2 Tone, infinity and (one step) beyond. A life lived, given and taken. No questions asked. We were that close, it was scary, We were that close, to getting it right, Or crashing and burning. When time wasn't of the essence, When time didn't mean money, When time was an irrelevance. Remember them summer days, When we took whatever came our way, And got away, hey, but not too far, Took a spin round in your broken-down car. From the back streets of North London to Buckingham Palace, and everything in-between. The story of... SUGGS. *With a nod to Ian Dury.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Andrew GC Davison on 24 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing. Madness were the first band I ever saw live, and The Prince still has to be the most infectious dance track ever. But there just isn't enough of Madness in Suggs' book. It's as if he's trying so hard to be someone other than the singer from Madness, that his motives obscure his own (and the band's) true legacy. Want stories about the creation of One Step Beyond? Or how and why the song Michael Caine evolved and how they got the man himself onto the record? Or how they matured into some of the finest songwriters around? No chance. Want to know how Suggs makes bruschetta, or enjoys cycling in southern Italy? Then you're in business.

He's a third of the way into the book before Madness even emerge as a band. You're wondering how he's going maintain that detail throughout Madness' career. Simple; he doesn't. A few chapters later, they're splitting up. No mention of the six albums recorded in between. He goes into excruciating detail about a New Year's Eve, but doesn't mention recording Absolutely, 7, the Rise and Fall etc. The sequencing jumps around a lot and while I'm sure there's something to be said about avoiding a straight, chronological narrative, it sill leaves you feeling a little short-changed.

What is written is good however; very entertaining. There's a real warmth and honesty to his tales, and he's a good narrator/raconteur. I'd imagine his one man stage shows are a gem.

So, caveat emptor. Be aware that you are getting a well written and entertaining autobiography. You are not getting a book about Madness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Parrott on 27 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Madness fans: THIS BOOK ISN'T ABOUT MADNESS. There are a few interesting revelations, but it's about "What made Graham MacPherson into Suggs". Just thought I'd start there, as it seems to be a constant complaint in other reviews.

I've read a lot people associated with 2-Tone, and this was my favourite read, because (1) It's not ghostwritten, or not much at least, because you can tell Sugg's way of speaking coming through the words. (2) He doesn't big himself up, quite the opposite if anything. (3) No-one gets slagged. Nice, easy read, plenty of anecdotes, made for holiday reading. you may not learn much, but there are plenty of fact-heavy books for that, this is just a pleasant few hours of company with a nice guy.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By k ford on 25 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For any Madness Fan, or anyone interested in the Social and Music scene of the 70's and 80's this is a fantastic read. The style is honest and truthful, but the narrative walks the reader through the authors extraordinary lifetime events in a natural and moving way. - Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Q on 23 Feb 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is no doubt that Mr Mcpherson is a national treasure but this certainly isn't crown Jewels material.

It is written in a very conversational style that comes across as a random series of events that he has somehow stuck together without any obvious theme. The trouble with this approach is that you can see all the joins and more importantly the gaps.
It would probably work well if you were in a bar sharing a beer with him (something I would be more than happy to do!) and perhaps his one man show is a more appropriate vehicle for these ramblings

He undoubtedly has an interesting story to tell but frankly speaking the ghost writer has had a nightmare as in my opinion this could have been done so much better.

Perhaps a better title for the book would have been "Smuggsy" because unfortunately that's how he comes across and it would appear this is just an blatant exercise in ego stroking/money making and if that what it is then good luck to him - but Smuggs be warned you have sold yourself short mate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. G. on 1 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
its a book about Suggs , but no real depth to it to be honest , I expected more from a member of a group called Madness
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As a lifelong Madness and Chelsea fan I was expecting a good read - which is exactly what I got! Admittedly I did panic a bit when I was about two thirds through and there hadn't been very much detail about the band's successful years, but this was addressed more towards the end of the book. A little more of this wouldn't have gone amiss and as others have commented, a little more chronological order to things would have made it all a little easier to follow. Hence 4 stars and not 5.

Reading the book has encouraged me to buy and listen to The Liberty of Norton Folgate, which I'll be doing very soon. It seems I've missed out on a real treasure.

In summary - a good guy, a good read and a brilliant, unique band.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Some Other Guy on 18 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover
I love Suggs, I love Madness, I watched "The Prince" on TOTP in 1979...I think you get the picture. I got this as a present and the first couple of chapters started off really well - reaching 50, facing your own mortality, looking back, & it gave a vivid account of his early years. And then? It just wanders off in to a stream of non-linear anecdotes, focussing more on Chelsea than Madness. It lurches back and forth betweeen events, some garnering far more detail than they deserve; others getting precious little detail at all. For example, Mike Barson's departure from the group in 1984 is reduced to one sentence. The Madness reunion makes mention of Barson rejoining but not wearing a balaclava...excuse me? It's only later in the book - much later - that a passing mention is made of Barso arriving at photo shoots just prior to his 1984 departure wearing balaclavas. It meanders on with litle or no consequence and very little point and is a massive disappointment. Suggs' "Disappearing London" was far better. PS - no-one plays "base guitar".
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