15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Overblown, repetitious, pretentious guff +1, 13 Feb 2008
Previous reviewer Valdemar had it spot on with the review of this book. In fact it took most of the words from my mouth...
If your looking for a book about Joy Division or someone writing about Joy Division then click 'Add to Basket' on another product because this is simply a book, albeit a very detailed book, about Paul Morley.
I am just about intelligent enough to understand and appreciate great use of language. When it's used in the correct context it's a delightful change to a lot of modern day material. However this collection of ego musings is patchy, drawn out and adds very little to my knowledge or interest in the band. In fact I learnt nothing about Joy Division from this book and coming from someone who is researching this band at a very early stage that does not bode well for similar fans, many of whom will be coming to the band due the the increasing resonance of the legacy in these modern times.
Much of the book is spent justifying or explaining/repeating the columns and reviews that follow on. Morley praises and promotes himself and his pieces up so much that by the time the actual review arrives I have already read everything in his pre-amble and I am simply to tired to wade through it all again. The jacket describes how these are Morley's 'complete writings' on Joy Division, but I am struggling to remember if there were more than about 10 actual articles in this book. For someone who wrote so 'extensively' about the band there seem very little in this collection that is actually about the band. Yes their time was short but if there was so little within that time to extend further on then why bother?
After the frankly painful chapter about when Morley views Curtis' body laid out, I found myself both angry at this author for wasting my time and money and skipped through the rest of the book to cheery-pick the small parts that are actually about the band or it's closest family. There are some nice bits about Tony Wilson and the production of Anton Corbijns 'Control' towards the end but after that the book went straight in my charity shop pile. My final thought was surely there is a more humane end for trees?
Much like many a fellow reviewer on Newsnight Review, Morley spends so much time and energy over-analysing every last thought and feeling about himself and the situation, he takes all the spirit, interest and Joy out of the subject. This book leaves me with the impression that this is nothing more than a barely restructured University dissertation to impress his tutors and prove to his fellow artists what a talented, tortured writer Morley is.
I am not witty or intellectual enough to conceal the phrases 'nicely timed', 'cash in' and 'exploitation' into something more deep and profound via the use of several hundred pages but I know a man who can.