on 6 February 2011
I actually quite like this book. It's nice to hear Carl's version of things in a way that isn't disrespectful to other people involved (like Peter which he refered to with sadness more than anger, I believe). It's definitely not a linear, classic autobiography, and people who want to know great details about very precise things or events will be disapointed, but in my opinion it is a very honest, yet humorous, book written with in a way that makes you feel like you understand the man better, his persona, his temper and his perspective on life. The anecdotes are personal, the focus is mostly on his feelings and emotional recollection of the events of his life, which makes this book a little frustrating for people who are interested in The Libertines or the music in general. Some people will although appreciate that, as it allows Carl to write about things that havent been said elsewhere about him and the dynamic of the band. In this book, Carl doesn't deny his flaws and he gives credits where it's due, which I appreciate. Like other people mentionned, it's a quick read but I think some excerpts can be re-read whenever you feel like it.
(English is my second language, so I apologize for any mistake in my review. Thanks)
on 4 May 2011
This is probably one of my favourite music memoirs of recent times, for the simple reason that Carl writes this in a way that enables his personality to come across.
Too many books written by celebrities are either a collection of anecdotes without any personal narrative or simply serve to promote a false personal image. This book provides a frank, humerous book that delivers plenty of eloquant disclosures.
A few reviews have criticised the lack of detail regarding more outrageous moments within the Libertines cannon, mainly Pete breaking into his flat. This is covered in the book and because it was known, really does not require any further elaboration. I think the action speaks for itself and reveals the diverse aspects of the main protagonists in The Libertines.
Carl explains his inspirations and explains the main influences in his life. This helps to give greater understanding to his lyrical compositions without ever being boring because they are directly drawn from incidents that occured in his life in the Libertines and beyond.
It is written with brevity, clarity and as such is a well paced tale that moves quickly. The book is full of great detail, yet never outstays its welcome. I wish it was 200 or so pages longer, simply because it kept my full attention in one sitting. The sure sign of a great read.
on 4 April 2011
I really enjoyed this book. Fast paced, yet endearing, it was clearly written from the heart.
Carl has written about Carl, rather than writing yet another Libertines biog. He covers his whole life to date, from his child hood to his solo album, referencing the important people and bands in his life along the way.
It's honest, sometimes brutally so and gives an informative yet very personal account of his experiences both in the music industry and in his personal life.
My only very slight crticism is with the photography, it adds very little to the book - but maybe that was the objective.
I would strongly recommend this book to any fan of music and to anyone just starting out on that road - consider it a warning.
on 8 October 2010
I was crazy about The Libertines between 2002 and 2004, and like many young people growing up in that era saw them as a soundtrack to my youth. These days I rarely play their records, and thought the reunion was financially motivated and looked contrived, but I maintain a keen interest in the band members and their respective stories. I therefore eagerly picked up Carl Barat's autobiography as soon as it was released, and was not disappointed. It encompasses his years of substance abuse, his various states of mind, experiences with therapy, his views on various events and his amusing stories of people he knew and loved as well as recollections of his formative years. It's very enjoyable, very readable and highly literary, despite the casual writing style.
It's also extremely disjointed and frustratingly vague about many events (such as Peter's burglary of his flat, which is just dropped in casually a couple of times without ever being expanded upon). If you're looking for intimate details of romantic relationships you'll be disappointed too. Ditto, there are scarce details about any of the songs he wrote, either with The Libertines of the Dirty Pretty Things, which will be a major drawback for those reading this book from a musical perspective, wanting to know the inspirations and writing processes behind some of his great tracks. If you're looking for more detail and cohesion in the story of his life between 1998 and 2005, you are best to pick up The Libertines Bound Together by Anthony Thornton as a companion piece, as it will give many of the events recounted more clarity and perspective.
On the whole though it's an entertaining and often funny account. He talks in detail about drugs, drink, life and most aspects of himself and his personality, interspersing these with reminisces on the past and tales of events gone by, without ever slipping into traditional chronological autobiographical form. At its best it's nostalgic, heartfelt and draws the reader in emotionally, with snapshots of places and people and events that are slightly romanticised but nevertheless have an effect on the reader. It's definitely a page turner for anyone interested in Barat or his music, and due to its not significant length it can be consumed quickly, but probably has some re-readability. Recommended.
on 19 August 2013
I was ecstatic when I found out Carl Barat was writing a biography, as a Libertines fan from the age of 15, I had bought a lot of material about them since I was a fan; Stylish Kids In The Riot, Books Of Albion (biggest waste of £15 mainly due to the fact it's unreadable) a collection of albums, singles and so on.
Now onto the book, although I haven't finished it yet, I've enjoyed it so far, Carl writes in a very enjoyable way and you can tell he is writing from the heart, his relationship with Pete Doherty is very deep although the press have made it out that Pete is nothing but a drug addict who is not worth a breath of the people that read and follow him, Carl talks about him as an old friend who he holds in deep regard and sympathy towards the drug issues, he doesn't mention when Pete broke into his flat nor the breakdown in the relationship during the Libertines era (well he does but not in deep detail) and he is not frightened to speak about his time taking a lot of narcotics, Pete's hatred on Carl's former bandmate Anthony Rossamando as well as his stage fright which he eventually managed to control when the Libertines hit the big time and began touring a lot more.
It was enjoyable to read Carl's side of the story, I'd strongly recommend this book to any Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things hardcore fan and to people who have only just discovered them.
on 29 August 2011
While Barat's flat writing style is not what you would expect from someone who's penned such clever lyrics in the last few years, the book is definitely worth reading. Hilarious at times, poignant at others, and sometimes even heartbreaking, it has the moving honesty of someone who, while admiting to some very unhealthy decisions in his past, embraces them as fundamental to the man he is today, while at the same time not trying to justify his actions and not afraid of coming off as a flawed and complex individual. After reading this, I got even more love and respect for Carl Barat, and I think every fan would feel the same.
2010's 'Threepenny Memoir' was a welcome chance to hear rock musician Carl Barat's side of things surrounding his love-hate relationship with fellow 'Libertine' Peter Docherty, and the rise and fall of the indie band pronominal. The man has a romantic style of writing, and a rare (for a rock star's book at least) talent for creating imagery, which makes this autobiography a very easy read. If you're a fan of his, then this soft-back book makes for a good companion.
Early on in the memoir, which flows with colourful stories and interesting personal thoughts rather than following a traditional narrative structure which such releases usually have, Carl briefly writes about his childhood, revealing his parents' breakup and how he was never hugged as a child. Things quickly progress to his move to London (clearly a city he loves dearly) to start university, and ends on his career in music up until 2010, when he was releasing a solo album. Along the way, he shares his memories of the famous people who he has throughout his journey, opens up about his substance abuse and recovery through therapy, and isn't afraid to let his real personality come running through the pages. There were many times when I couldn't help but feel very sorry for him as he lifts the lid on much personal unhappiness and reveals his often negative state of mind. Although this is essentially a rather sad story for the most part, a chronicle of the darker side of fame, Carl's adventures ensure for more than a couple of laugh-out-loud moments.
Like having a conversation with this cool guy in a pub, Carl Barat's autobiography is frank, honest and deeply personal. If I had to be critical in anyway, then I would have to say that I would have liked to read more about the inspiration behind some of his songs, and more detail surrounding certain big events in his chaotic life, but that doesn't take away the fact that is one very readable book. Far from spitting venom at Pete, he speaks of him with a lot of fondness.
If you want to hear a different take of the events, which would appear very true, then you should give 'Threepenny Memoir' a read. This really helped to break some of my misconceptions, revealing a modest man without the typical 'rock star' attitude, but a real human being who is truly an inspiration. The book also contains lots of cool black-and-white photographs inside to illustrate.
on 24 July 2012
Just got round to reading this memoir and glad I did, in fact I've read it twice already.
A lot of thought has obviously gone into how this book was constructed- rather than a straight chronological story the chapters explore different themes with events from Carl's childhood mixed in with more recent times.
It comes across as a very honest account. Carl mentions being in therapy and in some ways the book reads a bit like a therapy session, linking back to past events and the motivation and feelings around them.
The final chapter I especially enjoyed. It was easy to empathise in this account and I'm glad there was a happy ending in sight.
As others have said if you want a blow by blow account of the libertines then try a different book. But I found this an entertaining and charming story well worth a read.
on 3 October 2014
I absolutely love this book. If you are a Carl Barat fan, and a Libertines fan this is a must read. Carl takes the reader through his in depth memories of events fans may or may not be aware of through his eyes, while sharing his thoughts and feelings at the time. It is easy to imagine Carl speaking these words as if he is having a conversation with the reader, which makes this book even more personal and enjoyable. This is by far the best musician’s memoir I have read, as well as one of my favorite books in general. I will definitely be reading this book more than once. Well done Carl.
on 11 December 2011
thank god, a musician who can really WRITE. i bought it out of interest as a fan but was quickly well and truly in its thrall and was very sad to put it down. i'd love to see him turn his hand -or pen- to further writing, and maybe fiction. some other reviewers have complained about "gaps" in the libertines story - but this is HIS story, never pretends to be anything else, and is eloquently written.