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4.2 out of 5 stars133
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2012
Fascinating candid account by the man himself. Too many autobiographies tell how wonderful the writer is (Yes, I'm talking about you Keith Richards). Not this one. Eric is not afraid to talk about his heroin and alcohol addictions, and the, quite frankly, dreadful way he treated others, especially women. Parts of this book, such as the time spent in rehab and the death of his son Connor, are truly distressing but are necessary to explain the person. Ultimately however he overcomes his problems to become a much more generous and caring person.

If you're a guitarist (as I am) you won't learn a great deal about his music and technique (there are plenty of other books that cover that ground). What you get is about the man rather than the music and though that is a whole different journey, it is still a very worthwhile and rewarding read.
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on 29 March 2008
I read Pattie Boyds book first and was keen to see things from Eric's perspective but was not really any wiser about his experience of their relationship after reading this. Eric comes across as a real music bore I am afraid. The technical details of the guitars and the music he made dominate the book and I could hear this nerdy voice in my head from time to time ! I found the South Bank Show that was on a few months ago more revealing, I guess you can hold alot more back when you are putting stuff in print. Even the accounts of his early years do not seem to get to the core of the man. Altogether disappointing, but I have to admire him for his restraint
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on 28 December 2007
I have been listening to Cream - the live and long improvisations nearly every day for the better part of 40 years, saw them in 2005 at RAH and think Clapton is the best guitarist I have ever enjoyed listening to by a distance. I couldnt wait to read this. Alas, it was disappointing - both the book and, I am afraid, the man.
The characterisation of people in his life was very thin - he rarely describes in any detail the personalities of the people who have been or are important to him, says very little about his guitar playing genius - a huge omission in my view - how can someone be so brilliant at something and not discuss how he developed that talent to all us musically talentless people who have worshipped his playing for years?
On the man, all the drug and alcohol stuff - which granted is very frank - is reasonably interesting although hardly what distinguishes him from everyone else but reveals a seemingly rather weak and generally bemused personality who is incapable of confronting anything. Sadly, also, he never acknowledges his huge army of fans whose lives he has musically enriched so much and who have been so supportive for so many years. Niether does he ever discuss the huge wealth that his success has generated. This lot tends to leave the impression of a man who really has never lived in or experienced the real world. Perhaps he really is the reluctant flawed genius but you cannot have it all ways.
I will continue to enjoy his brilliance every day and despite the disappointment of this book, he would still be my top dinner companion - there is so much more he could have given us in this book.
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on 18 April 2012
I really do love some of Eric Clapton's songs but not all of them and this is more or less how I felt about his autobiography.

A lot of it is good but then there are lots of things he leaves out that would have made it much more interesting. For instance, he got to work with some of the greatest musicians in the world but never seems to really tell us what they were like or what he thought about them. And the same sort of thing happens when he's talking about himself and his mistakes and his triumphs. They are mentioned but there isn't much detail or explanation about what he felt about them or why they really came about.

The book certainly does give some insight into his life but for an autobiography it is lacking just a bit too much in terms of details and emotion to be as satisfying a read as it might have been.
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on 18 April 2013
Very interesting if you are interested in Eric's career, especially the early days.
It also gives an insight into his addictions to heroin and alcohol, and his remarkable recovery.
It glosses over several key events - such as his annual Albert Hall concerts and various other tours, which is disappointing.
However, if you are interested in Eric it is a good and informative read.
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on 30 September 2015
I’ve never met Eric Clapton but whenever I’ve seen him interviewed, he always seems like a very likeable guy to me. He’s also an incredible guitar player and I am a fan of his music. So I was keen to read this book to get a better appreciation of the man himself. Well obviously he’s a rock star, so you’d expect self-centred tales of sex, drugs, booze and life on the road. And essentially that’s what you get here. However it is actually a compelling, down-to-earth and very honest account of his life and his struggles with addictions. Well addictions or obsessions depending on your point of view. Eric is no saint and he doesn’t claim to be otherwise. He’s made mistakes and done things of which he is not proud now. Nevertheless he puts his hand up, takes responsibility and at least he seems to have learned from his mistakes. And that’s what I liked most about this book. An autobiography is always better when the subject is able to put their experiences into context and express the lessons they’ve learned. He’s had good times and bad; he’s enjoyed success and he’s suffered misfortune, particularly the sad death of his son Conor. However at no time does he wallow in self-pity. In fact he manages to remain philosophical throughout. Despite his setbacks he has sustained a level of success that few could match. He remains highly respected for his music and his back catalogue and yet he’s also managed to remain a fairly well-grounded individual, or so it would seem. By the end of the book I still found him a very likeable individual. He seems like the type of guy who’d make a very good friend. And I suspect that is why he remains popular as a musician and retains the respect of his peers and everyone who knows him. If you enjoy autobiographies and you’re interested in understanding what drives successful people then this book is a good read. Even if you’re just a fan of rock music this book is worth the effort. Certainly I enjoyed it and I can recommend it.
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on 23 April 2014
Nowhere to be found in this "autobiography".

It's a fraud. I've been cheated. Although written in the first person, it's clear that the author is Christopher Simon Sykes and EC has had very little to do with it. CSS can't write. That's a big problem. His tired cliches and pub-bore observations are on a loop, repeated every chapter, and many times within the same chapter, for 400 pages. He doesn't come close to understanding the music; let alone the man. I expected more, much more. Judging by Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Show interview EC is only too ready, and capable, of talking about, for example, his obsession with blues music and, more interestingly, his technical understanding of its creation, leaving aside his personal journey (I've got to believe there was more to Layla aka Patti Boyd than the cardboard cut-out imaginings of CSS)

I liked some of the photographs though, the family jobs with EC's "mums" and the one with the black dog - which, of course, of themselves are unexpurgated rich revelations, and had nothing to do with the gormless witterings in the fake first person of CSS.
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on 5 June 2012
I very much enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to read Eric Clapton's assessment of himself, and throughout you get the impression that he is a little embarrassed to tell us some of the things he does, written as it is from the perspective an older, sober and settled man, happy with his life. But he doesn't pretend that he is misunderstood or that others are to be blamed for his excesses - he takes it on the chin. There is no attempt to gloss over the bad bits, and the story tells us that what a person becomes depends on the whole of life, warts and all. It is something that age teaches most of us. The book is very moving in part: the passages leading up to his full realisation that he needed help and those concerning the death of his son stand out in particular. Eric seems to have been a true Journeyman, bringing his passion for the little known dimensions of blues music into the mainstream. His hero Robert Johnson would be well pleased with this story. It could be a blues song. An honest and open life-assessment, and in case Eric reads this - thanks.
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on 6 July 2009
First and foremost this audiobook is not read by the man himself,but fear not Bill Nighy does a fabulous job clearly on a subject he enjoys (I'm sure we're all familiar with Bill's love of blues and it's related music).
Because he's such a fine actor and reader this set of Cd's really works so well.I personally love audiobooks in the car on those journeys to and from the office where your just sat in heavy traffic.I've played through this one a few times now,and yes I'm a huge EC fan,and sure there's things not here we maybe would like to have seen.In one book you can't get everything in,and he's certainly honest about his failures (drink and drugs) as well as his career which is wide ranging as he's played with the very best for a few decades now,he's even honest of the way he's treated people at times.Above all else is the personal story of a brilliant musician,songwriter and singer,but it wasn't always that way,and reading or hearing this book I'm sure we all get to know and understand Eric just that little bit better.Well worth getting hold of.
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on 9 February 2009
Large parts of this book are already well known to anyone who is a fan, or even just reads the newspapers regularly. I was hoping for more of the kind of things that the papers don't talk about, like the music perhaps & how it was written & made etc. Whilst technical info may have been boring to a non musician it would have been a great read for those that are interested. And, it would have certainly been no more boring than the parts that were included such as Eric's love of fashion clothes,cars,bird shooting,designer watches,& houses etc. The wealthy entertaining types often have their indulgences but that is not (usually) how/why they became wealthy.
Don't get me wrong, I did find the read enjoyable but I expected more.
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