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212 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review - by Morrissey
Train, heave on to Euston. Awaiting the launch of my Autobiography, Penguin Books have incarcerated me in a tawdry penthouse flat at 6 Grosvenor Square. The harsh London light through the floor-to-ceiling windows peels my eyeballs, my feet wince at the coarse touch of the cashmere and angora carpet, and as I numb the pain with a third Grey Goose, my mind drifts back to...
Published 10 months ago by Rough Diamond

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame of bitternesss
Although it's a compulsory purchase for many thousands of music fans, Morrissey's eagerly awaited autobiography could sadly be subtitled "One long whinge". It's a tragedy that any sense of joy and excitement of being part of one of the greatest bands of the 80s is overshadowed by bitterness over the Mike Joyce royalties court case and other hapless episodes with...
Published 16 days ago by Greg Farefield-Rose


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212 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review - by Morrissey, 1 Nov 2013
By 
Rough Diamond (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
Train, heave on to Euston. Awaiting the launch of my Autobiography, Penguin Books have incarcerated me in a tawdry penthouse flat at 6 Grosvenor Square. The harsh London light through the floor-to-ceiling windows peels my eyeballs, my feet wince at the coarse touch of the cashmere and angora carpet, and as I numb the pain with a third Grey Goose, my mind drifts back to Nan's tenement at 69 Saddleworth Cuttings, Strangeways. Here, behind the rainy Salford Road, I would watch the damp grey wallpaper peeling slowly off the walls, licking my wounds after yet another day of casual brutality from the callous, sadistic teachers of Rusholme Secondary Modern, where the education was never modern, and my needs and feelings were always secondary.

The doorbell rings. Is it Jobraith? Is it The New York Dolls, on bended knee, begging me to become their lead singer? No, alas, it is the frightful and blancmange-like Debbie, my PA from Penguin, clutching an advance copy of my book. My heart sinks from wounds already inflicted and wounds still to come. Already the Penguin philistines have rejected my glamorous cover art (a black and white Alain Delon posing naked over Oscar Wilde's grave, drinking a glass of milk). Typical. I tear disinterestedly at the brown paper, fearing the worst. The cover is predictably a travesty. Although it mentions my name (in an insultingly small typeface) and features a dismissively small photograph of me, over 50% of the surface area is utterly wasted and makes no reference to me at all. Not one. It is yet another nail hammered through my palm by the uncaring powers that be. I disdainfully hand the feeble effort back to the vile Debbie, who understands nothing, and who still reeks of the sizzling flesh which she has oh-so-obviously been cramming into her flabby chops at - shudder- MacDonalds. The yawning grave opens its maws, awaiting me. Then I snatch the book back, and inspect the flyleaf, magnifying glass in hand. And there it is - THERE IT IS. 'The moral right of the author has been asserted'. Yet will Judge John Weeks deign to listen? Inevitably, Mick Joyce will 'assume' he is due 25% of the revenue, and justice will once again crush my limp white body beneath its cruel, remorseless wheels. And where is Johnny Marr? Nowhere to be seen, as usual, but smirking as he exits yet again through the rear door.

David Bowie says my Autobiography is 'wonderful', and for me this is the apotheosis of a journey that began amidst the slums and loafing oafs of sixties Stretford. Penguin assure me it will be Number 1 on the Amazon bestsellers chart, and yet they have made no effort to promote it, and my name is to all intents invisible in the uncaring and hostile national press. I check my computer, and then I recoil aghast. My Autobiography is Number 2, behind Sir Alex Ferguson's. Oh Manchester, Manchester, so much to answer for! At last my corpse is ready for the abattoir. Heaven knows, I'm miserable now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame of bitternesss, 5 Sep 2014
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
Although it's a compulsory purchase for many thousands of music fans, Morrissey's eagerly awaited autobiography could sadly be subtitled "One long whinge". It's a tragedy that any sense of joy and excitement of being part of one of the greatest bands of the 80s is overshadowed by bitterness over the Mike Joyce royalties court case and other hapless episodes with the music industry. On reading his side of the story, I feel a certain amount of sympathy with Mozza though equally feel that he is often his own worse enemy.

Autobiography is probably at its best when describing Morrissey's childhood including his impoverished but happy home life and brutal 70s Catholic schooling. As expected of such an excellent lyricist, his anecdotal prose is good though the book could have done with further editing and being divided by chapters. Indeed, its chapterless form merely perpetuates the impression that this is one long rant.

Autobiography will continue to be read by the thousand though devoted and casual customers alike should be aware that any joy or insight gained is clouded over by the writer's bitterness. Ultimately this is a great shame.
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110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down. But for all the wrong reasons.., 22 Nov 2013
By 
i wrote this "i did" (Bucks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
There is a moment in his autobiography where Morrissey complains about the disappointment of his lunches with surviving members of the New York Dolls. They aren't at all interested in him, don't want to talk about the things that fascinate him about the Dolls and are just not the people that existed in his mind; a perfect allegory for this hugely disappointing and woefully undisciplined book that is still as compelling as lunch with David Johansen probably is.

It turns out that Morrissey doesn't want to talk about what interests me. His relationship with his father, the meaning behind his lyrics, how the songs were composed, walking out on the David Bowie tour, playing with three fifths of the ex Smiths at Wolverhampton whilst 2 were suing him, the Jonny Rogan biography, none of that gets a mention. Because Morrissey wants to slag off Geoff Travis and Judge John Weeks for page after page after page. He even repeats the same insults (seriously, get an editor!).
He also wants to slate most of the people he has worked with, obsess over chart positions and generally blame every record company and manager he has worked with for anything that has gone wrong in his adult life. I can't help thinking that the thing all these people have in common is Morrissey. Reading the excellent Mozipedia reveals several other collaborators unnamed in Autobiography who had to take legal action against him after his mother called them to say that they would not be getting paid... I digress.

This book confirms that Morrissey is just not the person he is in my head. I had guessed as much, but the person that emerges from Autobiography is not one that I warmed to at all. He's funny. He loves pop music and films. He truly cares about animals on a global and personal level and talks extensively about the inhumanity of the human race and feminism. This is the Morrissey I hoped for. But the book displays a woeful lack of self awareness. He seems to completely lack in empathy for individuals however noble his more grand universal sentiments about suffering might be. He uses the N word on a very shaking context along with some pretty sexist language (calling the other 3 Smiths "girls" when describing the court case among other things). he also uses some grim metaphors to describe female genitalia and dismisses people based on their appearance on most pages. It's a vulgar picture which says nothing to me about my life (and if you thought that was bad wait until you read some of his own lyrical insertions). But the clincher for me was his moaning about an accountant who wouldn't help him get a managers £250K back from their grieving family after a deal went wrong following the man's sudden death.

I considered myself a big Morrissey fan, I've lost count of how many books I've read about him so I shouldn't have been too surprised. Especially as this book is very constant with his dire blog postings on Truetoyou.net On reflection I believe I've been making excuses for Morrissey for years, at least since You Are the Quarry. I've tried to like the last 3 overwhelming mediocre albums and clung to the rare moments of inspiration. There are rare moments of inspiration in Autobiography too and I found it an addictive read. But Morrissey has warn out my good will this time and I left the book considering myself a former fan. In that regard it was a powerful experience, but not the one I wanted - like a bad lunch date with the late Arthur Kane? Quite possibly.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite, 13 Jan 2014
By 
Stuart Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
He's the only pop star who my heart still beats a little bit strangely for, so a read of this was inevitable. The wish is that he'd been guided to elaborating the first third, an absorbing impressionistic swipe around his childhood and Manchester full of tantalising anecdotal nuggets, then the Smiths as the great leap free, and that would have done: instead the group is tied up and abandoned in about thirty pages, and then after a little solo life we're into the Court Case, where the writing slumps and it's a bit like peering through the blinds of a Dickensian studio where a gibbering old man fling documents in the air and says, Look, I was right, look, I was right, over and over again. Then it's a final 100 or so pages about audience love on endless tours and that's it. You can see why the court thing obsesses him - having escaped his uniformed comprehensive inferno, suddenly, there he is, back in the schoolmasterish world of British justice, being smacked down by Authority yet again. But it's hard to understand why a wealthy and intelligent man couldn't get decent legal representation and appears to be left floundering with an elusive bunch of half-wits. The big gap is a glimpse of the engine room where the Morrissey/Marr chemistry took fire and blazed down the building: the creative process is hard to describe, but if that's what makes certain lives worth living, then for god's sake, at least have a go. It could really have been worthy of its publishing house; but, as it is, not quite.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Le Miserable, 17 Sep 2014
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
Much of the criticism of ‘Autobiography’ seems to stem from the fact that the ‘Morrissey of the Imagination’ falls short of the ‘Morrissey of the Reality’ as revealed in this book.

It’s akin to the horror of meeting your Belgian pen-friend of twenty years and finding that someone you’ve invested a lot of emotional time and energy into, is actually, a git.

In short, Reader Meet Author.

There’s an old Zen Buddhist maxim - “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Autobiography is 493 pages of a poison pen letter.

The structure of the book is curious. The lack of chapters and paragraphs early in the tome seems to be faux literary attempt to invoke Joyce (James, not Mike) but fails as there are at least three distinct periods discussed in the book using different accusative tenses. This device is fine and dandy if the narrative is cyclical, but Morrissey’s narrative is very linear.

Then we have the coverage of the infamous court case. All 40+ pages of it. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Subjectivity is to be expected, but when it descents into so much juvenile name calling as ‘Wobbly Weeks’ and ‘Joyce Iscariot’ you really know the Thelma and Louise moment has been broached and the cliff has been totally driven off.

The bleak dark humour of what we all loved of The Smiths and Morrissey tinged with a British seaside postcard comicality is still extant, but the flaw is that Autobiography it’s minus the seaside postcard sensibility and what we’re all left with it is the bitter and bilious raw material.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I expected this long-awaited tome to read like the longest ever Morrissey song, 4 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
I expected this long-awaited tome to read like the longest ever Morrissey song, and he disappoint me... or did he? I have spent decades now defending him, as so many of us have: "No, he is NOT just a miserable bastard, you have to see the humour!" Two days later (that's something in his favour) I felt betrayed. He IS just a miserable bastard. Maybe this is just a triple (quadruple? octuple?) bluff. He wanted me to feel betrayed, so that the consequence of reading Morrissey is to feel Morrissey, to BE Morrissey, as so many fans have always longed to do.

It is in many ways exquisitely written, as are his lyrics, and the classically languid, perpetually underwhelmed style seeps through his accounts of his childhood and earlier life, to the point that you have to be glad he didn't grown up in the lap of bucolic Home Counties luxury. The poetry loses its way, though, once we get to the parts where he feels betrayed and undervalued. And boy, does Morrissey feel betrayed and undervalued, and hasn't he felt that way for a very, very long time? Again, maybe he was determined to highlight this fact through the sheer length of the "court case years". Perhaps everybody was out to destroy him, and perhaps the judge(s) did hate him on sight and pledge to grind him into the dirt (after all, it's easy to believe that Morrissey would do everything possible to avoid any chance of them taking a liking to him). But even if the entire episode really was a colossal conspiracy to expunge Planet Morrissey from the firmament, it should still only represent, what, maybe 10% of his life? The legal battle and its aftermath come across like War & Peace inserted into a newspaper review of Meat Is Murder.

Overall, you are left in no uncertain terms that Morrissey's life has been a catalogue of people he expected to dislike confirming or exceeding his expectations, while those he worshipped or wanted to love all conspired to disappoint him, if not to stab him in the front.

I loved it. I had to, just as I love him (although Morrissey without Marr remains a bit like Van Gogh without a paintbrush). Everybody who has ever given even the slightest damn about him, positive or negative, should read this book. He has to lose a star, though, but not for any of the reservations voiced above. There are two reasons. One: I was genuinely gutted at his maniacal obsession with chart placings, not for his monotonous insistence that those who would make most from all of his No1s did their best to prevent them (I LOVE that!), but because the Morrissey I thought I knew should loathe the idea of commercial success and the shallowness it implies - this is The Smiths/Morrissey, not Oasis v Blur! Two: others have referred to this, but I truly hate his insistent use of the phrase "and I" when it should be "and me". It is unforgivable for such a well-read, and well-written, man to fall prey to the blanket pretention, so loved of Australians, that "and I" is erudite while "and me" is gutter-speak. School clearly didn't enthrall him enough to imbue a knowledge of the difference between nominative and accusative, but he has read enough proper books since then to have twigged how it works. I'm sure it seems a very small quibble in the great scheme of things, but it irritated me like a dripping tap from start to finish. Maybe the spoken version bugged the judge as well?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Words which should only be your own ..., 21 Aug 2014
This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
To come clean at the start I think Morrissey has written some wonderful songs and to follow conventional fan wisdom I think he's a wonderful person - right? No wrong. I see him as a pretty normal bloke at heart and flawed like the rest of us.

Part of the reason for the public and the media love/hate relationship with Morrissey is that he is opinionated, says what he thinks(and very elequently)and has refused to follow the usual habits of pop stardom. This to me is refreshing but for many, lead singers should follow the sex/drugs/hotel trashing norm. With Morrissey you get the feeling that he'd be happy chilling with a Victoria Wood DVD, a nice cup of tea and a packet of Hobnobs (if Hobnobs are veggie), (other oat-based biscuits are available ...).

But let's not fall in the trap of reviewing Morrissey and discuss the book. For me the strongest section is his recollection of growing up in tough circumstances in 1960's Manchester. Yes young people that's how it really was. His love for his family shines throughout these pages. The account of the rise of his first group is remarkable chiefly for showing the naivety of the band members and the way they were subsequently ripped off. At this point starts the long toll of Moz casulaties - close friends who died before their time. "Ooh I wonder if that's why he's so glum". Despite what has been written elsewhere he is quite affectionate about his days with old band members, complimentary about their musicianship and doesn't let subsequent dischord taint his recollections.

A big chunk (perhaps too much?) of the book is allocated to the Khafka-esque legal case, which saw a previous band member successfully sue him for a large sum of money - quite unjustly I feel if this account is to be believed. I got the impression that it was a feeling of betrayal and the injustice of the legal system which hurt him more than loosing the money.

The book them moves on to his success with his own band - which is perhaps the best two fingers to the court case. Unfortunately for Moz much of his success is in culturally 'irrelevant' countries such as Mexico and Scandanvia.

A modern classic? Not sure about that but the best music autobiography I have read in a long while. And written with a genuine talent.

PS Morrissey if you are reading this see how I didn't mention The *****s.
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3.0 out of 5 stars There were a few things I didn't like about this book, 4 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Autobiography (Paperback)
As a big Morrissey / Smiths fan, I really looked forward to reading this book. I have read many interesting books written about Morrissey and the Smiths.

There were a few things I didn't like about this book:

1. There are no chapters or paragraph breaks. To me this is a really annoying point as if you take a break in reading it is not easy to find where you left off. In addition it just makes the task of reading more difficult than it needs to be. This spoiled an otherwise good book for me.

2. After a point the book seems to simply moan about certain people instead of concentrating on the life of Morrissey himself. Some of the tirades are to be fair really amusing, but I just felt that there was too much of it.

Apart from these points, it was a good read. It would have been much better and more enjoyable if it had been broken down into chapters - like all modern books are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you are a diehard Morrissey fan - still don't buy this!, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
I bought this 'cos a colleague at work thought I should and heaven knows I'm miserable now. It seems Morrissey isn't that interesting and is a wee bit self obsessed. Whod've thunk it?
Just listen to some of his banging tunes instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva the boy with the thorn in his side, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
Chronological: no, of course, no
Reliable viewpoint: hell no!
Insightful and instigative: yes and of worth
Acerbic,acute,aware: yes, yes, yes.
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Autobiography
Autobiography by Morrissey (Paperback - 17 Oct 2013)
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