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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought the book for the nostalgia but ....
Having recently hit the big 50 I have become big on rekindling links to my lost youth. I bought this book for the nostalgia tales: The Slits (very underrated band); punk; and Ms Albertine's friendships with Sid and Johnny, Joe and Mick. This part of the book (Side One) was fascinating - I never know punk London was so small - virtually every punk anyone appears - along...
Published 11 months ago by M. Smith

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, fun read
A quite brief book, which was absorbing enough to complete in a day. A good, fun read, written very honestly.
Published 5 months ago by Pootle


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought the book for the nostalgia but ...., 1 Jun. 2014
By 
M. Smith - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
Having recently hit the big 50 I have become big on rekindling links to my lost youth. I bought this book for the nostalgia tales: The Slits (very underrated band); punk; and Ms Albertine's friendships with Sid and Johnny, Joe and Mick. This part of the book (Side One) was fascinating - I never know punk London was so small - virtually every punk anyone appears - along with some surprises, including: Neneh Cherry and Chrissie Hynde.

The revelation of the book is Ms Albertine's marvelous writing and Side Two of her volume (life after The Slits). This is the most engrossing part of the book - the struggle for her health and against the perils of life make for a great read. Even this cynical reviewer was both moved and inspired.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best punk memoir I have read so far, 2 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
Viv Albertine's book is the Saving Private Ryan of punk memoirs! Gritty, visceral and painfully honest it is a no holds barred account of life at the raw edge of the punk rock scene and her life thereafter. She describes her life as a struggling female artist in what was a very male dominated world with sparkle and great humour. She paints a very accurate picture of 70s London, which although a total dump was also a fun, scary place to be and her stories had me laughing and crying in equal measure, as well as biting my nails at the graphic honesty of some accounts. Sex and drugs and rock and roll is written large throughout this book for sure, but what sets her book apart from other memoirs I have read is the beating heart at the centre of the story. In particular her obvious affection and love towards Sid Vicious brings an alternative personal spin to a sordid and tragic story and really made me think. So many others from that era have passed on and Viv takes time to pay tribute to many of them. She comes across as both vulnerable and tough as nails at the same time, a real survivor who is still carving an individual creative path for herself today. Viv has a gripping writing style and her accounts of the characters, famous and infamous whom she has met along the way are funny and moving at the same time. A must read for anyone interested in the music of this era and indeed anyone who wants to read a fascinating life story which is tragic and funny in equal measure.
Well done Viv this book is my read of the year!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody good, 11 Sept. 2014
By 
Jeffrey M. Black "jblack437" (Stockport) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
Quite literally. Viv doesn't shy away from all manner of bodily fluids, functions and infestations. Some people might consider it TMI, but it only reinforces how honest and unflinching she is. It's far more than just a punk rock memoir (in fact, her time in The Slits - her 15 minutes of fame - has been dealt with before we're halfway through), It's also about the need to stay true to yourself - to stay creative and to reject convention even when middle-aged and weighed down with life's usual trappings. Viv has been fighting all her life - against sexism, gender expectations, a treacherous womb and the Big C - and she's won every time. It's an inspiring story. At the end, you feel you almost know her well enough to say "hello" - and maybe point her at some slightly more reliable men. I loved it and was inspired enough to decide not to give up on my own creative endeavours.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, well written and with a real story to tell., 2 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
I saw the Slits on the White Riot tour and again on their own tour. But I knew they would be something as soon as I saw a photo. Just as I had with the Pistols and the Clash. Punk was like that. You either recognised it and went for it or you came along later when it was safe. 16 and stuck in Yorkshire, gay and knowing I was an outsider because of that the Slits sent a message to me as powerfully as the Pistols. You can be exactly who you wish to be. Right now. Albertine humorously lists the key punk sections at the beginning of the book as well as an honest declaration of why she thinks people write autobiographies and why she wrote this. It set the tone for the book and had me grinning from the off. Didn't put the book down after that unless I absolutely had to. Yes, the account of the punk period is fascinating. Good to hear from someone who was at the epicentre about the energy and the personalities now that the cliches, tired tall tales and empty chest beating is what we are usually presented with.
However, the book does not slump once the Slits are out of the picture. She continues to write about rediscovering herself in the aftermath, through marriage and fought for motherhood into the rekindling of her clearly creative spirit latterly. All the while the prose is considered and the sentiments frank.
If only more people were so honest about themselves. There is a counterfeit honesty that many writers of autobiographies use to hide in plain sight. For someone who admits to doubt and insecurity Albertine hides from nothing.
A valuable, precious book that I really do think everyone would benefit from reading, particularly as we are now entrenched in a culture of manufactured reality.
Cut remains to me one of the best records made. This book too is essential.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Love, Love This Book (to ape the title a bit), 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
As most of the other reviewers here have already stated, this is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read and I did not want it to end. (I even put the book down for a day, because I wanted to postpone the painful inevitability of having no more Viv Albertine words to read.) It's a wonderful book on so many levels--an inside look at the creation of punk; wildly interesting portraits of friends such as Mick Jones (who comes off as a sweetheart--wish he'd write a book too), Johnny Thunders, and Sid Vicious; ordinary stuff about what it's like to be a woman, but told in such an appealing, signature way; and a message that there are second acts in life (and third and fourth acts too--Albertine's intriguing performance in the Joanna Hogg film Exhibition led me to this book). And her priceless Vincent Gallo encounter, described so hilariously by Albertine, is just icing on the cake.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 1 Jun. 2014
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Extremely interesting. While I know nothing of her music, her story was fascinating. Highly recommend it and also am going to check out her music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is undoubtedly the best book I have read in the last ten years, 14 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
This is undoubtedly the best book I have read in the last ten years. Every chapter had me hooked; I literally couldn't put the book down. A really honest account of one woman's remarkable life.Reading this book could change your life, it has already changed mine as I am now learning the guitar at 51.Real inspirational story, it had me laughing out loud, smiling from ear to ear and sobbing in tears.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outsider's story ..., 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
I heard Viv read excerpts from this book before it was published at one of her ' live ' dates and couldn't wait to get a copy . It's everything I hoped/thought it would be ... Engaging , funny , fascinating and at times heartbreaking too . I found myself ' rooting ' for her as she has a lovely combination of natural ebullient drive & curiosity about all aspects of living , real charm and yet with a constant questioning of herself & everyone else too that is , at times , so tiring it gives a sense of vulnerability too . Ultimately it's her tenacity that's inspiring . Anything that's put in front of her she has a way of figuring out somehow , then wrestling to the floor . All the stories/people are here you might want to hear about from the Punk/Post Punk era - Sid to Mick Jones to Johnny Thunders to Ari Up . All very entertaining but for me the really interesting reading is hearing how Viv deals with all the so-called mundane - the claustrophobia of that & how that impacts on her & sense of herself and how she resolves that .
This book is for anyone who's ever felt out of step with conventional goals and has wanted to take a path less trodden with all the potential pitfalls and loneliness that that CAN bring aswell as all the unique highs . A beautiful book from a unique and inspiring woman . Thoroughly recommended .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 9 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. (Paperback)
I didn't really know much about The Slits or Viv until I saw her at an event at London College of Fashion. She was really charismatic and inspiring so I thought I'll read her book. I just finished reading it and feel excited about doing music and arts again. It is important as a woman to hear other women's stories, especially as honest as Viv's story was, and inspiring. I always feel that it's too late for me to express myself, or make music as if everything should have happened in your twenties and after that you just have to vanish into oblivion. Well, this book has taught me otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love, love, love Viv Albertine, 30 Nov. 2014
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Terrific book, I love, love, love Viv Albertine! (Just been voted by MOJO magazine as the best music book of 2014) I think this is possibly the best book on the punk era in British music, although England's Dreaming by John Savage is kind of "definitive" about the scene overall. Viv Albertine's more personal memoir tells us more directly about the scene, how it began and emerged, then developed, as she knew many of the key players (Mick Jones, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious). She was part of the amazing Slits (Cut is one of my all-time favourite albums) but then faded away. As the book is a warts (literally) and all autobiography of her full life we find out why she quit and what she did in her quiet years, as well as being a Mum. I was one of many who responded a couple of years ago to her crowd funding of comeback album The Vermillion Border and the story behind this is also fascinating. Her directness and honesty, and her enduring principles, ensure that this is rivetingly honest, include lots of crap sex, and is never less than insightful. Well worth reading, even if you aren't enamoured of the UK punk scene, because this is a great autobiography by a modern woman.
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