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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, amusing, poignant (and other rejected titles for Joy Division albums)
Here we have the first memoir of Joy Division by someone who was actually in the group, which, given their importance and achievements, should be greeted with huge enthusiasm by anyone who appreciates the group's work or with an interest in the post-punk era. Sadly, it's been greeted with accusations of "rip-off" or "cash in" in some circles, pathetic knee-jerk reactions...
Published 22 months ago by Runmentionable

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one for the fans I think...
It has to be said that Hook's revisionist take on the Joy Division story is refreshing. Don't be misled by the typically moribund image on the cover - this is basically Hooky and the boys go mad across Europe. All the purported sturm and drang of the Ian Curtis story is brought down to earth with the sound of pint glasses thumping on bars. And then there's the fights. And...
Published 19 months ago by disturbedchinchilla


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5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on demolishing those myths, 27 April 2014
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Joy Division was without a doubt, one of the most important bands of the modern day. They practically invented goth, for better or worse, inspiring legions of clones who could only ever imitate them at the superficial "gloomy" level. Over the years, much has been written about the tragic story of this group and its late singer Ian Curtis. Films such as Anton Corbijn's "Control" ( a fantastic piece of film making, it must be said) only serve to perpetuate the myth of Curtis being this T.S. Elliot type, a brooding poet who stood apart from his friends. That he was, but only to an extent. Peter Hook's "Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division" does much to paint a far more realistic and believable portrait of the man as "one of us", and offers probably the most vital account of Joy Division's short career yet. He was the bassist, after all. I haven't even finished reading this book yet but over the last 3 days I haven't been able to put it down, and I just had to praise it.

Having found myself hooked on his "The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club" I knew this one would be just as essential. Hooky takes us from beginning to end, growing up, meeting Bernard Sumner, founding the group, success, and the sudden jolt of the end while they were on the edge of a breakthrough American tour. This, apparently, was all that Curtis wanted all along, but as anyone who knows this band is aware, his personal circumstances became too much to handle. Given the fact that Hook and the other members of Joy Division/New Order are currently bitterly estranged (a frankly sorry state of affairs for what once was one of the very finest British groups), Hook does make a few personal criticisms of Sumner and the others throughout...however, he's always quick to balance it out by praising them (especially Sumner) as musicians. He's clearly proud, and rightfully so, of being a groundbreaking bass player with lines such as "She's Lost Control" practically re-inventing the instrument in the context of modern rock, and its great to see his appreciation (in hindsight) of Martin Hannett's genius production of their music. He also gives an intriguing track-by-track commentary to the albums which is like gold dust to fans like me.

However, what I admire most about this book is Hooky's down to earth nature. Just as with his book about the Hacienda, reading "Unknown Pleasures" is like hearing him reminisce casually, yet thoroughly, about those times as if you were sat having a conversation with him. Despite their austere public image, these 4 guys got up to plenty of mischief on the road just like any other band and there are plenty of funny antics to read about. Its so refreshing to see the band's story being told this way. There's been so much pretentious nonsense written about Joy Division over the years, we really don't need any more, especially not from one of the guys who was actually in Joy Division. I'm looking at you, Paul Morley. Now all that's left for Hook to do is publish the New Order book alluded to in the pages of this one. Can't wait for that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly amusing and insightful, 3 Feb 2014
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This is essentially an auto-biography of Hooky, although as the title suggests it concentrates on the Joy Division era with only occasional mentions of New Order, and it cuts through the myths surrounding Joy Division, and Ian Curtis in particular, without diminishing what they achieved musically. Although Hooky clearly carries a continuing grudge against former band mate and childhood friend Bernard Sumner, it's balanced by self deprecation and a huge amount of humorous anecdotes. For the JD obsessive like myself, there's plenty of detail about music equipment and the like, but you probably don't even need to especially be a fan of the band to enjoy the insights into what it was really like to be an aspiring musician in the heady days of punk. The descriptions of various kinds of mayhem that occurred on the Buzzcocks tour are particularly amusing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 6 Jan 2014
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Brought as a Christmas present, on their wish list. Is crazy about joy division, he will enjoy reading it, great
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like a chat with the great man himself!, 3 Jan 2014
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I love this book! It is written in a style that makes the reader feel that there sitting in the local boozer having a chat and a pint with the great man himself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Dec 2013
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Very interesting and easy to read. Any JD NO fan will love it. PS See Hooky & the Light live, sensational !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great band, great book!, 27 Sep 2013
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Not one for those seeking cerebral or literary reflections, but essential for those interested in hearing how life really was inside the band that still set the standard for alternative music. Funny, sad and always sincere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very frank insight into life in an iconic band, 21 Aug 2013
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Liam D. Ferguson (Ratoath, County Meath, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (Hardcover)
This comes across as a very honest account of life in Joy Division by Peter "Hooky" Hook, the bass player. The writing style is down to earth - it reads like a conversation. Any fans of the band should read this book and also Touching From a Distance by Deborah Curtis, Ian's widow. Although both books set out to describe broadly the same events and tell the same story, they couldn't be more different. Deborah's book writes of home life with the troubled Ian Curtis including his difficulties coping with marriage and his responsibilities outside of the band, including fatherhood. Hooky's book writes of Ian Curtis from the perspective of a band member. They might have been writing about two different people. But both acknowledge this in the respective books - that Ian Curtis the Joy Division member and Ian Curtis the husband and father were two utterly different people and that Curtis himself had trouble reconciling his dual lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inside tale, 3 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (Hardcover)
I am a bit of a Joy Division geek, so hearing the tales told by someone who was in the heart of the band gives them a new and real feel. Hooky writes well, his style of writing is laid back and easy going.
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5.0 out of 5 stars joy division treat, 26 Jun 2013
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if you are a fan of new order or the preceding joy division you get an in depth read into peter hooks story of what was really going on behind scenes very upbeat entertaining read
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5.0 out of 5 stars hookeys on the ball, 3 Jun 2013
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got to know about joy division from somone who was there . no nonsense and deliverd with a deadpan sense of humour
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Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook (Hardcover - 27 Sep 2012)
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