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4.4 out of 5 stars68
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2011
Well, I'm slightly surprised, to say the least, at some of the more critical posts on the worthiness of this book.
Personally, I don't think it scratches the surface. More like it slices a forensic scalpel through the life and times of Freddie.
It claims to be 'definitive'...always a bold call. But, having read both this book and the first incarnation, I reckon it pretty much gets as close as you can to a sensible definition of a man who probably wouldn't even get to first base defining himself. Maybe he defied definitive definition.
Surely Freddie, the mercurial, was the archetype riddle wrapped up in an enigma; and all the more attractive for that.
We weren't supposed to understand him. But, let's face it, for us who we there at the time, he was the ultimate showman. He made David Bowie look like a support act. He made being camp cool. But the top line was he gave Queen a global anthemic edge which still plays loud and clear today.
So would we be surprised he had a complicated and turbulent private life? Not really.
Ms Jones, it would appear from the text, travelled with the band in its early days and chatted to FM on occasions. Her job as a rock correspondent for a top paper with her own TV show, would underline that position and a quick google shows her placement in rock n roll writing.
A bit like once upon a time sports reporters travelled with soccer teams, drank and partied with them and what happened on tour, stayed on tour. These days they don't even get on the tour.
That's why I like so much the informative intro when journalists actually took a moral stand to hold back on publishing details of a chance, unguarded meeting, because a guy had been honest and open. Especially in current times when newspapers are under criminal investigation for hacking phones, computers and allegedly paying bent coppers for information.
(I can't wait for the book on that.)
Ms Jones has patently travelled the world sourcing her information and, having read pretty much all the rival books, this does get under the skin of Freddie and Queen and the times back then when gayness and AIDS were both mostly treated with denial or suspicion.
She takes us on a fascinating trip around the world speaking to many close associates and friends of the man.
I liked it as a pacy and informative read, Freddie seen through his family and contemporaries.
The guy 's dead. Which is shame. But let's face it his influence and memory lives on.
If you like Freddie and Queen and want to learn more, you probably need tonbuthis book beyond all others in my humble opinion.
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on 22 February 2010
Start reading this book and you won't be able to put it down. But do expect some less-than-angelic features of a man with so much personality and talent that it spilled over and affected everyone that he met. This book is well researched and goes into fascinating details about Freddie's childhood; it is not a book about Queen.
Sticking purely to facts is very dry to read, so in places, L-A J does "put thoughts into Freddie's head" to aid the narrative.

There are still things we don't know - just WHY did such a bright pupil leave school with no O levels? And what did his parents - who paid for his education - have to say about it? There are some very funny anecdotes, and some serious ones which, in my opinion, suggest he knew he was probably infected with HIV in 84/85.
I loved hearing about those wild parties, I wish we could have heard about the unprintable bits! I've read Freestone's book, which passes over the less savoury
aspects of Freddie's nature, and I've read Hutton's book, which concentrates on the
relationship between Freddie and himself. This book is pure biography.
No matter how much I read about him, Mr.Mercury is a totally fascinating character.
Whatever is said about him, the reverse is true at times. One thing's for sure: he was very insecure. I think he spent his life trying to recapture the security he had
before he was sent to boarding school - on a different continent - at 8yrs old.
The photos are a little uninspiring and the details of his death are kept to a minimum,
but then, unlike Freestone and Hutton, L-A J. wasn't traumatised and grief-stricken
by being there to nurse him. The theory as to the true whereabouts of Freddie's ashes is interesting - always assuming that the caretaker was telling the truth and not just having a joke.
Even having his life disected and displayed by all the books about him, Freddie
manages to remain a larger-than-life legend.
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on 16 February 2013
Having already purchased the authors book, Ride a White Swan, The Lives and Death of Marc Bolan I knew that this book was a must have...
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on 20 March 2014
A good read - bought this second hand. It said nearly new - I think it was brand new and it only cost about a quid plus postage!
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on 22 November 2013
Brilliant read on a brilliant artist by a brilliant author; can't put it down. I know know far more about Freddie than I did
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on 15 November 2011
I wasn't going to buy this book...Seriously I wasn't, because I didn't see the point. I had read everything, listened to everything, and thought that I knew everything I needed to ever know about my hero, Freddie Mercury. To me, this was just a differently coloured version of the one I already have that holds pride of place on my bookshelf. Then I stumbled upon the 'Freddie Mercury - The Definitive biography' facebook page and saw that some of the comments were from people who had read the previous book and had actually bought this one too. What kind of fan am I?....What was i thinking?....Off I went to Amazon and I am glad I did. This is not just a book - this is an actual journey. I can say that I was on that plane with Lesley-Ann Jones and no-one can call me a liar because she brought me with her; She took me to Zanzibar, India, Back to London, I was with her at Live Aid and I was still with her until the last page. Lesley-Ann Jones has something I will always envy - she was there. Awesome read, well done Ms Jones.
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on 29 July 2012
For everyone who loved, and still loves, Queen - especially Freddie - this book is really good. Just buy it!
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on 11 January 2014
Good book bought for the wife she loved it and has read it from cover to cover, very good coverage
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on 13 March 2016
It says almost everything and whatever I was expecting to be there. Good Book easy read.
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on 15 September 2014
Loved Freddie/Queen's music - very much enjoyed the book.
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