Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

6
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
3
2 star
1
1 star
0
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2010
Len Brown's book, 'Meetings with Morrissey' is a fantastic read for those with litle knowledge of the artist who are seeking to gain an insight into the influences and history of Morrissey. Len Brown obviously has a great insight into how Morrissey works given his numerous meetings with the former Smith. In 'Meetings' Brown nails down, almost completely, almost everything one would desire to know about Morrissey's greatest influences; Oscar Wilde, sixties 'sirens', James Dean, glamorous punks and the rest. Brown leaves no stone unturned when recollecting how, when and why the artist became so enthralled in subjects that have provided him with inspiration for some of his most famous songs. The stars humble beginnings with The Smiths and their untimely downfall is also retold in gorey detail, only leaving some mystery into the deeper reasons behind the bands split. Brown also manages to cover, satisfyingly enough Morrissey's solo career from leaving the Smiths right up until 2006's 'Ringleader of the Tormentors'. There can be no complaints that the author has not done his homework, sadly, however, this is where the problems arise.

As a result of Brown's deep, deep knowledge of the star through his meetings he falls into two unfortunate pitfalls that demerit the book. Firstly, Brown devotes too much time to the study of Oscar Wilde's influence on Morrissey. Anyone who knows even a small bit of trivia about the singer will know how immensely influential the Irish literary figure has been on his song-writing and career. Brown begins to repeat specific facts about Wilde over and over, certain dates, places and even an entire chapter that concern Wilde make for frustrating reading as Brown veers too far away from the books main subject. Secondly, Brown places too much of his own life into the book, while some readers may find this helpful and endearing of the writer I personally felt that it became as though Brown was almost willing Morrissey's life and his own to be intertwined to a much greater degree than they really are. One can appreciate that since the book is based on Brown's meetings with Morrissey that the author understandably makes himself present within the pages of the book, however, facts about his life- such as his brothers death, his employment, etc- seem superfluous. As a slight aside, his undying support, approval and joy at almost everything the singer does can be nauseating at times.

As I stated initally, this book is recommended reading to any fledgling fans of Morrissey who wish to learn more about the star, also, hardcore fans may find something new about their hero that they didn't already know. My advice would be to purchase this book if you are a Morrissey fan at any level, because if you aren't completely satisfied with Brown's interviews with Morrissey you can always stand to learn more about Oscar Wilde or Len Brown himself.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2013
I really enjoyed this book much more than Moz's recent autobiography. Len's account of Morrissey from Smiths to Ringleader is very warm and intimate and makes you fell like you were there during their conversations. The obvious friendship between the two men is the glamorous glue that holds the book together. I actually learned some new information while reading this book, which is a rare thing.
There are a couple of pesky insects in the ointment however:
1. Len spends far too much time detailing the Oscar Wilde connection and at one point in the final chapter almost seems to infer that Moz may be a reincarnated Wilde; comparing timelines and commen events in their lives. Note: He doesn't come out and say it so perhaps I am reading too much into it.
2. I was expecting more actual interviews, more transcribed conversations. Instead there was a fair amount of interviews padded out by album reviews etc. Still it was a good read and I especially liked the interviews with Stephen Street.

I didn't mind Len's dragging his own life into the story as it made the book more human. Also, Len's intelligent approach and research helped greatly in explaining Morrissey's fascination with books, film, plays and music and how they have influenced him (as detailed in the appendix on 'Morrissey's People'). Morrissey's deep interest in death and suicide is not news to the serious fan but on a few occasions in the book he mentions cases where people have killed themselves after their mother died (e.g. Jimmy Clitheroe). Let's hope this is not an idea floating around the back of Moz's mind.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2008
Meetings with Morrissey is an account of a series of interviews with Morrissey over a 25 year period conducted by former NME man Len Brown. Not alone, Brown spent the early eighties frustrated and depressed by the state of the country and the music it was producing. That was until September 1983 when he first saw The Smiths and his despair at the re-election of Mrs Thatcher and the accompanying celebration of all things crass had a soundtrack, and a voice. Consequently, this book is more social history than biography. There are other books which focus in on the split between Morrissey and Marr and the endless (and pointless) speculation on Morrisey's sexuality and it is to this books credit that it does neither. Instead, it offers an analysis of not just why The Smiths were a great band but from whence came that searing critique which lifts The Smiths work out of the annals of pop music and places it alongside other great works of art. That critique was Morrissey's. While everybody else seemed to be saying `this is brilliant', Morrissey expressed an emotional language that I didn't have to say what I really thought and felt, `this is awful'. By revisiting the interviews he conducted with Morrissey, Brown is able to shed light on the key influences upon Morrissey. The chapter on Oscar Wilde is brilliant and gets closer than anything else to explaining the sense of sexual alienation and tragedy which underpin Morrissey's best work. However, this is just one aspect of the many and interconnected cultural stimulus that is explored to great effect. From soap opera characters to French cinema Brown creates a work that is insightful on a much deeper level than simply 'what happened where'.

Whilst an illuminating insight of itself, it is the personal and socio-political context of the period through which Brown weaves his insights into Morrissey's life and art which make this book such a tender and worthwhile exposition. Brown gives as much of himself as he does of Morrissey and in doing so brings the reader into intimate contact with something of themselves. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, somehow, it really did say something about my life.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 August 2008
I was really looking forward to this book. Brown has undertaken countless interviews with Morrissey over the years and I expected great things from him.

Having now finished reading `Meetings with' I can honestly say that I found it quite a let down. The problem as I see it is that Brown has attempted to construct a biography of sorts but he fails to address any aspects of Morrissey's personal life which is frankly pretty crucial in any biography. Also, the analysis and exploration of Morrissey's work and career is not consistent. Some albums such as `Southpaw' and `Maladjusted' are given around only half a page each. Even his more commercially favoured albums, though given a little more attention, are skipped over with little detail in my opinion.

Where it does work of course is in allowing us fuller transcripts of the interviews undertaken with Morrissey over the last 25 years or so. As I've said elsewhere Morrissey gives great interview so these sections are pretty valuable. Also, unique to this Morrissey book, Brown does explore Morrissey's influences with significant focus, notably Wilde, which is very enlightening.

Brown and Morrissey have endured a 'friendship' of sorts over the years and this unfortunately is another difficulty. The book makes very little criticism of Morrissey and even I, as a longstanding fan, know that there is scope for constructive negative comment in the man's career.

Overall it's worth reading for the interviews but Rogan's seminal `Morrissey and Marr' still remains the biography of choice alongside Simpson's intelligent and very witty `St Morrissey' study.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I found this book just a little too focussed on Len Brown and not enough on Morrissey.

Although some of the passages are illuminating and show Morrissey tantalisingly off-guard for a change, all too often, Len seems to take valuable page after page to keep you abreast with his own life - cheers, Len!

Also his writing style seems to be that of a sycophantic 6th former, delriously in love with his subject - a missed opportunity :(
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2008
Len Brown, the man who "has interviewed Morrissey more times than any other journalist", has intricately pieced together quotes and facts from all over in create this biography of Morrissey. As such, you don't really get anything here that you can't already find in other places, but you certainly are left with an interesting account of one of the most unique singers in the history of popular music.

Going by Morrissey's mantra that "everything's linked" in regards to himself and the artists he loves, Brown attempts to link Morrissey's words and songs with the idols of his youth and adulthood, particularly with Oscar Wilde. Until reading this book, I had never realised the extent to which these famous and cult faces (all "outsiders", as Brown notes, much like Morrissey himself) bore such relevance to the music of Morrissey and The Smiths. In fact, Brown seems to suggest that everything Morrissey has ever written has been inspired by these people in some way, and he makes some pretty convincing cases in the process. However, a lot of the time it also seems like he's trying too hard to find a link, and sometimes it can become quite boring to read because of this.

Brown definitely isn't "out to get" Morrissey, like so many British music journalists out there, and this biography is quite even-handed over all. But he is, by his own admission, a die-hard Morrissey fan. In fact, judging by some of the scenes he describes in this book of his meetings with Morrissey, it almost seems like the two of them are pretty close friends. The constant praise that he showers Morrissey with throughout the work (even if it's justifiable praise - he knows what aspects of Morrissey deserve praise and he isn't afraid to criticise) prevents it from being completely impartial. But, then, I don't think he ever wanted it to be that way. He's a fan writing about a singer who he loves.

Over all, this is definitely an interesting read. Morrissey's views on music and the world are worth reading and are often very funny, and his love of the idols of his past is almost contagious. However, reading all of these interviews compiled into one nice volume does unintentionally highlight Morrissey's sheer arrogance in certain respects (although, it's certainly arguable that that is part of his very unique appeal). Also, while it may be very a very interesting read over all, it does go on a bit, and it is quite boring at times. I think that you'd have to be a really, really big Morrissey fan to be able to truly appreciate this book. I'm a huge fan, but even I got a bit fed up at times.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Morrissey: in His Own Words
Morrissey: in His Own Words by Morrissey (Paperback - 1988)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.