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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dislocation
Everyone has a right to tell their own story. They have the right to give their point of view of their own life. I loved the Hacienda book (which I once saw in a bookstore under the section True Crime). Unknown Pleasures is filled with humour and regret. It's well balanced and shows almost a third-person singular admiration and shock at what happened. It has a...
Published on 1 Oct 2012 by Indiana's and Bugs owner

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9 of 9 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 22 months ago by disturbedchinchilla


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dislocation, 1 Oct 2012
Everyone has a right to tell their own story. They have the right to give their point of view of their own life. I loved the Hacienda book (which I once saw in a bookstore under the section True Crime). Unknown Pleasures is filled with humour and regret. It's well balanced and shows almost a third-person singular admiration and shock at what happened. It has a collector's obsessiveness and an undercurrent of detective work. It's as if, if you could only figure out the mystery of your past, you could find the moment that would have made it all different. This makes Unknown Pleasures more than a book about a band; it's a book about trying to make a coherent narrative of your own life. Your adult self asks so much more than is possible from your younger and more foolish self.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one for the fans I think..., 31 Dec 2012
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 the pranks played on other bands (showers of maggots anyone?).

It feels a little mean-spirited to criticize something that is so obviously heart-felt and genuine, but it does ramble on a bit, and yes, while it is touching to see Curtis transformed from the rain-coated doom-monger of legend into a human being (and a bit of a jack-the-lad, despite the Kafka and William Burroughs fixation), a little more depth here and there would have been nice.

Hook intersperses the narrative with a series of time-lines, which basically read like filler: and then we played this gig which was ok but the playlist could have been better and then we played somewhere else and my bass string broke and then we released this flexidisc etc. etc. Much of the detail is repeated (more effectively) in the main parts of the book.

Similarly, Hook's blow-by-blow breakdowns of 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'Closer' are almost autistic in their almost total focus on the technical details of the recording process, with little or no emotional comment on the songs themselves (other than 'great song this one', 'I thought this was too slow when we did it but now I think it's ok'). In fairness, he does give a little anecdotal detail about Curtis' inspiration for 'She's Lost Control', but I suspect most readers will know the background already.

Of course, If you're a Joy Division / New Order fan, you will lap all of this up. It's hardly a classic like 'Rip it Up and Start Again' (Simon Reynolds - who himself has some provocative things to say about the band - stadium rockers in waiting?) or Jon Savage's unmatchable book on punk,'England's Dreaming', but, as pub-corner raconteur, Hook does a man's job.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, amusing, poignant (and other rejected titles for Joy Division albums), 8 Oct 2012
By 
Runmentionable "Why Be A Raisin When You Can ... (Exiled Mackem) - See all my reviews
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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 that say more about those making them than they do about Hooky and his book. Any surviving member of Joy Division not only has the right to relate their side of the story, they should be encouraged to do so. Though it's hard to picture Barney or Steven coming up with anything more entertaining and revealing than this.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. Hooky's own account of his life up till the death of Ian Curtis is no-one's idea of great writing. It reads like transcriptions from conversation rather than written prose, and would benefit from some judicious editing to remove repetitive phrasing, vague phrases and lazy cliches. Had such minimal amounts of polish been applied, this would be a five-star review.

Now here are the positives. It may need some editing, but too much would be a disaster, because there's no doubt (unlike previous hack-jobs like the autobiographies of John Lydon and Mark E. Smith) that no ghost-writers are involved. Apart from a few contextual notes to set the scene, this is clearly Hooky's unadulterated voice, and while there may be repetitions and lazy cliches, they're HIS repetitions and lazy cliches. Which means the tone of the book is relaxed, amiable and amusing, and outrageously rude, in all senses of the word (and with particular regard to his former pals in New Order, though he's always quick to praise them as musicians). It's a quick, easy and frequently very funny read. But it's also very touching as it becomes clear that Hook and the rest of the band really didn't know what was going on with Ian Curtis, and Hook is still asking himself lots of "What if?" questions. It may seem implausible, but as Hook rightly points out, young men from that time and place just weren't equipped to realise their mates were having major emotional problems, let alone feel they could and should do something about it.

Anyone interested in reading this probably knows the basic Joy Division story inside out by now. In that sense there's no further enlightenment to be had here (though the detailed chronological notes and comments on the albums will be of interest). What is new and illuminating is the perspective. We see a different Ian Curtis here - the band member, ambitious, fiercely loyal to the band, and also up for the kinds of bad behaviour which very young men on the road will inevitably indulge in. There's lots of that here, and it's in marked and often very amusing contrast to the image those of us reading the music press at the time were presented with (partly, it turns out, because Rob Gretton forbade the "thick ****s" Hooky and Barney from speaking out in interviews).

This new perspective immediately means this becomes one of the three most important Joy Division books, alongside those by Deborah Curtis (showing us Ian as the family man) and Paul Morley (showing us, indirectly of course given the author, Ian the intellectual). What none of them do, of course, is tell us how four ordinary herberts produced music of such emotional power, formal beauty, blazing originality and lasting significance. Probably only one person could tell us that, but, 32 years on, even if there is an afterlife, he's not saying anything.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A damn good read!, 27 Sep 2012
By 
Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division - Peter Hook

Peter Hook - Unknown Pleasures -Inside joy division, the ultimate, all-encompassing definitive guide into one of the most influential bands of a generation.
Written in the same forthright, tongue in cheek, tell it as it is vein as his previous book "The Hacienda - How Not to Run a Club "Hooky starts this epic tale with stories from his early life to meeting Bernard Sumner at Salford Grammar School, to the formation of the band, from the original recording of An Ideal For Living, the recording of the Unknown Pleasures LP on Factory, right until the untimely death of one of the most charismatic lead singers in the last 40 years.
The book is split into five parts. Timelines are provided at the end of each part with specific dates and years which were pertinent to the band and Peter Hook. The timeline at the end of part one lists the dates and years of birth of anyone important to the Joy Division story. The timeline in the epilogue covers the final two years of the band.

Throughout the book the scene is set with paragraphs about what was happening with the band at that particular point. This is then followed by Hooky's narrative on what was happening from his own perspective. This helps the reader to understand what was happening in terms of gigs, record sales and management and what was happening on the road and behind the scenes with the band themselves.
Closer and Unknown Pleasures are dissected track by track. This gives the reader an insight into Hooky's memories of recording the track and his thoughts on the tracks themselves. This in itself is interesting reading for any Joy Division fan that already has their own thoughts on the albums and individual tracks.
The book also contains never seen before photographs of the band and two pictures from the wedding of Ian and Deborah Curtis.

Hooky is frank in his account of the friendships and fallouts among the band members and those who came into their realm. His honesty is all the more apparent when talking about the death of Ian Curtis and the impact this had on himself and the beginning of the end for Joy Division.
This an easy to read book detailing every aspect of the ups and downs of four young men beginning their journey from humble beginnings in Lancashire to becoming one of the most influential bands of the post punk era.
Steve Smith
neworderweb.net
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the heart, 30 Sep 2012
This book will divide opinion; "the true word" vs "milking". I favour the former - northern lads with fab talent inadvertently become gods. Lots of little nuggets as well but maybe a jape too many. Nice glosses on Closer and U pleasures.If you liked Control then this will go well with that; grounded, detailed and pacy. I liked Hooky more as a result and you can play "I was at that gig" in the history chapters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars joy division, 11 Jan 2013
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This was bought for a christmas present for my husband who saw the last gig joy division did before the singer killed himself.
He loves the book and the interesting information on the life of the band coming from one of its members.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hooky's ripping madchester yarns, 29 Sep 2014
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Another very enjoyable book from Hook who once again manages to tell a story which on face value is a set of ripping yarns but with ominously dark undertones. This is the story of the conception, rise and demise of Joy Division and Hook takes us on a journey giving us suitable anecdotes as the story progresses; some of which are hilarious, some almost unbelievable and some tragic. Hook's love of Curtis and Joy Division provide the back bone of the story and once both go we feel for the band's loss in particular the sense of feeling Hook has for Curtis. The book perhaps misses out on developing the story of the early Factory influence, although the characterisation of Hannett is an interesting part and Factory is more than covered in the Hacienda book. And I fail to agree with Hook's explanation that JD were a punk band. The album notes are a great feature - have it ready when you read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown Pleasures, 10 May 2013
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My husband was a big Joy Division fan back in the day so this was a great stocking filler to buy him last christmas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy To Read, 16 April 2013
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Hooky has written a very well presented and well written book. Its full of information,quotes and tales told in a very witty but sensible fashion. At times it seems you could be sat in a pub with him listening to yet another anecdote and eagerly waiting for the next before buying the old git another pint (of lemonade these days). Giving the less than harmonious relationship with Bernard at the moment its good that hooky hasn't just filled the book by slagging him off. Its a corker of a book so I recommend you should buy it. How about Vol.2 What New Order Did Next? Get writing!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny that, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Kindle Edition)
You wouldn't think a book about joy division could be funny but it is .it is also insightful and endearing.
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Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook (Paperback - 25 April 2013)
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