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4.8 out of 5 stars298
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 2014
I'll keep it brief and full of clichés (apologies) ... a real page-turner and hard to put down. Highly recommended whether or not you have any prior knowledge of The Slits. To be involved at the inception of the punk movement must have been amazing. A really great book.
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on 12 March 2015
Well written. Well edited. Never dull. Economical prose. Bite-sized chunks that always hold the attention.

This book:

*memorably captures the awkwardness/embarrassment of youth, the crippling awfulness of loss/abandonment, and the pain/desperation of suffocation of the human spirit in the midst of apparent affluence.

*documents the loss and rediscovery of creativity, and the ever-so-life-saving importance of being able to articulate somehow that which is inside.

*and all the while, it gives us a gripping account of musicians, punks, trend-setters, squats, clubs from the mid and late seventies London zeitgeist. The stand-out memories for me are the portrayals of the remarkable Ari Up, and the soon-to-be-famous Sid Vicious, but these are just two among many.

So, thank you Viv.
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on 10 September 2015
The first half is a heady and exciting telling of the dawn of punk and beyond, with Viv at it's core - giving a first hand account of all the big names and goings on - it's a who's who of anyone connected to the London punk scene. A brilliant slice of social history. It's simply written and direct, and all the better for it.

The second half is a highly personal journey concerning Viv's quest for motherhood and the (very) serious illnesses that followed. Sometimes harrowing but hugely heartfelt - it's completely engrossing. It stays with you for days afterwards...

Oh - and way better than John Lydon's book, which I found really hard going.
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on 12 September 2015
I really enjoyed this book. The chapters are split up into various years of Viv's life, from humble beginnings growing up through to the explosion of punk, the murky 1980s and up to the present day. Side 1 focusses on life before and through punk/music and Side 2 is the conclusion; post-punk and later life. I found Side 2 the most difficult to get through. There's a lot of honesty in this book and it's one thing I truly admire. For Viv's first book, it's very enjoyable for any fan of The Slits. Viv's voice is very present and some bits of this book made me laugh out loud. Clothes, Music, Boys is a must read for anyone who enjoys music, punk and women in rock.
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If you were a teenager/young adult in the late 70's to early 80's, and especially a punk rock fan (as I am), then you will enjoy this book. I wasn't a fan of The Slits, but really enjoyed Viv's story. She had a tough life, but also a determination to succeed, which she did. But it's not all about her and the group, she also talks a lot about other artists that she knew and hung out with like The Sex Pistols (one of my favourites). It's so interesting to hear what went on behind the scenes....in the recording studios, on tour, the fall-outs and the bonding. A well written book that has obviously come straight from Viv and not a ghost writer. Well worth a read!
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on 29 September 2014
Wonderful frank book which traces a life through 70's, 80's etc Britain lovely glance into the London music scene, the life of a woman in music & beyond. Much further beyond. I loved every minute of it.
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on 5 March 2016
Really Loved this Book.Viv Albertine's refreshing honesty and delivery are compelling from start to finish.Although maybe too honest and a bit Squirmy maybe for some fella's reading especially.I think the truth of her personal story is a Generous contribution to the Genre of Life Story's in the Music Buisness. Hopefully for Viv herself this Catharsis of writing her Story will give other's confidence to pursue their own creativity.It has certainly reminded and galvanised me in this way. Don't undermine your own ability because you want to do right by other's,be truthful to yourself and other's will love you more for it! Apart from maybe your Hubby!!
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on 12 January 2016
I like reading biographies and I've been through a lot of them. I didn't know anything about the author and had heard of but wasn't familiar with her band, The Slits. I read about this book somewhere and thought it would be interesting because of the era of which it was written about and which I wanted to learn more about. I hadn't read many music bio's from a woman's perspective and that idea was appealing too. I thought it was really good and a lot of it takes place right in the area of London I live too which was cool. I hear there may be a sequel of sorts and, if so, I would pick that up too.
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on 6 April 2016
Really enjoyed this book a refreshing look at this ladies early life I must confess that I have always had a soft spot for Viv it was at a Slits concert that I questioned what the hell I was doing with my life a subsequently changed my ways thanks Viv it was your doing.
This book took me back to those great days of growing up and enjoying life grabbing it by the balls and yelling up yours to all and sundry. I think I have always been in love with Viv (not in a creepy way) she was very bloody cool to me after 30 odd years I actually think I still love her read this book you will enjoy it.
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on 15 August 2014
I am a 47 year old Scottish male. Husband and father of three children two boys aged 22 and 21 and a daughter aged 16. I read quite widely from politics, philosophy, to popular and critically acclaimed fiction. I sort of know what I like. I read a review of this book in the Scottish press and was 20% attracted by the fact that Viv was in the Slits. I had not a lot of knowledge of them or their music but new of them and new much better some other bands around the same time. The other 80% that attracted me to the book from the review were the review claims about its beauty and raw honesty. The 80% led me to buy the book. The book is a beautifully open and honest account of someones life - their hopes, fears, dreams, struggles, pain, baggage, strength, determination, imperfections, doubts, frailties, talents and overall tenacity to stay the course. It is simply a beautiful book that shares real insights into a real life that most of us wouldn't dream of sharing. Adding to all all that it is well written, direct, built on short chapters and gives a very accessible real insight into the human condition, confronting much of what, I suspect, most people routinely and conveniently sweep under the carpet. Really didn't want the book to end and massively enjoyed the thought provoking insights shared with us in it.
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