16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Truly Fantastic, Captivating and Articulate,
This review is from: Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs (Paperback)
John Lydon writes the way EVERY writer should write - clearly and concisely. Indeed, I would say that this is the best autobiography I have EVER read.
What immediately strikes the reader is John's wit. He is simply one of the most irreverant, unconvential, funny men I have ever discovered. Whether describing the pitiful Malcom McLaren or his Grandfather's genitalia, I was literally roaring with laughter at most of the sentences here. He is as sharp as a razor and just as deadly. If he encounters anyone in the slightest way stupid, contrived or dull, he will reduce them to the size of a pin-head in a matter of seconds. Everyone should be like John Lydon! (If everyone were like John Lydon, life might actually be a little more interesting.)
He has also invited various other people woven into his life story to write passages for this book - helpful when trying to get an accurate picture of the punk story and it's aftermath. It is actually a very interesting technique, asking other people to contribute passages for an autobiography, but an effective one, as it enables the reader to get an ENTIRE picture, rather than something one-sided. Also, it is a technique which few, if any other writers have used, but that is the essence of John Lydon - always breaking boundaries, defying expectations and conventions, always being challenging. He is nothing short of a genius.
For a man who has fronted two of the best bands ever, (Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited), he is surprisingly down-to-earth. Indeed, most people in his position disappeared up their own backsides years ago - but this is not so with Lydon. For all his money, success, and fame, he speaks with a fiercely honest, working-class tongue. How utterly refreshing!
This book not only gives an overview of the pre-sex pistols era in Lydon's life, but also goes into the Sex Pistols era in great depth - making interesting, revelatory reading material in the process. It also touches on the PiL era, which is arguably just as, if not more important than Lydon's work with the Sex Pistols. Lydon is a pioneer - in every sense of the word.
There are also some poignant moments here, including Lydon recounting the death of his mother. He also laments over the Sid Vicious/Malcolm Mclaren debacle. It is here that Lydon reminds us of one of his most reflectve moments: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" Thus, he superbly illustrates the exploitative and money-grabbing nature of the human demon that is Malcolm Mclaren, a snivelling, posho weasel who dragged the Sex Pistols down until they could no longer get back up.
He is superbly cutting to all who posess a dubious set of values, including the groupie from hell Nancy Spungen, who he calls a name so vile I cannot write it here. Fantastic! If it were not for that particular human abomination, perhaps Sid Vicious would still be alive today.
You simply have to read this book - it is the work of music's most honest man. This book is in turn irreverent, unconventional, challenging, witty, brutal and hilariously honest. What a monumentally unique and remarkable man John Lydon really is!