Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but I would've preferred a straight narrative, 7 Feb 2013
This review is from: X-ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography (Paperback)
I originally bought 'X-Ray' in hardback when it was first published - I even saw Ray read extracts from it in a bookshop in Muswell Hill, a few hundred yards from where his family used to live. Ray autographed my copy, but when I got it home and tried to read it, I found that Ray had penned it as if it was being narrated by an unnamed third person, who is employed by an unnamed, Orwellian type 'Corporation' that seeks to surreptitiously 'own' Ray Davies. Anyway, I should have stuck with it, because the bits where Davies speaks in the first person are illuminating and interesting, and veer from the very precise and detailed through to the sketchy. Ray's overview of where The Kinks stood in he great 60's Brit Rock pantheon - alongside The Beatles, Stones and The Who - is especially revealing. Back in the day, The Kinks released a 'B' side called 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else', which certainly informs much of Davies' 'outsider' status. The well-publicised spats and sibling rivalry with brother Dave is surprisingly not featured heavily, but his marital breakdown with first wife Rasa is. Also, the numerous bad business deals and litigation, and the painful effect of same on Davies is well-documented in 'X-Ray'; also, his descriptions of the breakneck pace of The Kinks commercial breakthrough in '64 with 'You Really Got Me', both in the UK and abroad, is vividly recalled, as well as the complexities of his family upbringing. Having read this, and the following 'Waterloo Sunset', it's arguable whether Ray comes across as likeable as his brother Dave did in 'Kink', but, to steal the title of one of his songs, he's 'One of the Survivors', and for his music, I for one am glad, and glad that this book exists. Buy, but with a little caution.
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3.8 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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