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Chapter and Verse - New Order, Joy Division and Me Paperback – 10 Sep 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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  • Chapter and Verse - New Order, Joy Division and Me
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (10 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552170496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552170499
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Contains poignantly rendered family tragedies, told with warm humour and without self-pity... As well as showing a life saved and made by rock'n'roll, it illustrates someone almost effortlessly negotiating the rapids of success and stardom, armed only with street smarts and laconic Manc wit... A must for Joy Division and New Order fans'" (Irvine Welsh Esquire)

"A fascinating memoir...The book is filled with memories of every kind" (Mark Ellen The Times)

Book Description

The long-awaited autobiography of a legend of the Manchester music scene

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading this book not long after having read Peter Hook's Unknown Pleasures. While Hook's book is a quite detailed description of the Joy Division time, discussing many of the gigs and the recording process from their early demos to Closer, Sumner's book has a totally different approach. For starters, it is more personal, not only focusing on the band, but also on his life. Also, the chronology is not what you would expect. After having discussed Blue Monday, for instance, he suddenly skips a whole era and talks about Touched by the Hand of God and Confusion. In fact, he mainly discusses individual songs rather than albums. Movement is discussed quite lengthy, but the next album he talks about is Technique. Power, Corruption and Lies and Low-Life are not even mentioned (!), and Brotherhood is only talked about very early in one sentence about Saville's cover. Also, many other things are not or only minimally discussed; Gillian's sabbatical is not mentioned until the last pages of the book. His side on Hook's departure is explained in detail though. It is not the definitive New Order biography, but still it is an interesting read if you're a New Order fan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my view this memoir is badly written, dull and offer no insights. No idea why he decided to produce this. Turn to Hooky every time for a far more enjoyable romp through the history of the brilliant bands that were Joy Division and New Order.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great anthology of the entire Joy Division / New Order history. Very well written, funny, irreverent, and sad at times. A must read for any serious Joy Division fan or music enthusiast. The reason i have given this 5 stars is that this book delivered on everything I wanted to know about Joy Division & New Order. Read the appendices and read the interviews.. very very interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All good. As expected. Helpful too thanks
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would agree with those reviewers who found the book bettter at the start than the ending. For fans of the music this would always be the case I think. We want to know the influences behind the songs we love so much, and so the early life of a musician is always far more interesting. The Joy Division/New Order story has almost mythic status now, especially following the films 24 Hour Party People and Control, and Bernard adds a bit more fascinating detail to it. However, I would have prefered to read about the early NO albums rather than the other bands such as Electronic. As other reviewers have said, the book gets a bit patchy in the second half, where you get the feeling Bernard just wants to set the record straight. Especially with his fall-out with Peter Hook. And the clear message to all is that, as of 2014 when the book was published NO are still a band with a future. Bernard was proved right, as the album that was made subsequently, Music Complete, was a real return to form.
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Format: Paperback
I was really looking forward to reading this and enjoyed the first section covering his early life in Salford and early JD. It goes downhill from there though and ends up in a quite bitter ramble about the fall out with Peter Hook, in which Sumner does not come off well at all - it's like he's just out for some sort of payback and reads like a teenagers diary to be honest. I've read Peter Hook's Joy Division book and he's actually quite complimentary about Bernard Sumner (it's funnier and a better read too). Also, classic NO albums are glossed over or not even mentioned at all which is truly incredible - more mention is made of Electronic than NO's early albums. The whole reason I'm reading this is for an insiders account of the music and albums he's famous for (Joy Division & New Order) not boring stories of getting drunk with Johnny Marr & Bez and suffering hangovers, although the bands time spent in NY is fairly interesting. Disappointing. Avoid.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Chapter and Verse" starts off well enough - as a readable account of Bernard Sumner's childhood, but as it goes on the chronology gets messier and messier, to the point where it starts to confuse even me, as someone who is already very familiar with history of New Order and their label, Factory Records.

In particular, the parts about the business end - of running the Hacienda club and the record label - just aren't clearly enough explained.

So far as the music is concerned, Bernard comes across as a good guy with noble principles and amazing technical knowledge. In fact Barney's knowledge of equipment strikes me as being so good that he should write a book about that instead.

But, so far as former bass player and founding member Peter Hook his concerned, Bernard uses a good part of the book to have a go at him. This is pointless: to me it's like trying to involve the reader in a family argument that they do not and cannot possibly understand. What is the author trying to say? That New Order would have been a better band without Peter Hook? I don't think so. Unfortunately Barney's moaning (and even though he admits to it) leaves a bitter taste. This is a pity as Sumner undoubtedly has it in him to write a much more entertaining book. It's not that "Chapter and Verse" is badly written per se - it's a better style of writing than many rock music books (including some of those written by journalists) - but it does, particularly towards the end, jump backwards and forwards in time far too much.

Better editing could have improved this book. As it is, it's certainly worth a read (and not unenlightening) if you're a big New Order fan - but for anyone else, looking to learn about the group or who just wants a bit of light reading, look elsewhere.
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