A Drink with Shane MacGowan Paperback – 8 Mar 2002
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'A welter of colourful yarn and lecture based indiscriminately on deep knowledge and fathomless ignorance...' -- Q
'Frank, funny and fascinating.' -- Loaded
'Tells his mythic life story in the form of a number of rambling, yet intriguing conversations...' -- Justine Picardie, Daily Telegraph
'This endearing memoir... is Irish rock, distilled.' -- Sunday Times
'Unexpectedly excellent results... the insights into his massive ego, music-making and death-wish lifestyle are truly wicked.' -- Mirror
Hell-raiser Shane MacGowan's acclaimed and surprisingly lucid memoir.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Here instead Shane spouts his own murky blatherings to his Mrs and the tape recorder picks it all up, including Victoria's blunt & sometimes annoying questions & Shanes self aggrandising bull. There are raucously funny moments though, Shane describing how he painted himself blue on tour in New Zealand after Maori ghosts had persauded him to redecorate his hotel room, or where he's trying to persaude Victoria that Brandy is a truck load more deadly than crack cocaine.
His memories of childhood Ireland are intense as well, and his sensitive and depthy knowledge of Irish literature reveal a very clever man, who really never recovered from the break up of his beloved Pogues, which is evident in the bitter way he talks about them.
If your looking for a biography in the classic sense, this isn't it but then Shane is not exactly the 'classic' rock star celebrity. You can feel the warmth and passion of the man though through the pages when one of his rants occasionally ignites into something special. If he's p***ing himself about Samuel Beckett wanting to play cricket for Ireland, or musing on whether he could yet be the first Irish Pope you acn't help but revere the guy. You just have to wade through a bit of drool and spittle to get to the good bits, and at paperback prices it's worth it.
Even the attitude of the book is chaotically in keeping with this innovative and unpredictable character. It is written in the form of a number of interviews between MacGowan and his long-term partner Victoria Mary Clarke, normally in restaurants, bars or in some cases his childhood home. Even though they are set out as a series of questions and answers, you get the feeling that it all flows naturally like a conversation between two acquaintances should and that Clarke's questions are more of a prompt to keep her subject on track rather than a script upon which to build the book. This does mean that the stories told in the book don't always follow a chronological path through his life but rather form chapters roughly segregated into certain subject areas.Read more ›
Here the great-man casts his blurry eyes over everything from the importance of Irish literature, the current political problems of the country, his musical influences (everyone from the Dubliners and the Chieftains to Nick Cave and Van Morrison) and of course his infamous past discrepancies. Of course, whether or not any of this is TRUE is uncertain. Shane spins yarns with all the poetic grace of his many literary heroes, but the inconstancy of his stories (as well as the historical inaccuracies) are at times shocking. Maybe we needed a more neutral interviewer as opposed to Shane's wife Victoria Clark, who often allows herself to be argued down by the drunken rocker, instead of clearing up the facts.
This can be a problem, but as I said earlier; this is such an entertaining read that I personally can forgive the lack of clarity and instead, allow myself to be taken along on MacGowan's often-hilarious journey into the past. I'm sure there will be a better book released in the near future that will give us the true background of MacGowan and his fellow Pogues, but for the time being, I'm quite happy to revisit with this... and I'm sure you will be too. I'm gonn'a give it a four.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Shane MacGowan but I found this book unreadable, self-indulgent and badly written. Don't bother.Published 2 months ago by manettoporti
I first read this maybe 10 years ago when I was a naiive indie kid. Recently I tried to read it again and, well, got half way before I could take no more. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul McLay
Overall the book was very enjoyable, however, I didn't give it 5 stars because quite often Shane will go on a tangent and talk about something irrelevant and uninteresting for a... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amber
just about to read it but the description says he was born on a farm in tipperary are not true he was born in kent englandPublished 18 months ago by brian robinson
This is a must read for anyone intrigued by Shane MacGowan. Shane is credited with co-writing the book, but is less than comfortable with that. Read morePublished on 19 Feb. 2012 by Bob Mamrak