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Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie Audio Download – Unabridged

3.8 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Format: Hardcover
Frank Sidebottom was a novelty act from the Manchester music scene of the late 80s/early 90s. Sporting a fibreglass cartoon head, Frank (played by Chris Sievey) would perform strange Beatles/Queen/Bruce Springsteen covers with his Oh Blimey Big Band, of which Jon Ronson was the keyboardist.

Ronson’s brief memoir comes out just as a movie version of Frank Sidebottom, starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal, is released and recounts the barmy days he was in the band. There isn’t much to this book – Frank was a character Sievey played who revelled in chaotic stage shows and whose success was relatively low (his biggest gig was opening for Bros at Wembley to an audience of 50,000 who booed him as he came out and played terrible renditions of Bros songs).

It’s kinda funny and tragic that there was this Jekyll/Hyde nature to Sievey and that he actually seemed to prefer being Frank to the person he was in real life, and that professionalism was the death of the band – Frank’s improv/freestyle showmanship was what made him stand out, and bringing in actual musicians and rehearsing made him less appealing to audiences. Ronson clearly liked Sievey a lot and his book casts him as crazy and George Bernard Shaw’s Unreasonable Man, but that these were admirable qualities in this unique individual and made him stand out.

Ironically, nearly everyone else in Frank’s periphery became hugely successful – but not Frank. Caroline Aherne, then a secretary at the BBC, played a character in a skit during Frank’s radio show: Mrs Merton. Aherne took the character and developed it into The Mrs Merton Show and the enormously successful follow-up, The Royle Family, making millions and winning numerous awards.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm a huge Frank Sidebottom fan. I was excited to find how we get from the real Frank to the Film Frank. Unfortunately I'm still none the wiser.

It's just so very very short (about 30 minutes reading time), and what it does say isn't all that illuminating or exciting.
It feels like a preamble from the longer book. But then you find you've got all the way to the end.
A very unsatisfying 30-minute read.

I'm baffled by the positive reviews others have given this.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a fan of Jon Ronson, I was looking forward to Frank despite only having a passing interest in Frank Sidebottom.

I think this is the only "book" that i've read from cover to cover in under 40 minutes.

The typeface can be read from the moon, there's scant information in the book, and it's basically a long article. There's next to no "on the road" anecdotes, and Ronson manages to make his time in the band sound like the worlds most boring experience.

The book could of benefited from some editing too. That said, doing so would of made this book the length of a menu.

It's worth a read for 50p on the kindle, sure. Don't buy the book though.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few interesting insights but overall this felt like a book written purely as something for Jon Ronson to sign at his talks about the film 'Frank' which is a film that's not really got much in common with the story of Frank Sidebottom. Short at under 70 pages many of which are photo pages, many of which are stills from the film. An brief introduction to Frank Sidebottom at best. Did I mention a film's been made...?
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Format: Hardcover
Terribly disappointingly short at only 70 pages or so and massive typeface. As someone else said here, it is an article really - you get more about Frank Sidebottom on Wikipedia.
Crikey, if Jon knew him, albeit for a short time, there was so much he should have said about the man behind the mask.
And let's be honest, he is owed that, because Frank was a genius, an overlooked Manc genius on a par with Tony Wilson, Hooky and Barney, Howard Devoto, Mark E Smith etc.
So why so little on him.
And it seems to me that Ronson is trying to justify why they made a film using the head of Frank, but set in America
WTF not just do on the real Frank Sidebottom and Chris Sievey - he is interesting enough as he was - and an enigma at that.
Frank S was British, English, a Mancunion. He was not and never has been American!
If the folks behind the film wanted to make some money they should have kept him English - the humour and the real Frank must be utterly lost on Americans.
This book is a lost opportunity. And the film it sort of promotes s a massive lost opportunity.
I hope someone does Frank and Chris justice and tells his real story.

But this book is a waste of money and not worth it.
Just glad my partner got it for me form our local library, and did not actually buy it
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it - wish there was more. This is not even a short story just an elongated article - bits of which I am sure I have read before. I really love reading Ronson's work but felt I'd been ripped off here. You can read it in under an hour.

I'd have paid money to read a "single" - I just wish I'd been told that's what this way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was familiar with Frank popping up on Channel 4 during my youth, x years ago. A quirky chracter that never quite made it. This very brief article/pamphlet has whetted my appetite for the forthcoming movie, which is probably the point, and I'll probably spend the next hour Youtubing clips.

59p is an OK price for a nice little read on the bus/train, anyone who would fork out £7.99 for the hardbook must be off their oversized papier mache head...
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