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Life: Keith Richards by [Richards, Keith]
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Life: Keith Richards Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 455 customer reviews

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Length: 558 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Review

"Rollicking and raw."--Andrew Abrahams, "People"

"Fiercely entertaining and candid."-- San Francisco Chronicle

"One of the greatest rock memoirs ever....The title of Richards' book is a simple, accurate description on the contents: the 66-year-old guitarist's highs, lows and death-defying excesses, from birth to now, vividly related in his natural pirate-hipster cadence and syntax." "David Fricke, "Rolling Stone"""

"You can't imagine that this book could be any better than it is...Keith holds nothing back. It's funny, gossipy, profane and moving and by the time you finish it you feel like you're friends with Keith Richards." "Will Dana, Rolling Stone""

"Entertaining...a slurry romp through the life of a man who knew every pleasure, denied himself nothing, and never paid the price." "David Remnick, The New Yorker""

"What kind of celebrity autobiography is his "Life"? A remarkable one. One that reveals Mr. Richards in far greater depth and detail than any fan of the Rolling Stones or rock music could have hoped for...Mr. Richards writes with disarming introspection about his childhood, family and fame. And it's quite likely that no rock musician has ever written so keenly about the joys of making music. With a warm sense of humor and willingness to share his grief, Mr. Richards in "Life" defies almost every public perception about him." "Jim Fusilli, "The Wall Street Journal"""

""Life", a firsthand journey from wartime London through the wilder parts of the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, could as easily be filed among the works of Richards' friend William Burroughs as alongside the memoirs of Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton.... It's the rare rock memoir with recipes (for bangers, English sausages), guidelines on street brawling (flash the knife as a decoy, then kick your enemy where it hurts) and staying awake for days.... "Life" is like the ultimate Keith Richards album." "Hillel Italie, "Associated Press"""

"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait. Surely thanks in part to his co-writer James Fox, Richards shows a strong, sure authorial voice, acute in detail, passionate about his achievements in music and nearly always amused by his excesses, not least in having survived them....spellbinding storytelling." "Richard Corliss, "TIME Magazine"""

"The twinkle from Keith Richards's eye throughout his autobiography "Life" is as distinctive as his famous guitar riffs in 'Jumpin' Jack Flash.'" "David Hinckley, "New York Daily News"""

"Rollicking and raw." "Andrew Abrahams, "People"""

"Richards' authorial voice is evident on almost every page and, like his singing one, it is both an entertaining and an ever-wandering instrument....he not only has the best tunes, he also knows how to tell the best tales." "Clark Collis, "Entertainment Weekly"""

"[Keith Richards has] created an insightful narrative--a story of fame, struggling with demons, and rock and roll....an opus on a lifetime of brutal honesty, an all-encompassing account of what it's been like to be one of the coolest rock stars in the world." "Kevin Fallon, "The Atlantic"""

"""The most scabrously honest and essential rock memoir in a long time....the voice that emerges is unmistakably the dark lord's: growly and profane and black with comedy." "Lou Bayard, "The Washington Post"""

"[A] fast-paced, pull-no-punches autobiography... Richards is at his best when digging into the reasons he plays music, and how he creates it." "The Chicago Tribune""



""Life "covers all the bases: sex, drugs, guitar riffs... the book, which already seems to have earned a place in the admittedly small canon of genuinely great rock lit, is dishy but not lurid, technical but not wonky. Richards' voice, filtered through Fox's brain, is so relentlessly endearing, no less a critic than Maureen Dowd has declared the prince of darkness a 'consummate gentleman.'" "Rebecca Dana, "The Daily Beast"""

"""[Richards] is funny, sharp, and insightful....the book is an important addition to the canon of rock lit, chronicling not just the life of an iconic musician and a seminal band but a significant slice of the golden age of rock." "Carlo Wolf, "Boston Globe"""

"Fiercely entertaining and candid." "San Francisco Chronicle""

"By turns earnest and wicked, sweet and sarcastic and unsparing, Mr. Richards, now 66, writes with uncommon candor and immediacy....He gives us an indelible, time-capsule feel for the madness that was life on the road with the Stones in the years before and after Altamont; harrowing accounts of his many close shaves and narrow escapes (from the police, prison time, drug hell); and a heap of sharp-edged snapshots of friends and colleagues...But "Life."..is way more than a revealing showbiz memoir. It is also a high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States. It's an eye-opening all-nighter in the studio with a master craftsman disclosing the alchemical secrets of his art. And it's the intimate and moving story of one man's long strange trip over the decades, told in dead-on, visceral prose without any of the pretense, caution or self-consciousness that usually attend great artists sitting for their self-portraits....Mr. Richards has found a way to channel to the reader his own avidity, his own deep soul hunger for music and to make us feel the connections that bind one generation of musicians to another. Along the way he even manages to communicate something of that magic, electromagnetic experience of playing on stage with his mates, be it in a little club or a huge stadium." "Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"""

"[Keith Richards has] been through quite a lot of phases. And they're all on the page in "Life."...All of this is recounted with straight-up candor... But is there anything new that can be said about the Stones anyway? As "Life" emphatically demonstrates, the answer is yes." "Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"""

""Life," a firsthand journey from wartime London through the wilder parts of the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, could as easily be filed among the works of Richards' friend William Burroughs as alongside the memoirs of Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton.... It's the rare rock memoir with recipes (for bangers, English sausages), guidelines on street brawling (flash the knife as a decoy, then kick your enemy where it hurts) and staying awake for days.... "Life" is like the ultimate Keith Richards album." "Hillel Italie, "Associated Press"""


""Life "covers all the bases: sex, drugs, guitar riffs... the book, which already seems to have earned a place in the admittedly small canon of genuinely great rock lit, is dishy but not lurid, technical but not wonky. Richards' voice, filtered through Fox's brain, is so relentlessly endearing, no less a critic than Maureen Dowd has declared the prince of darkness a 'consummate gentleman.'" "Rebecca Dana, "The Daily Beast"""

"Compelling, endearing, insightful, action-packed, graceful, generous-spirited, unflinching, and funny... "Life" distinguishes itself as a singularly entertaining and intelligent kind of music book. With the help, undoubtedly, of Fox in unearthing decades-old memory-jarring diaries and letters, it works as a lively you-are-there account of one man living through a socially and culturally transformative time....I could go on and on with the anecdotes and incidents from "Life," but space doesn't allow. Suffice it to say that if you're reading it in a room with somebody else who cares about rock-and-roll, you'll want to read something out loud every page and a half or so. I can't remember ever enjoying a music memoir as much." "Dan DeLuca," The Philadelphia Inquirer"""

"Why does Keith want to undercut his legend? Because he has much better stories to tell. And in "Life," the 547-page memoir he wrote with James Fox, he serves them up like his guitar riffs--in your face, nasty, confrontational, rich, smart, and, in the end, unforgettable....His story slows as it approaches the present, and you start to wonder if this Peter Pan life can get to its end without real pain....But mostly, you wish you could go back to the beginning of Life and start again." "Jesse Kornbluth, "The" "Huffington Post"""

"As the legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has done more, been more and seen more than you or I will ever dream of, and reading his autobiography, "Life," should awaken (if you have a pulse and an I.Q. north of 100) a little bit of the rock star in you.... Music is at the core of "Life," as it is at the core of Keith.... Believe me, you won't want to miss a thing. The most impressive part of "Life" is the wealth of knowledge Keith shares, whether he's telling you how to layer an acoustic guitar until it sounds electric, as he did on the classic Stones track "Street Fighting Man," or how to win a knife fight. He delivers recipe after recipe for everything rock 'n' roll, and let me say it's quite an education....Reading "Life" is like getting to corner Keith Richards in a room and ask him everything you ever wanted to know about the Rolling Stones, and have him be completely honest with you." "Liz Phair, "The New York Times Book Review"""

Review

a masterpiece, the most sustained, colourful and rambunctious rampage through his [Keith's] 67 years imaginable -- Mark Ellen THE WORD densely packed with incident ... immensely readable -- Lynn Barber SUNDAY TIMES Funny, poignant, brutally honest, engagingly colloquial, Life is pure Keith Richards, as good a rock memoir as you are likely to read. -- Sally Cousins SUNDAY TELEGRAPH This is a good, gossipy read. But the best stuff is Keith on music. Check out his wonderful passage on Charlie Watt's drumming. -- William Leith LONDON EVENING STANDARD Dark, honest and gleefully indiscreet from the first page to the last, it puts some of today's painfully dull musicians to shame. SHORTLIST Once you begin this, wild, wild horses couldn't drag you away. -- Boyd Tonkin INDEPENDENT A hilarious, ribald and often shocking tale told elegantly and with much candidness. CATHOLIC HERALD I was hooked from the start -- Giles Deacon HARPER'S BAZAAR Life may be the best rock star autobiography ever. CLASSIC ROCK A memoir so full of incident it feels like the author's lived three lives, not one. SUNDAY TIMES

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 14039 KB
  • Print Length: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (26 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047DVHV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 455 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,292 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Keith Richards is in danger of becoming respectable, what with starring interviews on the Andrew Marr show, bit parts in Disney's "the Pirates of Caribbean" and an emerging status as national treasure. He has even received the ultimate accolade this week namely a vicious attack from the increasingly insane ex Trot and current bigot Peter Hitchens who blamed him for causing more damage than the Iraq War and described him as "a debauched, capering streak of living gristle who ought to be exhibited as a warning to the young of what drugs can do to you". As usual Hitchens couldn't be more wrong since after reading "Life" a electrifying autobiography ghost written with James Fox someone ought to work out the physiology of Richards since the man is clearly indestructible despite the most astounding chemical intake and even more remarkable he appears to going as strong as ever. The life of this man who founded the Rolling Stones, invented rock guitar, gave us "Honky Tonk Women", "Brown Sugar", the seminal "Exile on Main Street" and a host of other treasures is something we should warmly celebrate and not carp about.

Great rock autobiographies are a rare species but this book by Richards amounting 547 pages ranging from a drug bust in Fordyce, Arkansas to a quick final explanation that he did indeed snort his Dad's ashes (but in a very affectionate way!) and ending in the death of his dear old mum Doris is a very intimate, revealing, warts an all account of a fascinating life packed with brilliant photographs and stories to spare. Fox has captured his subject well and you can hear Richards voice loud and clear with its colourful language of "cats", his love of Shepherd's pie ("don't bust the crust") and roguish charm.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's hard to judge this book. When I was thirteen my sister and I gravitated from Elvis and Cliff to the Beatles and the Stones, buying every LP as it was released. Later at University Beggars Banquet was played more than anything. Many years later I played Exile on Main Street solid for ten years, so much I can hardly listen to it now.

So I can't be objective, its like reading a book by my cousin. It's very very frank about relationships, about drugs, about occasional violence. There's a lot of stuff about musical technique, just like Miles Davis's autobiography, which it reminds me of. I don't understand most of this not being a guitarist, but the feel of these sections is great. It makes you want to get out all your John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed records.

The section about Brian Jones is revealing. This is actually the first book about the Stones I have read, so in comparison with the general familiarity from newspaper stories and rumours I had this is great, and Richards has an aura of telling the truth, by and large I would mostly buy what he's saying. There is also a very moving section about Gram Parsons, who seems to have been one of his closest musical associates and friends.

Earlier, all the stuff about his family is fabulous. Its worth tracking down the full length version of the Andrew Marr interview on BBCi incidentally, where Marr and Keith say his childhood was Dickensian which was exactly what was going through my head when I was reading about his wonderful family. His mother and his maternal grandfather were something else.

Some of the stuff about about the early sixties blues scene echoes what you can read in, say, a Pete Townshend biography I've read.
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By Friarofdoom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are bound to be many glowing reports from lifelong 'Stones fans who won't put up with any criticism or doubt. I'm no huge fan but you'd have to be pretty obtuse to deny the huge influence of the Rolling Stones and there are plenty of their tracks that I like and have done for years.
To be honest I didn't hold out much hope for this but must admit to being surprised at how well the reader is led along and at the candid way everything is laid bare including no few moments that don't exactly cover Mr. Richards in glory.
All the famous myths about him that have almost become urban legends are spoken about and quite a few lesser/ unknown ones too. He is very open about his myriad substances of choice and how they have influenced so much of his life. But these anecdotes aren't really what set this autobiography apart from any other. Rather it's the fascinating insights into his dynamic with the rest of the band, (often destructive and bitter but ultimately artistically productive and mellowed with age),.
There have been a lot of reviews that have tried to set this up as some sort of 'Keef against the world' type thing which frankly is rubbish. He has done pretty much whatever he wanted and although has nearly killed himself off all in all it seems to have been a bit of a blast. In all fairness he himself doesn't come across as someone either feeling hard done by nor as some sort of hero, (although many fans and peers would argue strongly that he is), but neither does he pretend to be 'just one of the lads'. His life has been well out of the ordinary and the events described in this book show just what a rollercoaster ride this man has chosen to be on and a sad look at those who left too early.
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