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Life: Keith Richards Paperback – 26 May 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 465 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826614
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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)

The fact that Keith is still alive to tell the story is incredible. (Chris Tarrant THE SUNDAY EXPRESS S MAGAZINE)

Book Description

Once-in-a-generation memoir of a rock legend - the No. 1 SUNDAY TIMES bestseller.

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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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