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Morrissey: Autobiography Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 567 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611762901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611762907
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.7 x 14.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,356,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Five stars. With typical pretension, Morrissey's first book has been published as a Penguin Classic. It justifies such presentation with a beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation, revelling in a kind of morbid glee at life's injustice with arch, understated humour ... It is recognisably the voice of the most distinctive British pop lyricist of his era (Neil McCormick Daily Telegraph)

A brilliant and timely book ... What is so refreshing about Morrissey's Autobiography is its very messiness, its deliriously florid, overblown prose style, its unwillingness to kowtow to a culture of literary formula and commercial pigeon-holing ... Autobiography is a true baggy monster, a book in which a distinctive prose style is allowed to develop ... A rococo triumph ... Overwhelmingly this is a book to be thankful for ... In the ways that matter, Autobiography reads like a work of genuine literary class (Alex Niven Independent)

Sharply written, rich, clever, rancorous, puffed-up, tender, catty, windy, poetic, and frequently very, very funny. Welcome back, Morrissey (Michael Bonner Uncut Magazine)

Rancorous, rhapsodic, schizophrenic: Autobiography delivers a man in full (Andrew Male Mojo)

If one is willing to accept that a Morrissey book could be a classic, then the book justifies its status remarkably early on. ... As a work of prose Autobiography is a triumph of the written word (Louder than war)

Funnier than the Iliad ... A triumph (Colin Paterson Today Programme, BBC Radio 4)

One of the autobiographies of this or any year ... A wonderfully entertaining read. He's as witty, acerbic and opinionated as you'd expect, but there's a welcome self-awareness throughout that makes the dramatic flourishes and hyperbolic dismay all the more hilarious. He may have more flaws than Manchester's Arndale Centre but he's just brilliantly, uniquely Morrissey (Daily Mirror)

Morrissey's Autobiography is brilliant and relentless. Genius, really (Douglas Coupland)

Well, so far Morrissey's book is an absolute masterpiece; no doubt the whole stinking country will hate it. (Frankie Boyle)

This is the best book ever. Like ever (Wonderland)

Carried along on quite extraordinary prose (Time Out)

The Best Music Biog Ever ... In the world of rock autobiographies, Morrissey's is nigh-on perfect (Ben Hewitt NME)

Practically every paragraph has a line or two that demands to be read aloud to the mirror, tattooed on foreheads, carved on tombstones (Rolling Stone)

Morrissey is a pop star of unusual writing talent (The New York Times)

Autobiography is a rich and substantial work, the figure emerging at its centre both compelling and complex. Those who know his music will be unsurprised by the qualities of Morrissey's prose, which is ornate, windswept, elusive yet never tricksy, and full of unexpected twists and thrusts. He writes with understanding (albeit often with a tout comprendre c'est rien pardonner caveat) and is most of all straightforwardly moving; never more so than when writing about his childhood (Gwendoline Riley Times Literary Supplement)

Autobiography doesn't disappoint. In its pages Morrissey manages to perform the neat trick of deconstructing his own myth while at the same time adding to it. Old scores are settled and anyone who ever crossed the singer is neatly decapitated herein by withering, barbed prose. Things could have gone very differently for Morrissey. He could have ended up cleaning canal banks or delivering the post for a living. Both of these outcomes would have left the world a far duller place. Autobiography is the man in his own words and, Morrissey being Morrissey, this means that we are presented with an account that is real and fantastic, unapologetically romantic and brutally honest. The die-hard fans have read the book already but for anyone with even a passing interest in what makes one of the most individual and unflinching voices in British pop music tick, Autobiography is essential (Loud and Quiet magazine) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Train, heave on to Euston. Awaiting the launch of my Autobiography, Penguin Books have incarcerated me in a tawdry penthouse flat at 6 Grosvenor Square. The harsh London light through the floor-to-ceiling windows peels my eyeballs, my feet wince at the coarse touch of the cashmere and angora carpet, and as I numb the pain with a third Grey Goose, my mind drifts back to Nan's tenement at 69 Saddleworth Cuttings, Strangeways. Here, behind the rainy Salford Road, I would watch the damp grey wallpaper peeling slowly off the walls, licking my wounds after yet another day of casual brutality from the callous, sadistic teachers of Rusholme Secondary Modern, where the education was never modern, and my needs and feelings were always secondary.

The doorbell rings. Is it Jobraith? Is it The New York Dolls, on bended knee, begging me to become their lead singer? No, alas, it is the frightful and blancmange-like Debbie, my PA from Penguin, clutching an advance copy of my book. My heart sinks from wounds already inflicted and wounds still to come. Already the Penguin philistines have rejected my glamorous cover art (a black and white Alain Delon posing naked over Oscar Wilde's grave, drinking a glass of milk). Typical. I tear disinterestedly at the brown paper, fearing the worst. The cover is predictably a travesty. Although it mentions my name (in an insultingly small typeface) and features a dismissively small photograph of me, over 50% of the surface area is utterly wasted and makes no reference to me at all. Not one. It is yet another nail hammered through my palm by the uncaring powers that be.
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Format: Paperback
There is a moment in his autobiography where Morrissey complains about the disappointment of his lunches with surviving members of the New York Dolls. They aren't at all interested in him, don't want to talk about the things that fascinate him about the Dolls and are just not the people that existed in his mind; a perfect allegory for this hugely disappointing and woefully undisciplined book that is still as compelling as lunch with David Johansen probably is.

It turns out that Morrissey doesn't want to talk about what interests me. His relationship with his father, the meaning behind his lyrics, how the songs were composed, walking out on the David Bowie tour, playing with three fifths of the ex Smiths at Wolverhampton whilst 2 were suing him, the Jonny Rogan biography, none of that gets a mention. Because Morrissey wants to slag off Geoff Travis and Judge John Weeks for page after page after page. He even repeats the same insults (seriously, get an editor!).
He also wants to slate most of the people he has worked with, obsess over chart positions and generally blame every record company and manager he has worked with for anything that has gone wrong in his adult life. I can't help thinking that the thing all these people have in common is Morrissey. Reading the excellent Mozipedia reveals several other collaborators unnamed in Autobiography who had to take legal action against him after his mother called them to say that they would not be getting paid... I digress.

This book confirms that Morrissey is just not the person he is in my head. I had guessed as much, but the person that emerges from Autobiography is not one that I warmed to at all. He's funny. He loves pop music and films.
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Format: Paperback
It's as though Morrissey starts writing, goes on for a few badly punctuated pages, and then stops. He doesn't read what he's just written. He just starts up again at a completely different point, carries on depending on how cheesed off he's feeling about something, and then stops again. Many times Morrissey crosses the Atlantic or the Alps several times on the same page without warning. Occasionally one of his overwrought metaphors strikes you as witty, but more often there's a solecism, or twelve words when one would do. Repeat ad nauseam.

For the record Morrissey's pet peeves in order of peevedness are meat-eating, Judge John Weeks, Nigel Davis, Geoff Travis, Tony Wilson, and the NME. The hatchet jobs on Siouxie Sioux and Sandie Shaw are hilarious only because they're so bitchy. You won't learn anything about Morrissey's mental or creative processes in this book because, as becomes obvious, he doesn't actually have any. He just puts pen to paper, mouth to microphone, or glue to pictures and abandons whatever it is when he gets bored, blaming whoever he's roped in to help him when he does.

The book deteriorates into a list of tour dates and dropped names which may interest the Mozophile but nobody else.

Dirk Bogarde and Kenneth Williams were two repressed-gay English showbiz types whose writing turned out to be the best thing they ever did. Morrissey's writing might, with the help of a supremely patient editor, have turned out to be almost as entertaining, but as it is, you will find yourself skipping huge chunks of this book to get to the funny bits. And the funniest bits are all down to Morrissey's utter lack of self-awareness: "Went backstage at (insert name of festival or venue) and (Insert name of big showbiz star) ignored me completely - what a has-been they are".
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