£10.00
  • RRP: £20.00
  • You Save: £10.00 (50%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Set the Boy Free has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Set the Boy Free Hardcover – 3 Nov 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£10.00
£7.48 £8.33
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£10.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Set the Boy Free
  • +
  • Substance: Inside New Order
  • +
  • The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club
Total price: £30.59
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Century; 01 edition (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780894325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780894324
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

". . . wise, breezy, supersmart memoir . . . Marr’s defiantly unghostwritten book is pleasant and direct . . ." (Guardian)

"An unpretentious, clearly written memoir recounting his journey from a working-class upbringing on the outskirts of Manchester to his status as a musical polymath" (The Times)

"Set the Boy Free – a telling title again – is much more than an obituary for a brilliant band. It’s also a love letter to the women in Marr’s life … and a guide on how to keep changing and moving on with your creative life." (The Observer)

"It is a pleasure …. to read a memoir by a five-star guitar hero that … present[s] a particular life in rock as one of pure, disarming joy and open possibility" (New Statesman)

"Excellent" (The Sun)

"Set the Boy Free is a trip down memory lane featuring the all-star cast that Marr has rubbed shoulders with … and it will likely serve as a guidebook to anyone who's ever dreamed about picking up the guitar and trying their hand at making music for a living because, at its heart, Set the Boy Free is written by a music fan for music fans." (Esquire)

"His sweetly and deceptively simple account of his lively youth and The Smith’s early, joyous years … will touch many" (Mail on Sunday)

"Grounded and positive" (MOJO)

"His writing is compassionate, courageous and concerned" (Gigwise)

"Set The Boy Free tells the ordinary yet fascinating story of arguably one of the most influential guitar players of all time" (The Pool)

"An excellent memoir. . . Stars don't come much brighter than Johnny Marr … And it's a pleasure to hear the story from the man himself" (Manchester Evening News)

"Smiths fans will love it for the insight into the songs … He is relentlessly upbeat and positive" (RTÉ Radio Arena Show)

"Set The Boy Free aims to set the record straight on the story of one of rock’s most contentious break–ups" (Hot Press)

"Marr’s directness is refreshing" (AV Club)

"A must read for indie fans" (Vive le Rock)

"An excellent memoir… Stars don't come much brighter than Johnny Marr … And it's a pleasure to hear the story from the man himself" (Manchester Evening News)

"Entertaining and enlightening" (Irish Independent)

"Marr’s unrelenting positivity leaves the reader with a reassuringly feel-good glow" (Irish Times)

Book Description

The autobiography of one the most influential guitarists and artists of all time.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had a particular interest in the book because I taught Johnny in my first teaching job at St Augustine's in 1977. I was his English teacher and also his football manager and I remember what a good player he was - skilful, athletic and very determined. I also remember some perceptive careers advice I gave Johnny. I told him he could be a success in life if he focused on his English and got rid of his guitar!

Thankfully, we all know what he did with the guitar advice but I was also delighted to see that Johnny did indeed focus on his English in that "Set the Boy Free" doesn't just record a remarkable life but is beautifully written as well. Naturally, I was particularly interested in the early years especially the Wythenshawe section but, in truth, it was a gripping read from the first page to last.

The most powerful impact of the book is not just that it records the amazing story of a world famous rock star but it reveals what a great human being Johnny Marr truly is. Well done Johnny. You made your old English teacher very proud!

Jim Foley
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a writer myself so maybe I'm being over-critical but I found this book extremely boring. While Johnny's private life is at odds from the archetypal rock star lifestyle inasmuch as he has been happily married to the same woman for many years, I was expecting at least some exciting stories, including his well-documented professional relationship with Morrisey. I would equate reading this book with watching paint dry. Johnny seems to live in his own world with his guitars and writing his songs. He should remember that most of the readers , while being music fans, don't have a clue about technical jargon..Sorry Johnny-I was disappointed.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As a massive Smiths fan (my fave band of all time) I was really looking forward to this book. But what a let-down!
As everyone else has said, he's obviously a decent bloke (deeply in love with his wife Angie, deeply in love with guitars, never has a bad word to say about anyone) but I agree with some of the more negative reviews: The Smiths story is over far too quickly (with little insight) and then the second half of the book just becomes a chronology of events, written in a very simple, unexciting style so that most of the chapters go something like this:
"I then got a call from [insert name of alternative act here] who asked me if I would play on some of their songs. I really liked their music and thought it sounded great and asked Angie what she thought and she said it sounded great too and that I should do it. And so I decided to do it. I didn't know what I was going to do but when we played together everything just seemed to click straight away and it sounded great. We ended up making an album together and touring the world which I loved and which was great. We became great mates but when the tour finished I realised that I needed to do something else but I didn't know what. I then got a call from..." etc. etc.
Perhaps that's a little unfair but you get the general idea. It must be an amazing lifestyle but you wouldn't necessarily know it. In one sentence he mentions talking to Elliott Smith and that's that. Tell us what he was like!!
I'm reading Peter Hook's book now which is everything this isn't: full of great anecdotes, bitchy and best of all funny.
Read more ›
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Johnny Marr's guitar playing.
I love the Smiths back catalogue.
I was looking forward to this autobiography since it was announced.
Unfortunately, it's a little tedious and uninteresting.
Johnny lists everything that happened to him in a dull shopping-list type tone.
I knew just about everything he mentions. No new revelations. No interesting facts.
His relationship with Morrissey is hardly discussed in any great detail.
All in all, a wasted opportunity.
Stick to the chords, Johnny.
1 Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Johnny Marr will go down in history as one the greatest musicians of all time. Of that there is no doubt. However, he writes one hell of a dull book. In the TV and radio promo’s he has done for this book he come across as a witty, funny and charming man (ouch!), but this book is dish water dull. Most fans will be no doubt looking for some insight into the Smiths and his relationship with Morrissey. He fails to deliver on both counts.

Shame really. His music touched so many lives, but this book is best avoided.

I would give it one star but I loved The Smiths too much to do such a thing.
3 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
An incredible privilege to hear the inside story of one of the most important musical and psychocultural events of our time. Yes, as a Smiths obsessive I would love to have the background story to every song and known a lot more about his relationships and perspective on Morrissey, Andy & Mike but I am grateful for what Johnny has shared. Of course it is a must buy. I devoured it in a sitting.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As a huge fan of both Johnny Marr and music autobiographies in general, I was really looking forward to this book as Marr will surely go down as one of the most influential musicians of his generation. In this book he writes at length about not only his time in The Smiths, but also his experiences with The The, Electronic, Kirsty Maccoll, Modest Mouse, The Cribs and his solo work. He has had a mightily impressive career and it ought to add up to being an unmissable book. I can't help feeling that it is slightly underwhelming however.

He comes across as a thoroughly nice person, but the book feels as though it is lightly skipping across deep waters. He chronologically describes his various collaborations, but there is very little emotional depth and it feels as though he is holding something back. His style of writing is also fairly primitive and perhaps an editor should have firmer in giving the book a much-needed polish.

This is still worth a read for fans of his work though, even if it is not quite the book that it should have been.
2 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: world of art, rock biographies and autobiographies


Feedback