That Close Hardcover – 24 Oct 2013
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'Beautifully recreates the memories of his early years' Daily Express. (Daily Express)
'Brilliantly nutty ... gloriously irreverent' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)
'His early life would make a novel in itself' Ian Rankin. (Ian Rankin)
'Really well written. Gripping' James Brown. (James Brown)
'Wonderfully evocative' Scotsman. (Scotsman)
About the Author
Suggs is a singer, songwriter, DJ, actor and TV presenter. He is perhaps best known as lead singer with Madness, who have had 24 top-twenty hits and continue to tour. Suggs lives in Camden, London.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've read a lot people associated with 2-Tone, and this was my favourite read, because (1) It's not ghostwritten, or not much at least, because you can tell Sugg's way of speaking coming through the words. (2) He doesn't big himself up, quite the opposite if anything. (3) No-one gets slagged. Nice, easy read, plenty of anecdotes, made for holiday reading. you may not learn much, but there are plenty of fact-heavy books for that, this is just a pleasant few hours of company with a nice guy.
He's a third of the way into the book before Madness even emerge as a band. You're wondering how he's going maintain that detail throughout Madness' career. Simple; he doesn't. A few chapters later, they're splitting up. No mention of the six albums recorded in between. He goes into excruciating detail about a New Year's Eve, but doesn't mention recording Absolutely, 7, the Rise and Fall etc. The sequencing jumps around a lot and while I'm sure there's something to be said about avoiding a straight, chronological narrative, it sill leaves you feeling a little short-changed.
What is written is good however; very entertaining. There's a real warmth and honesty to his tales, and he's a good narrator/raconteur. I'd imagine his one man stage shows are a gem.
So, caveat emptor. Be aware that you are getting a well written and entertaining autobiography. You are not getting a book about Madness.
Reading the book has encouraged me to buy and listen to The Liberty of Norton Folgate, which I'll be doing very soon. It seems I've missed out on a real treasure.
In summary - a good guy, a good read and a brilliant, unique band.
Blimey it was hard work. Written in a rather arch style where he is the hero of his own movie as it were and endless recounting of the clothing he was wearing, it got well ..... I hate to say it....tedious. And the absolute shame of this book is he has such a bl**dy good story to tell, drug addicted jazz father, cabaret/louche mother, childhood exile in Wales, being in one of the definitive UK bands in one of the definitive era's for music, then onto to the aforementioned national treasure status and yet he fails signally to deliver. That Close? Not even near to being a decent retelling of his story.
Some people have said "Oh, theres not enough about Madness in here" - Er, when he was born, just like the rest of the band; they didnt release One Step Beyond in the late 1950s as Madness. Its a book about Graham McPherson, not a biography of Madness.
Still a great book though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book which shows you a very different side to this person. Kept my amused for hours. Very easy reading for any age.Published 2 months ago by Richard Marriott
This book shows what an everyday down to earth person suggs is quite comical at times well worth a readPublished 7 months ago by steven smith