- Paperback: 417 pages
- Publisher: Overlook Press; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585679399
- ISBN-13: 978-1585679393
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 960,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography Paperback – 1 Oct 2007
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'We romp across the decade with flair: tales of power games with The Beatles, girls in lacquered hair... greedy deals in Denmark Street and immortal songs written from within in pits of despair' --Mojo
'X-Ray is that rarest of things: a rock star autobiography that is engaging, entertaining and well written, to boot' --Mail on Sunday
'Pop biographies rarely come more inventive than this' --The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
The shocking and edgy memoirs of Ray Davies, a dedicated enemy of fashion and the lead singer of The Kinks, is the must-read rock book of the year. Subversively brilliant, this one-of-a-kind rock autobiography, ingeniously styled as a biography, is written by a nameless, faceless writer hired by an Orwellian entity called "the Corporation" to capture the essence of Ray Davies, lead singer and song writer of The Kinks and one of the greatest rock and rollers of all time. "R.D". tells the story of his life - or does he? Tales of London and the rock scene of the swinging Sixties evolve in a labrynthine and thoroughly engrossing fashion as the Kinks frontman reveals his life and times to the young writer, often seemingly passing his stories directly into the writer's consciousness. Carnaby street, "Top of the Pops", The Cavern Club, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Who and other fixtures of the times fade in and out of this compelling narrative. Part autobiography, part social history, part psychological thriller, this elusive and daring book exposes rock stardom as the heaven, hell, and purgatory it is.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's so obviously auto-biographical but written about some-one else. Ray tries to shock in parts, but this becomes nothing more than saucy postcard stuff and typical of the whole plot. Uninteresting, dull, pointless - I was so relieved when the final page appeared.
I love the Kinks, and I have Ray's narrative album, Storyteller, which is excellent in parts - but sometimes an artist pushes out into the wrong direction. Ray is a great songwriter, one of the best ever, but an author he ain't. Sorry Ray, two stars..
It's typical of his sense of humour that he's called this an `Unauthorized Autobiography', suggesting the following:
1. An acknowledgement that there can be no completely accurate version of events, as everything is subjective; if even his version is not authorized or authoritative, what hope is there for anyone else's attempt?
2. That the book has not been authorized by the powers that be, the mysterious `them' (the people in grey), referred to so often in the text.
3. That he is poking fun at the biography industry itself and perhaps other unauthorized biographies of the Kinks.
4. That he recognizes that he isn't always entirely honest. Or, at least, that there might be some truth in the book but probably not the whole truth. It's certainly not a straightforward read but we would expect nothing less nor more of Ray. Or
5. He's simply playing with the words because he can.
The main title, X-Ray, is also open to interpretation:
1. It implies something that he mentions more than once in the book - that he is no longer the Ray from these stories, that that is an ex-Ray, inevitably changed and alien to the Ray now speaking. After all, `the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there'.
2. It gives the impression that he is going beneath the surface of the story, under the skin, like an X-ray, to reveal what is usually hidden. He brings this to the fore again in the final few pages when he has an X-ray of his back fall out of a folder.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Print is way too small. Could not get into the book at all even with my glasses on a full lighting.Published 13 months ago by ella brown
A very odd style of autobiography, but totally rivetting.Published on 8 July 2014 by Lynne McCulloch
Ray Davies is a true original. Honest, direct in his songs and in his life. Still doing it. The man is a legend.Published on 6 April 2014 by Phil