- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Quercus (24 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 085738953X
- ISBN-13: 978-0857389534
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
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)
The amazing life of Madness frontman and national treasure, Suggs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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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.
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.
Suggs delivers some interesting titbits from his years roughnecking on the cobbles of Camden, freezing his fingers off in a Butcher's backyard and living in a two room flat with him mum, but he doesn't actually start talking about Madness until past page 90. You know, Suggs, that's the stuff most of us are interested in, surely? The band and your relationship with them? The rows, the make ups, the money, the glory and the infamy?
I really could care less about the lovely home in Italy. That's all great for Suggs but a bit of insight and passion would have made this a much more interesting book. Maybe he's just floated through it all, touched by luck and unburdened by self doubt.
Fun but trivial. Well dressed and avuncular, as always. But not much more. Like one of the less good Madness songs.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic memoirs from a fantastic man! Some of the stories he tells from his youth and all through the Madness days are absolute class. Thoroughly recommendPublished 1 month ago by Louie S.
The first half of the book is quite good - all about his childhood and meeting the band. The second half is about things like Madstock and playing Buckinham Palace and his home in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by bytestar
Excellent book which shows you a very different side to this person. Kept my amused for hours. Very easy reading for any age.Published 6 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 11 months ago by steven smith