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on 29 March 2015
Long and drawn out account of Freddy's last few years. Focuses on the mechanics of the record business and name dropping and gives little insight into Freddy's personality or personal life.
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on 19 May 2006
Whilst certainly not being a Queen super-fan I've always ranked the band as one of my favourite artists & in terms of Freddie Mercury I think the world lost one of it's greatest entertainers when he died. With this in mind this book had appealed to me for years as I hoped it would be an accurate account of a large part of his life without the predictable scandal that too many biographies include to shift more copies.

Firstly I must stress that in fairness to Freestone the guy is not a writer so part of my criticism is aimed at the publisher as they really shouldn't release a product that isn't as professional as it should be.

The book is split into a few very large chapters covering different aspects of Freestone's time with Mercury. Touring, recording, home life, etc are all wrapped up into separate "chapters" and for me this is one of the main weaknesses about the book. It's a very awkward read and whilst it may sound like a good idea to cover each aspect of Freddie's life in this manner - it simply doesn't work & suggested to me that the writing of this book was very "rushed". If that wasn't bad enough the book jumps around almost in the same manner as a conversation with an excitable child whose train of thought leads him onto different subjects even though they haven't finished telling you the original story. On top of this by far the most annoying thing that the author continues to do throughout the whole book is refer to famous or infamous incidents that he assumes everyone knows about so doesn't even bother explaining what he's talking about. I'm sure avid Queen fans know exactly what he's referring to but the other 80% of readers are left thinking "What ARE you talking about ?". I found this infuriating and almost like some teenager with a semi-private joke they keep referring to.

The general content of the book is pretty interesting but it's so poorly structured that it's hard to actually enjoy. Freestone treats Freddie with the utmost respect in his writing which is highly commendable when compared to many "insider" books but I couldn't help but feel that he was over-the-top in his softly-softly approach. There's a serious lack of humour and I finished it imagining that Freddie's relationship with the author was one whereby Mercury would scold him for being overly-sensitive about everything. Lighten up man !

The book contains a lot of Freestone's own feelings on Freddie's character traits and in all honesty he speaks about the man more like an idol as opposed to a close-friend & I often found myself thinking the opposite to Freestone when he analyses Freddie's actions. Again however that's fair enough as a friend shouldn't talk down someone that's passed away but it just comes across as the author being frightened to be blunt and honest about certain negative aspects of FM's lifestyle.

What struck me as very odd was how little the other three members of the band feature in this book. Whilst I appreciate that the book purely covers Freestone's experiences with Freddie I would have thought there would be far more inter-action with Brian, Roger & John. Maybe he's frightened of upsetting them in any way too.

Unless your an absolute mega-fan or lover of fine art you must skip through page after page whereby Freddie's home (Garden Lodge) is covered. I'm talking about a virtual-guide here - wallpaper colour and place it was bought down to the type of cutlery in the drawers. VERY VERY worrying why any man would think this would be entertaining to anyone other than himself.

Finally, Freestone often ventures into his own life too much for my liking. Understandable I guess but 99.9% of the buyers of this book want to read about the legendary Queen frontman and not one of his team so professionally this should have been avoided.

All in all an interesting read about a large part of the life of a true genius but it's very hard going at times & the style of writing left me thinking that Freestone would have lasted about a day if ever I was to become famous and need someone like him around me.
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on 20 July 2012
Being a big fan of Freddy and the band since '73, i had hoped that this book would reveal things which were not generally known. Unfortunately it is not very well written and is just a mish-mash of anecdotes and the book is just as much about the author as it is about the subject matter. Very disappointed.
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on 29 September 2002
I'm sure you'd get better enjoyment, and certainly more enlightenment, out of reading your local bus timetable. Really was a major disappointment for me. This book is a list. A list of places visited, a list of things seen. No insight whatsoever into what drove Freddie (nor, for that matter, the author).
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on 14 October 2001
peter did a really good job with this book one of the best i have ever read about freddie so far and i have read most of them it was very interesting and i could just imagine freddie reading it and having a laugh with some of the stuff thats in it. freddie would of loved this book i think
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on 24 March 2012
This book is written through rose tinted spectacles and would bore you to tears, if you want your biography to be warts and all then this is definitely not for you,more tea vicar?
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on 9 November 2014
Little more than a list of gigs, the crews and who else played. Very little about Freddy Mercury the man, until the last couple of chapters -' waste of money in my opinion
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on 17 November 2012
Excellent book! Excellent service and delivery. Recommend it to anyone. No one can beat Freddie ever. Worth reading the true Freddie has been captured in this story.
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on 4 March 2005
The most personal, affectionate, balanced -- sad and funny, good and bad -- account I have read about the complex and conflicted character that was Freddie Mercury. In his writing, Peter Freestone never waivers in his love for the man while never deteriorating into 'fannish' or 'star-struck' obsequiousness. He doesn't baulk at addressing the more difficult chapters, sees the humour in even the bleakest times and seems to have come through, if not unaffected, then at least unscathed and with his integrity intact.
The one question Peter Freestone didn't answer (and a lot of people might ask, 'who cares'?): did Freddie die alone?
Does it matter now? I guess it doesn't.
A genuinely interesting account.
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on 12 March 2011
First of all - this is NOT the book published in 2003, this is just printed for your order like a week ago thing with too white paper and too obvious printer quality printing :-( But the saddest thing is cover. If you hope it will look like what you see in the picture here - forget it! You will have the printing quality where Freddie's face is unnaturally RED. I think they could have warned people, that it's just a "hand-made" copy of the book printed for order, not the real 2003 publication:-(
About the book itself. I wasn't thinking about "Afterlife" meaning until opened it. In fact there is NO Freddie in the book. Because it starts with the day he died. And my personal opinion is that when instead of the text reading about the person you expected it to be, you find copies of countless riders and countless recipes of Freddie's favorite meals, you know I think that you better go and read "The intimate memoir". Or more better - Jim Hutton's book. If you really are expected to read about FREDDIE. I'm terribly sorry sounding so negative but I was fully frustrated with the book and didn't return it only because was too lazy and didn't want to put myself into all those postal worries again. Amazon did great job in quickly offering it and safely speedy shipping as usual. With that they are the best, as ever.
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