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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 December 2012
This isn't really about the KLF. it's about the ideas that led to the KLF doing the things they did, and the ideas that led to those ideas. As such it's much more interesting and, dare I say, useful than your bog standard music biography.

It's also a really good guide to understanding where Bill Drummond is coming from in his art over the last decade, complementing books like The 17 well.

Personally I enjoyed how ideas and people I've been fascinated by over the last few decades are tied together, from Ken Campbell to Alan Moore to Robert Anton Wilson, and how often pretentious, academic issues that idiots love to obsfucate are explained and contextualised in plain entertaining language.

Book of the year, no question.
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on 12 February 2013
I was up until 3am reading this. It's brilliant.

It's certainly about the KLF and burning a million pounds, but it's also about so much else. Including itself.

It's thought provoking, deeply considered, and lively, whilst also being very clearly written. Perfectly balanced.

If you remember the KLF and something about them burning a million pounds, you should read it. If you're the KLF's biggest ever fan, you should read it. And if you've never heard of the KLF you should most definitely absolutely download it right now and start reading it straight away because your life is about to change.

Really.
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on 1 May 2013
Having lived through the rise and fall of the KLF without really caring all that much about the weirdness that surrounded them, this book is a wonderful exploration of just how weird Messrs Cauty and Drummond are and why.

Genius, I couldn't put it down and now I can't stop thinking about it. Read it.
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on 25 December 2012
If you think the author is going to regurgitate a chronological narrative outlining the rise and fall of the KLF, you're probably going to be in for a shock.

It's a fantastic and often mind bending trip that sheds a different kind of light on the formation of the KLF and the rebellious turmoil that lead to them incinerating one million pounds. Rather than lean on a mish mash of yesterdays NME articles to do this, the author comes in from the other end of the spectrum and starts questioning how a series of events and actions (intended or otherwise) can invoke forces that appear to have their own agenda.

The story of the KLF transforms from one of enigma to one of redemption. Yet it can't be explained without taking a real journey, one that attempts to cleave you from your mental moorings and cast you adrift in the discordian sea.

Even at a basic level, there are so many bizarre events detailed in this yarn that you'll be gripped.

That's my reality and I'm sticking with it.
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A truly amazing book that deals with philosophy, cults, madness, paranoia, business deals, the art world, synchronicity, murder and loads more.......

It starts off with the burning of £1 million by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cautie, formerly known as the KLF. The book then tries to make sense of why they did it and in doing so touches upon so much heavy duty head mangling information and supposition that at one point I was going to put in the top 5 thought stimulating books that I have read in all my time as a reader, until I got to the end. There is a twist, which I will not even hint at, but suffice to say it left me pondering about the book itself(further instillation of paranoia).

Anyway, a most enjoyable, lucid and well written book. Highly recommended.
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on 10 April 2016
I bought this book based on the many positive reviews and the fact I am interested in the subject matter (both the KLF and beyond). On a positive note the book is fairly easy to read and raises some interesting ideas. However it does feel a bit like a drunken conversation you might have had aged 18. It seems like a lot of the flow of ideas are forced together and the logic and reasoning behind why and what the KLF did seems at best speculative and at worse pretentious nonsense.

I finished this book and did quite enjoy it, however it annoyed me in parts with its pseudo intellectual arguments and linking of ideas that seemed pretty random to me.....

Can't totally recommend it, but you could do worse!
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on 10 March 2014
This book isn't really about The KLF. It's more a collection of philosophical ideas covering quantum physics, religion, conspiracy theories, art, magic and Doctor Who. The story of The KLF is the glue that holds these wide-ranging ideas together and it makes for an interesting, albeit slightly haphazard read.

If you're expecting an anecdote-heavy, revelation-filled biography then you'll find yourself surprised. Whether this surprise will be a pleasant one for you is difficult to say, so you'd be advised to check out some sample chapters before purchasing.
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on 9 February 2013
Highly recommended - what a great and wondrously different read that was. Many thanks, Mr Higgs. The money burning incident was something that had lodged itself in a dark recess of my mind and popped out every so often for no apparent reason - so I was excited to hear about the existence of Chaos Magic Music Money and hoped to find the truth behind the art/madness/stupidity of the Zippo-happy KLF. But Mr Higgs has managed to write a book about the KLF while most definitely not writing a book about the KLF, if you know what I mean. I'm taking much away with me from this book, and the reasons for those lads burning a million is a tiny piece of that big chunk. It did need more spirit bunnies though, but hey . . .
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Initially I was put off from this book by the other reviews that said that it flies off at tangents and delves heavily into Discordianism and synchronicity and so forth. I wasn't really interested in that, I was more interested in Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty and the story of their time working together and the insane things they did. Nevertheless I bought it anyway and took my chances.

I'm glad I did- it's a great book. Yes it does jump around a lot, but it never strays all that far from its core, which is essentially a biography of Bill Drummond from the 1980s to mid 1990s, from his first job (which is relevant) through to the burning of a million pounds. The patterns of coincidence are well explained and it is, despite what other reviewers have said, mostly in quite a chronological order (except for the 'tease' of the prologue).

The most interesting aspect for me is that Bill Drummond is portrayed more as a victim than as a hero. Established as an impulsive, coincidence-driven, map-obsessed and whimsical man, this account of The KLF's story shows him as more of a victim of circumstance (or possibly deliberate Discordian intervention- though I don't happen to believe that) than as a master of his own destiny. It's a bit like Danny Wallace's "Yes Man" scenario, where a man strictly follows a particular and unique set of rules through life and ends up in some very unexpected places.

Jimmy Cauty is portrayed as a bit of a bit-part player, which has happened in other accounts of The KLF as well and always seems a bit inaccurate- Cauty is quite clearly an important figure (and a loon) in his own right and more time could've been spent on him.

There's also an incredible and glaring omission - Drummond and Cauty's 1997 reunion as 2K is completely and utterly overlooked throughout the whole book. The discography section at the back utterly fails to mention it, as does the rest of the book, despite the fact 1997 is mentioned for other events- it is even stated that Drummond & Cauty never collaborated musically again after 1992, which simply isn't true! 2K involved Drummond and Cauty re-addressing their KLF mythology (as old men in wheelchairs wearing horns) and to have left it out of the book completely seems like a mistake. The One World Orchestra track they did together for the Help! compilation is completely missed out too. This isn't just fan nitpicking, these are two fairly major musical items being missed.

As music biographies go though, this is both one of the best bands to write out, and one of the best-written ones I've read.
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on 16 December 2012
This book is about the K L F. It is also about art, music magic,chaos, order, giant rabbits, and the number 23. Or it may be about none of the things. The simple act of burning a million pounds in a boat house on the isle of jura sets off a web of events stretching forwards and backwards in time. The author has an infectious enthusiasm for the music and wider artistic creations of the k foundation, and weaves a rich narrative around what may or may not have been unrelated events. Here we have dada and situationism alongside global capitalism and usury. If this sounds like a disjointed mess, it isn't. If truth exists here, then it wears a coat of many colours and a whole host of masks. Read this book.
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