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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 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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 June 2014
John Higgs overlays a standard chronological history of The KLF (a wonderful, and very successful, pop duo active in the late 1980s and early 1990s who adopted the philosophy contained in "The Illuminatus! Trilogy") with all manner of interesting and provocative historical, cultural and philosophical ideas, movements and people: for example, Dadaism, Carl Jung, the Situationists, the Discordians, Doctor Who, Alan Moore and "Ideaspace", Generation X, Robert Anton Wilson, multiple-model agnosticism, and much more. If that list excites you then you are strongly advised to read this book as soon as possible. If not, move along, nothing to see here.

It's a superb, stimulating and entertaining read that I will be returning to again before much longer.

5/5
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on 15 November 2013
This is a hugely entertaining and thought provoking read. Even if you are only vaguely interested in the KLF its worth checking out, as in a way, its about much more than the KLF. The KLF are used as a case study to investigate chaos, coincidence, meaning etc. At its heart though, this book is about how we view reality, through either magical thinking or objective rationalism, and how we mistake our models of reality for reality itself.
It's also a ripping yarn about one of the most original musical acts ever.
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on 21 October 2015
What's great about this book is the way it manages to bring together loads of iconic stuff and mix it together into a narrative about the KLF duo's fairly zany antics. This is also it's weakness - it's not just a book that talks a lot about dance music and drugs, its also rather like listening to somebody coming down off ecstasy at 4am in the morning, thinking they're being incredibly profound but in actuality talking quite a lot of cobblers.
It sorta goes more up it's own backside as it goes on - you can almost picture the sun coming up as most people are stumbling off home whilst our narrator slowly loses it.
Higgs has this habit of just making up stuff because it fits what he wants to say. For example, he claims on the flimsiest basis possible that the early 90s were some kind of 'lost years' given over to nihilism that people have forgotten en masse. Really? They were pretty full on years for me and a whole host of friends & acquaintances. In terms of Higgs' subject of dance music, bands like Orbital, Aphex Twin and the Prodigy were getting going - weren't they kinda legendary or something? If anything, I'd say that period was characterised by a naive optimism - though of course it depended what circles you moved in - which is why making sweeping statements based on a book, a comedian, something else I've forgotten and some google search results is utterly asinine and there's simply no excuse for wasting ink on being so daft. This is one example of a number of occasions where Higgs seems to be just writing down random ideas that popped into his head and he he seems to assume must be true because he thought them.
The book has some great storytelling, but it's sort of a jolly romp and not to be taken at all seriously.
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on 10 January 2017
Even if you have never heard about The KLF, this book is essential. It re-ignited my love for the band and the people in it, sending me on a hunt for obscure records further than I had in a long time.. but it also made me laugh, think and dream. It's a wild ride, and there is a lot of myths, lies, gossip and long detours on many of the subjects. Possibly many of stories are not even told to the end, as the book takes some unexpected turns as it goes, but that's the beauty of it. Just the way The KLF would have liked it. John Higgs is a huge fan, and a huge nerd, and we are lucky he too the time to ramble down his thoughts and have them released.
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