Having read Rex Brown's autobiography just before this one (he was the bass player in Pantera) I didn't go into the Duff McKagan work with particularly high expectations. But I was absorbed soon enough. It's a very well written work, partly because it has an honesty about it that seems truly authentic, but also because Duff's life has had an unusual amount of seemingly unconnected stages, which together add up to a fascinating and unpredictable tale.
There's very little of the 'yawn' anecdotes of decadence and excess that seem to characterize so many rock-star autobiographies; and when Duff does talk about alcohol and drugs, it's engaging not only because the stories are told with the benefit of hindsight but also because he has since done so much to turn his life around that you find yourself convinced that here is a guy who really stands behind what he is saying.
The book is even like a small adventure story in places, with its lessons in self-overcoming and will power. Of course, at the back of my mind there was the cynic saying that all his money and connections enabled him to seize ready-made opportunities to turn his life around in a way not open to the rest of us - but he still had to choose to seize them.
More generally, Duff doesn't come across as having been unduly affected by the rock-star complex that fame with Guns n' Roses and Velvet Revolver could so easily have brought in toe. He even champions the academic life, which is not a sentence I would have expected to be writing before reading the book. I can't confess to have known much (or anything) about Duff before reading this book - I was always focused exclusively on Slash and Axl, I guess; but I'm very happy that I now know more about Mr McKagan.