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Life | [Keith Richards, James Fox]

Life

Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....
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Publisher's Summary

As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.

Now at last, Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones's girlfriend. Arrested and imprisoned for drug possession. Tax exile in France and recording Exile on Main Street. Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction, making life an ever faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.

In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him - part growl, part laugh - Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered and fearless and true.

Read by Johnny Depp with Joe Hurley and featuring Keith Richards.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2010 Keith Richards (P)2010 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"[A] high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the United States....Mr. Richards has found a way to channel to the reader his own avidity, his own deep soul hunger for music and to make us feel the connections that bind one generation of musicians to another. Along the way he even manages to communicate something of that magic, electromagnetic experience of playing on stage with his mates, be it in a little club or a huge stadium." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

"[A] slurry romp through the life of a man who knew every pleasure, denied himself nothing, and never paid the price." (David Remnick, The New Yorker)

"A vivid self-portrait and, of the Stones and their musical era, a grand group portrait....spellbinding storytelling." (Richard Corliss, Time)

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What Members Say

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  •  
    Kevin United States 05-04-13
    Kevin United States 05-04-13 Member Since 2010

    Good Sci-Fi is so hard to find. I loved "Enders Game," written by Orson Scott Card. Favorite Book of 2012 Bill Bryson's "From a Sun Burned Country." Wildly informative, laugh out loud, travel log about Australia. "Who I Am," by Pete Townsend and "Life" by Kieth Richards favorite auto biographies of 2012

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    ""The Most Dangerous Rock Band in The World""

    The first chapter is one of the funniest I've ever read and brought back the edgy times of the drug imbibing counter culture bursting out like a viral fungus across our nation, setting red necks and straight necks against hippies. A time in history when Tricky Dick declared the Rolling Stones the most DANGEROUS ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD and banned them from America. Oh course anyone getting that much attention for being contrary to the establishment at that time had my vote for Rock Gods.

    The early years part of the book drags on a bit, unless of course you have it on audio book like I did and are weeding your strawberry patch, then its a nice distraction from the job at hand. But once you get past that it's a great read about a great ride with a number of amazing insights from the guy with his hands on the wheel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly House 04-18-13
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    "Not a Stoner.."
    If you could sum up Life in three words, what would they be?

    An Excellent Story!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Keith --he showed great heart.


    What about Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley ’s performance did you like?

    Liked when they used the Cockney accent


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I came into adulthood during the 70's. Of course I knew of the Stones but I never would say I loved or followed their music.

    This was just a great story about someone who helped define the times of my life. It was of course an interesting and varied story. And surprisingly...I fell in love with Keith...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 02-20-13
    Robert 02-20-13
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    "Who knew!"
    What made the experience of listening to Life the most enjoyable?

    The shift of narrators through the book proved to be very enjoyable -- particularly the last hour of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An honest portrayal of the best and worst of being a modern legend -- a totally unexpected experience


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Niles USA 02-19-13
    K. Niles USA 02-19-13 Member Since 2011

    Artist at KiniArt™

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    "I Don't Even Consider Myself a Stones Fan"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Having been familiar with just a few hits from the Rolling Stones, I didn't realize just how little I really knew about the band and all they went through... I learned a lot about Keith, the Stones and what went on behind the scenes. I would recommend this book to anyone with even a mild liking of Stones music. It's a fun peek into the music making world of the past, and a great story of stupid choices, dumb luck, and astounding perseverance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurie Phoenix, Az, United States 02-19-13
    laurie Phoenix, Az, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A personal history of Rock in Roll"
    What did you love best about Life?

    The book was honest and from the heart. Keith Richards told his story and it was fascinating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really was engrossed in the book. I didn't want it to end.


    What about Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley ’s performance did you like?

    It was difficult to make the transition between the performances. They were both done well. I found joe Hurley's performance more believable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Probably 'for the love of music' and ' sex, drugs, and rock and roll".


    Any additional comments?

    This book is for anyone who grew up in the sixties. It helped make sense out of an era that was confusing. He brought the world together, in a way that I haven't read before. Simply put I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti W Canada 01-17-13
    Patti W Canada 01-17-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Love When Keith Richards Reads!!!"
    Where does Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks up with the best audiobooks, its an interesting story and since I love Keith Richards it makes it one of my fave books!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Keith Richard reading and his honesty and his wonderful sense of humour


    What does Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    To be honest, I really am not getting that much from Johnny Depp (which is a surprise since I really like him) or Joe Hurley. I think Keith Richards reads his story the best, his laugh and raspy voice brings a new dimension to the book!!!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, crying, I laughed a bit. But what I love about it is the honesty, not glamming it up, but just telling it like it is. Its almost like KR is in the room with me and talking about his life


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 01-16-13
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 01-16-13
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    "A Must for Keef Fans (but Listen to All of It!)"

    I've been a Rolling Stones fan since the mid-70s and so was familiar with their history, but it was great to hear it from the man himself. Keith Richards is everything you would expect and also nothing like what you expect -- he has lived the ultimate Rock life and taken all the drugs and lived as a touring pirate, but he is also a thoughtful, intelligent, well-read and impressively disciplined man at the same time. What emerges more than anything is a guy who fell in love with music (American blues and early rock-and-roll) and who seems to have never fallen out of love with it. He takes the entire Rolling Stones experience extremely seriously, from the songwriting to the sound to the touring to the relationships with his bandmates. It was fascinating to hear how the band came together, how Keith, Brian and Mick lived together in poverty and squalor, yet how their rise to fame was pretty rapid. Keith writes at length about how he and Mick emerged as an impressive songwriting team, and how Keith later discovered open-G tuning, which helped the Stones sound like no other band. He has some great insights on Mick, too; he lavishes Jagger with praise over the man's talents as a singer, performer, harmonica player and band spokesman, and also complains about Jagger's personality quirks that have led to divisions between the two men, and in the band overall. By the end, Richards seems to have buried the hatchet and also appears as a settled old man who enjoys the small things in life like family and the odd plate of bangers and mash (even though he lives in Connecticut, of all places).

    The narration is very strange, almost as if the publishers had to patch together the voice talent. Johnny Depp narrates the first 25% or so of the book and is quite good. Then, abruptly, Joe Hurley takes over, giving the book a very British, actorly feel (Hurley is almost imitating Richards' slurry, rock star voice). It was alright, I guess. Finally, near the last 25% of the book, Depp comes back! And then, near the very end of the book, another voice takes over, and then on top of that there is another celebrity reader! I won't spoil it, but it makes for a very fun conclusion, so keep listening to the whole thing.

    I highly recommend Life for anyone who's a fan of the Stones, rock history, the British invasion, or pop culture in general. It's a remarkable look at an entire era.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia EDGEWATER, FL, United States 01-02-13
    Marcia EDGEWATER, FL, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "GREAT READ"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Life to be better than the print version?

    Better than most and I am only halfway through it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Keith....I mean duh it's an autobiography


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley – was your favorite?

    Again...autobiography. Both were excellent


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nostalgic....about the past. In love with young Keith Richards...but then I was gorgous too back then. =)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina SANTA FE, NM, United States 12-28-12
    Nina SANTA FE, NM, United States 12-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent, even if you know nothing about Stones"

    I don't read many autobiographies, but this one had such great reviews, that I couldn't resist. It was worth the many hours as an audiobook to hear Keith Richards telling the stories of his life, which has been a wild ride. Being born in the 80's, there are only so many documentaries that you can watch on the 60's that will give you a grasp of the reality of the times. This book was far better than any documentary in its ability to set cultural contexts for the state of the US at a time when war, race relations, sexual revolution and art were all evolving and changing our country forever. This first person account is long, but enjoyable, even if you aren't a Stones fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane United States 03-28-12
    Diane United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Should have been abridged!"

    The first chapter is great. After that, the book goes way downhill. Where was the editor? All these inane details! Remember people, less is more, and in this case, more is definitely less. To be fair, I only listened for about two more hours, but I just can't anymore. I am so bored! I skipped ahead. Skipped ahead again. Now I give up. A credit wasted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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