Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound - dark, hypnotic, and intense - that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: In 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on the eve of their first U.S. tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles - including the iconic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - that continue to have a powerful resonance.
Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. In Unknown Pleasures, founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create a haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation. Peter talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis; the band's friendships and fallouts; the evolution of their sound and image; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend, including Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have awaited for decades.
©2012 Peter Hook (P)2012 AudioGo Ltd
It's like sitting next to Peter Hook in a bar, while he tells you the story of Joy Division from his perspective. Oh, sure, there's controversy over who has the right to call themselves what, and sure the band had their differences, but this is Peter Hook's version of the tale. And it's a *great* listen - well-told, fascinating, and definitely gives you a new insight into who Ian Curtis was.
You can even hear the narrator start to choke up at times, when he thinks about the old days.
If I had one complaint... the timelines don't necessarily work as well in audio form as they might in a book, where you can easily skip over them, or go back to them for reference. I found myself thinking "get on with it" as Hook listed off yet another show Joy Division played at yet another club with yet another description of how "we sounded sh*te, Bernard bruised his elbow..." etc. etc.
The rest of the book, though... no one but Peter Hook could have narrated this story. His style is relaxed and natural and really fun to listen to.
I haven't read the print version, but the author's narration of the audio version I believe must have added a lot to the text. It doesn't sound so much as if he's reading, but telling a story.
Other biographies and autobiographies read by the author.
I never listen to a book in one sitting, but I listened to this one every chance I got.
Unknown Pleasures is a great book, hands down. Hearing Hook talk about his time with the band, getting into their sudden rise and tragic end, is a great. Hook is a natural storyteller, and his voice has just the right character, I don't think a professional narrator could have done it justice.
The only flaw with the book I'd say is that the extensive timelines Hook provides, while incredibly detailed and a great resources, just don't work at all in audio format. Hearing every venue, every set list, every supporting band as well as the price of admission is a real endurance test. What's worse, they're not entirely skippable because Hook still manages to get some good one-liners and small stories in during the timelines. A PDF of the timelines would have been a much better solution instead of 1 1/2 hours of audio.
Still, it's a small flaw. The book is great, and if you have any interest in Joy Division or just music in general, it's a great pick.
I'm a fan of the music, in my opinion it hokds up a bit better than some of the other music of the day eg. I still listen to Substance, Joshua Tree not so much. It's fascinating to hear Mr. Hook's stories and recollections overlaid by time lines.
During Mr Hook's recitation over desciptions upon descriptions of gigs and gigs thru cities and cities, the articulated detail puts one almost within the stacks and cases of gear and musicians cramped in the back of a van, rattling along with the rest of the cargo, up the motorway, to the next gig.
I can't wait for the audio of Mr. Hook's New Order tome, hopefully also read by 'ooky. Did I misspell that right?
It is wonderful to hear Peter Hook's side of one of the most interesting and influential stories in modern music. A must for any Joy Division/New Order fan.
More than any other audiobook I have ever heard, this is like sitting across the table from the author as he reads the book to you.
His voice thickly accented Mancunian English
A very detailed account from the bass player, Peter Hook on Joy Division, his youth, the formation of the band & subsequent bands, their peers/other bands during that time, the key players, if there is one comment it's that this barely scratched the surface of Ian...for those looking to glean more about the elusive frontman, you may need to look elsewhere. What Hooky did say is Ian was 'many people' and perhaps no one ever really got the 'whole Ian'. Very insightful and honest, I believe.
Even if you're not a fan of Joy Division or the post-punk era, this book is simply a great story. I'm so very happy that Peter honored Ian's memory , avoiding the opportunity to toss him under the bus. Inwards sh of could give it 6 stars. A rare book; one which you wish would never end. The track listings and gig set lists do get a bit tedious and probably do much better in print.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.