Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.
An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said 'Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.
David Morrissey is one of the most versatile actors of his generation. He is also a screenwriter and director.
©2013 Morrissey (P)2013 Penguin Books Ltd
"Five stars. With typical pretension, Morrissey's first book has been published as a Penguin Classic. It justifies such presentation with a beautifully measured prose style that combines a lilting, poetic turn of phrase and acute quality of observation, revelling in a kind of morbid glee at life's injustice with arch, understated humour ... It is recognisably the voice of the most distinctive British pop lyricist of his era." (Neil McCormack, Daily Telegraph)
"A brilliant and timely book ... What is so refreshing about Morrissey's Autobiography is its very messiness, its deliriously florid, overblown prose style, its unwillingness to kowtow to a culture of literary formula and commercial pigeon-holing ... Autobiography is a true baggy monster, a book in which a distinctive prose style is allowed to develop ... A rococo triumph ... Overwhelmingly this is a book to be thankful for ... In the ways that matter, Autobiography reads like a work of genuine literary class" (Alex Niven)
"The Best Music Biog Ever ... In the world of rock autobiographies, Morrissey's is nigh-on perfect." (Ben Hewitt, NME)
I came to this audiobook not knowing very much about Morrissey except what I had interpreted from his music.
The first section of the book was fascinating, his childhood, schooldays and I particularly enjoyed the story of how Morrissey began to fall in love with music and the music that inspired him to become a singer. The writing is heartfelt, warm and leads you into a possibly premature fondness for the guy.
The Story of the Smiths formation and career though is terribly underdone. You would imagine The Smiths period of his life would take quite some time to detail but it is almost casually slapped down - a collection of random anecdotes which make no linear sense and give improper credit to the legacy of the band and its place as a stepping stone into his solo work. At this point in the book, Morrissey does goes to some effort to almost fondly credit the other members of the Smiths for their various contributions to the music, despite the acrimonious issues that were to follow after the breakup of the band.
What follows after the "story of the Smiths" is confusing though. The book continues as a random collection of anecdotes and characters weaving in and out of and between his long lines of solo albums. That's not to say there is nothing of value in the content, but again there does not seem to be any linear sense to things - he will start talking about people who weren't introduced to the reader properly and random events take on an importance which they shouldn't have. e.g a long and completely unnecessary ghost story!
After this there is a long, long section detailing Morrissey's side of the famous court case brought about by the Smith's drummer. This was actually quite fascinating (as is Morrissey's view from inside the insidious world of the business of music) and as a musician myself, I can certainly sympathise with his despair at how horrible the people in the music business can be.
While the book up to this point had certainly had its faults, it was nevertheless an entertaining and sometimes fascinating listen. Despite Morrissey's notoriety, I discovered nothing that had made me think less of him.
It is the final part of the book however that will have Morrissey haters licking their lips, and I have to say he gives them plenty of ammunition! The final section of this book seems to be written by someone either blissfully unaware or uncaring of how he comes across. Written almost as a travelogue, the book becomes quite literally a long and boring list of cities he performs in and how he, the apparently magnificent and heroic artist journeys the world in a rapturous travelling communion with his fans. It goes on for so long and just becomes so absurd in its world weary grandioseness that you find the words "what a twat" unconsciously leave your mouth several times through the telling.
Its an odd feeling to end the book with as it is really hard to erase the bad taste in your mouth from the final section of the book. Of course, it wouldn't be Morrissey without the melodrama, but for this reviewer, I'll settle for the melodrama in his songs - its more palatable.
"Forget music Morrissey! You should write books."
Most autobiographies are interesting to the reader because they share a past (as I do with Morrissey) but I would recommend this book to you even if you've never heard of him. It's so beautifully written, funny and warm. I loved every minute.
Mick Joyce. 'A caan't remember, a just assoomed'.
In Manchester no one can here you scream.
Beautifully written and beautifully narrated - a detailed insight in both to Morrissey and Manchester life.
"typical morrisey... thats a good thing"
The way its written is just as you would expect him to be, very articulate, strangely funny but in a self deprecating way, not to mention a touch of paranoia. I will say, I have seen Morrissey live several times so I am not really an an impartial observer but even if you don't understand the man tI think the book is well worth a listen if you are interested in music at all.
He clearly understands the author and his undertones are genuinely funny.
Morrissey seems to have a lot of acquaintances dying off during the book but Kirsty McColl is particularly saddening.
Yes. It is very revealing.
Weird events I don't wish to post a spoiler on.
He conveyed the emotion of the words perfectly.
The reaction to the death of one of his friends.
In brief, the description of his Manchester upbringing that takes up the first quarter is engrossing, very well written and very evocative.
A lot of people in the music business we've all heard of get steamrollered pretty comprehensively, lots of surprises, bitchiness and deadpan humour sprinkled throughout.
There's some weird stuff I wont go into in case you want to read it yourself.
The only quibble is the length of the diatribe about his court case involving the other three members of the Smiths. I believe it goes on for fifty, yes, fifty pages.
Also the final fifth of the book is rather disappointing in comparison with the rest.
Generally a very entertaining read despite the book's rather self serving nature.
"Smart, Tough & Rivetting Stuff"
A real testament to what human spirit sometimes is, he tells us the stories of minor & major characters that came from or were projected through the Manchester streets, of an Irish immigrant roots and his nan, the stories and descriptions of 1960's and 1970;s Manchester, it's streets, schools, housing and swimming baths unearth a society still in many ways Victorian and bitterly austere. The humour and whit remind of some of Spike Milligan, the genuine spirit & humanity is visceral, This would be an excellent book even if the author was not a famous song writer, it is a indispensable work in it's own right. David Morrissey of "one Summer" (Icky & Billie) is brilliant. Savour & Enjoy
Too many too mention in the class rooms.
The guy who manages them from Rough Trade.
don't know just know
So thankful & glad he wrote this,
"A good listen"
I enjoyed the narration by Morrisey himself very much. I loved the very relaxed way in which he tells his story.
Well - himself :-)
The feel of the places that he describes in the book. Telling us about the ups and downs of his life would not come through in the same way in the paperback version.
I listened to this book over several nights.
I find it amazing that DM has kept up his good spirits despite all the troubles he has endured. I love the way he speaks up for animal rights. That is another plus for me as I did not realize beforehand that he is a plant eater :-)
So eloquently written.
The northern accent. Made it seem like Morrissey was reading it himself!
I think one reviewer has said it already but he should write more books!!
I have always loved the way Morrisey writes and his use of the English Language simply fascinates me. As with much of his writing, his autobiography isn't as clear cut as some other personalities (I won't use the term celebrity) and it makes the reader/listener think, but it is that individual style I have admired for 30 years. An amazing journey from challenging childhood through to the current day with lots of detailed insights and stories along the way.
I believe his reading of the book in terms of accent and presentation style was as close to having Morrissey have this heart to heart with the listener himself. Excellently and engagingly read.
Absolutely yes. Couldn't turn it off and will probably listen to it again in the very near future which is something I rarely do.
"Interesting for fans only"
Morrissey is a bit of an original when it comes to famous people, he should've been less of a whinge and be grateful he had a career that reaped such financial benefits.
The subtext on how he's a man unto himself, but he takes his opinions too far "meat is murder" really?
What's not very interesting is his love of classic arts and actors. It's boring.
A straightforward reader and I have no complaints there.
No, if this is his entire work on his life that he was willing to share, all I can say is that he's a great lyricist but he drones on too much "poor me' mentality
This book to me demonstrates that being famous and wealthy doesn't equate to happiness. Morrissey is who he is and he was boring, I'd go for Scar Tissue or Slash's biography to read how people that are rock gods should be like. Morrissey is a bore and a whinge and I didn't enjoy this book
"From the horse's mouth"
With pretentious, long-winded prose couched in dubious grammar, Morrissey demonstrates why he is one of the most hated individuals in the music industry. "X does not like me"; "Y does not speak to me"; "Z writes terrible things about me." Yes, Morrissey, this is no coincidence and neither is it a conspiracy, rather a common reaction to a seriously obnoxious personality. That said, I enjoyed the book and was relieved that a deeper knowledge of the man did nothing to dampen my liking for his music past and present.
The narration by David Morrissey was superb, flawless down to the smallest inflection.
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