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Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury | [Lesley-Ann Jones]

Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury

As lead vocalist for the iconic rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury's unmatched skills as a songwriter and his flamboyant showmanship made him a superstar and Queen a household name. But despite his worldwide fame, few people ever really glimpsed the man behind the glittering facade. Now, more than 20 years after his death, those closest to Mercury are finally opening up about this pivotal figure in rock 'n' roll. Based on more than a hundred interviews with key figures in his life, Mercury offers the definitive account of one man's legendary life in the spotlight and behind the scenes.
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Publisher's Summary

A revealing, intimate look at the man who would be Queen

As lead vocalist for the iconic rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury's unmatched skills as a songwriter and his flamboyant showmanship made him a superstar and Queen a household name. But despite his worldwide fame, few people ever really glimpsed the man behind the glittering facade.

Now, more than 20 years after his death, those closest to Mercury are finally opening up about this pivotal figure in rock 'n' roll. Based on more than a hundred interviews with key figures in his life, Mercury offers the definitive account of one man's legendary life in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Rock journalist Lesley-Ann Jones gained unprecedented access to Mercury's tribe, and she details Queen's slow but steady rise to fame and Mercury's descent into dangerous, pleasure-seeking excesses - this was, after all, a man who once declared, "Darling, I'm doing everything with everyone."

In her journey to understand Mercury, Jones traveled to London, Zanzibar, and India - talking with everyone from Mercury's closest friends to the sound engineer at Band Aid (who was responsible for making Queen even louder than the other bands) to second cousins halfway around the world. In the process, an intimate and complicated portrait emerges. Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. At the heart of this story is a man...and the music he loved.

©2011 Lesley-Ann Jones (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

What the Critics Say

"Mercury goes beyond the glittering facade to get an unvarnished look at Queen's rise to fame, the loves of Mercury's life, and his fraught relationship with his conservative past, creating a complete portrait of this magnetic musician." (MetroSource)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (31 )
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  •  
    Paul Sas 10-05-12
    Paul Sas 10-05-12

    Paul Whitmore Sas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A tattler, not well-written, yet a guilty pleasure"

    Let's just bite the big bad truth at the outset: This is a gossipy tattle sheet about Freddy Mercury & by extension, Queen. I was initially quite irked by the author's voice, which is that of a self-loathing hack journalist whose greatest ambition is to gawk at famous people. She boasts of having "worked as a columnist on The Sun, The Daily Mail, The News Of The World and The Sunday Express." I was about to bail on this, when I suddenly realized that I was getting direct access to a personality I've never myself encountered, and although I can't say she's at all attractive, she does channel the British underclass obsessions and anxieties. Armed with this realization, I kicked back into enjoying this guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, the book doesn't give a great deal of insight into Freddy Mercury, who remains rather enigmatic. But there's lots of quotes (the audiobook's additional quirk is that multiple actors voice the different persons quoted). There's some interesting info about Queen, e.g., that they're the only band to ever have more than one #1 single written by each of the 4 members (so, there, they're better than the Beatles, and indeed, Ms Jones states that Queen has sold more albums than the Fab 4). I was fascinated to learn that Freddy developed a close relationship with Barbara Valentin, an actress in Germany who'd been in several Fassbinder films. I ended up enjoying this romp, although it's not at all a well written book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Richmond, VA, United States 10-22-12
    Jesse Richmond, VA, United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Very Informative"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    the final days of Freddie's life were told very well. it made me cry as if I had been there.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brett 03-18-13
    brett 03-18-13 Member Since 2010

    Homemaker Dad

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    "You've heard it all before"

    The voices for the characters where annoying .
    There was not a great deal learnt in this book that I did not know already .
    However I could listen to stories about the Band all day long .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. V 02-24-13
    Mr. V 02-24-13

    long run

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    "Don't waste your time"
    What disappointed you about Mercury?

    The premise of this book was how Freddie and Queen stole the show at the 1985 Live Aid show.

    For anyone who watched it live, Queen was good but not the most memorable act. Yet, the author kept coming back to that.


    What could Lesley-Ann Jones have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not much. It is difficult to write a book about someone who has been dead for quite some time.


    Any additional comments?

    I only made it about one-third of the way through this book. I kept hoping it would improve but it never did.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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