Suggs is one of pop music's most enduring and likeable figures. Read by the author himself with the assured style and wit of a natural raconteur, this hugely entertaining and insightful autobiography takes you from his colourful early life on a North London council estate, through the heady early days of Punk and 2-Tone, to the eighties, where Madness became the biggest selling singles band of the decade.
Along the way he tells you what it's like to grow up in sixties Soho, go globetrotting with your best mates, to make a dead pigeon fly and cause an earthquake in Finsbury Park.
©2013 Graham McPherson (P)2013 WF Howes Ltd
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"Time spent with Suggs"
I've got both - you can hear Suggs' voice in the book and then get closer with the audiobook - it's like listening to the same story you always love to hear from a pal
Rock autobiographies, social history books - because that is what it is
It was the cat what made me do it
I've always been a fan of Suggs - he's so down to earth and loyal to his roots - and, of course, a great singer/songwriter.
"The life of a "National Treasure""
Having just watched Suggs at the Garrick Theatre delivering a monologue and music, I was slightly disappointed to hear word-for-word the same sections within the book. However, it was entertaining and had me listening to it over a short amount of sittings.
Ending? Not sure an autobiography actually ends but how it finished was slightly disappointing. It was as if he had made it to the promised word count and fired it off to his publisher. The clever circular narrative of the live performance involving the singer's search for his dead father and inner-meaning to life lingered longer in the mind than a quick anecdote about being the last band to play at the BBC Television Centre.
Suggs himself. He managed to chart the amazing success of Madness without giving off an air of smug gloating. He came across as genuinely suprised at his achievements. Proud but humble.
Well it did make the Theatre, but it won't be commissioned as a film. I'd much rather see the Richard Curtis penned sitcom - mentioned in the book - in which the prime minister is kidnapped and Madness are installed as interim leaders of the UK.
I think Suggs's decision not to use a ghost writer on this autobiography largely paid off. I've read a ton of celebrity biogs and most read like they've been constructed around a couple of interviews recorded onto a dictaphone and then padded out into a book. Suggs is a natural raconteur as he has depicted in his lyrics over the last three decades. It's not clear if he hired the services of an editor, because the chapter on the history of Ska and the singer's recent take up of serious cycling felt like padding and should have been cut. I enjoyed learning that the school his school fought against every term was my school. Listening to Baggy Trousers will never be the same again!
I adored the 'rude boy' charm that came across so well. This is a cheeky, funny, really entertaining book, and Suggs is so humble it's obvious he is a truly, lovely gentleman. It's interesting to listen to, as Suggs has the soul of an urban poet, and a brilliant way of utilising words.
I appreciated that it was narrated by the author, it really made the book come to life.
"Gritty and Funny... Complete Madness"
Its a heart warming, gritty but funny story of one of Britains best loved singers from a true British institution. The story weaves its way from growing up and moving to Wales .. To coming back to London becoming Suggs that we know and love. Weaving its way from the early days of Madness.. Chasing cheese down a hill to earthquakes In Finsbury Park.
Suggs is the obvious favourite, you want him to succeed and sometimes you feel sorry for him
Hard - loving and Fun... that's Mad
"Glimpses of magic but too rare."
More detail, slower narration and focus more on the band evolvement, which lets be honest thats why we read musicians biographies.
Wouldnt rule it out.
There is a warm, interesting story dying to get out. He has tried his own style of book and i applaude him for that unfortunately for me it just didnt quite come off. I like the idea of telling the story in years chronologically particularly as pre fame biogs can be dull, however this led to a lack of detail and 5 hours in i was still thinking i had hardly learnt anything interesting about this guy. Even anecdotes which were presumably included for humours sake were badly written ( parmesan cheese story came to nothing).
Suggs wonderful voice and style should have been a charm but i think it fails in the reading of this book.
I wanted to love this story and indeed will re listen in case ive been harsh.
I thought it was turning as they broke into the music scene, the top of the pops were interesting and funny but sadly could have been more detailed.
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