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Coal Black Mornings

Narrated by: Brett Anderson, Matt Thorne
Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Listen to the end for an audiobook exclusive: Brett Anderson in conversation with Matt Thorne, author of Prince.

Brett Anderson came from a world impossibly distant from rock star success, and in Coal Black Mornings he traces the journey that took him from a childhood as 'a snotty, sniffy, slightly maudlin sort of boy raised on Salad Cream and milky tea and cheap meat' to becoming founder and lead singer of Suede.

Anderson grew up in Hayward's Heath on the grubby fringes of the Home Counties. As a teenager he clashed with his eccentric taxi-driving father (who would parade around their council house dressed as Lawrence of Arabia, air-conducting his favourite composers) and adored his beautiful, artistic mother. He brilliantly evokes the seventies, the suffocating discomfort of a very English kind of poverty and the burning need for escape that it breeds. Anderson charts the shabby romance of creativity as he travelled the tube in search of inspiration, fuelled by Marmite and nicotine, and Suede's rise from rehearsals in bedrooms, squats and pubs. And he catalogues the intense relationships that make and break bands as well as the devastating loss of his mother.

Coal Black Mornings is profoundly moving, funny and intense - a book which stands alongside the most emotionally truthful of personal stories.

©2018 Brett Anderson (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

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Profile Image for Anna Lloyd
  • Anna Lloyd
  • 03-01-18

A memoir of Brett Anderson

I intended to listen, by way of delayed gratification, chapter by chapter in installments. But like a packet of opened biscuits, I guiltily consumed Coal Black Mornings in one sitting. This is a memoir in which the author paints a picture of his bleak, poverty stricken upbringing with the juxtaposition of the colourful family characters that would later bring the lyrics of his song to life. It's a story of the influence of father to son and then on to Brett's own son. The moment you look in the mirror and see and acknowledge you are a reflection of your parents.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Gareth Murphy
  • 03-04-18

Enchanting

I tried to pace myself but couldn't. Brett's descriptive prose is difficult to tear yourself away from and I wanted more.

In terms of story it's an account of childhood, youth and band formation. But it's Brett's worldview that really captivates. The way he crystallises a certain time in a certain place that seems familiar in many ways and yet in others markedly distinct from my own youth.

A real accomplishment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 06-26-19

Beautiful and honest. Not just for suede fans

This is a brilliantly honest memoir of childhood, growing up as an outsider, and the early years of Suede. Written in Brett's beautifully descriptive style, that fans will recognise from his lyrics.

The Black Coal Mornings consciously ends at the point that Suede sign their record deal with Nude, so the highs and dark lows of success are not the focus of this book. A brave decision, that gives this book a distinct character, and allows the narrative to breath.

The audio book is the definitive version, as it is given extra life through Brett's narration.

I absolutely loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-19

Evocative, funny, engaging.

I felt very engaged with Coal Black Mornings and since finishing it, my mind has kept returning to the themes that Brett describes including, family tensions and the work that goes into being creative. The book connects because the stories from life as an estate kid / outsider are not sanitised and the people in his life are beautifully observed through small but evocative details. Brett is also self deprecating and there are some very funny moments (Such as the school discovering a comic book / teacher hit list that he and a friend had put together.). The narration is spot on - clear and conversational with a great Q&A section with Matt Thorne at the end.

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  • Mr A J Ironside
  • 02-16-19

Exceptional Memoir

This is an exceptional memoir by one of the most accomplished British songwriters of the past 30 years. It is beautifully written and perfectly evokes the atmosphere and build up to the early success of Suede, but could be enjoyed by any reader (whether or not familiar with the band) given the quality of the writing.

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  • Caroline
  • 12-08-18

First audiobook I’ve finished

Wonderfully written and narrated, a real joy and I hope Brett writes more. Really enjoyed this.

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  • Fantasy Demon
  • 11-22-18

Thoughtful, Self-Aware and Insightful

This is a wonderful account of Brett's early years written in beautiful prose. It adds to the listening experience immeasurably when an artist is persuaded to read their own work and Brett does a fine job here - I'm so glad he took the trouble and didn't consider himself too 'grand' for the undertaking. This is an insightful and self-aware account of his early years growing up in abject poverty and shows how a series of humiliating failures, a heartbreaking loss and a devastating break-up moulded Brett into the writer, singer and artist he became. Not just for the Suede hardcore, this is an uplifting account of a man who succeeded through a succession of failures.

My only gripe is, it felt way too short. I sincerely hope Brett enjoyed the experience enough to bring out future installments.

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  • Trisbo
  • 11-11-18

Excellent

Beautifully written account of Brett’s early frustrations and failures. Loved every minute. You will enjoy it too!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-18

beautifully read and written memoir

Anderson's Memoir is lyrical, honest and unusual. He has an artist's eye for detail- finding beauty in the mundane and weaving descriptions of desperate poverty into vignettes of growing up, family tragedy and ambition.

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  • Sian
  • 10-27-18

Loved it

So raw and beautiful. I liked how it jumped back and forward just like the mind wanders when reliving the past.

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  • Britpop
  • 05-19-18

Couldn’t stop listening! Very compelling

As a suede fan from the 90’s, I lived through the story in real time. Liked how the prose offers great vignettes of early 90’s England. Fabulous insights and moving storytelling.

Avoids the Cocaine and gold discs cliche and narrates us instead to the human side of the outsider on the brink of cataclysmic music and cultural shift