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1,025 of 1,091 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You thought he'd remember nothing? Well, he remembers all of it. 'Life' is absolutely fascinating.
Keith Richards. Right, he's the Rolling Stone you notice when Mick Jagger's not shaking and singing. The one who kicked his heroin addiction by having all his blood transfused in Switzerland. Who was --- for ten years in a row --- chosen by a music magazine as the rocker "most likely to die." Whose solution to spilling a bit of his father's ashes was to grab a straw and...
Published on October 26, 2010 by Jesse Kornbluth

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266 of 290 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars ... 3 stars ... 2 stars
The first third of the book is absolutely fantastic. Keith Richards chronicles his childhood and the formation of the band with lots of personality and charm. Highly recommended. I really couldn't put the book down.

The book loses steam in the middle third -- the drugged-out 70s. I wish a little more time was spent talking about the music. When he *does* write...
Published on November 5, 2010 by Tom Mott


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5.0 out of 5 stars AN INSIDE INSIGHT TO THE CREATIVE PROCESS, February 9, 2011
By 
Robert Mykle (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
As a guitarist marching through Keith Richards' 500 page autobiographic tome I was fascinated by his description of the growth and development of his music. I knew the Stones were innovative but Richards' book explains in detail his creative process and the direction of his musical evolution.
I'm not sure how long he took to write the book but it seems that his style changed somewhere near the middle; from hip flippant to more structured insight.
I only began the book as it was recommended by the lead guitarist of our university R&R band, The Rockingham Whigs. Music is important in life but where as Richards lives it intensely, I simply enjoy it.
Perhaps because of my own prickly experimentation with recreational drugs as a youth and band member, I cringed reading his delve into narcotics. Too blunt or too close to home?
Keith Richards lives for his music and the world is richer for it. Highly recommended for all musicians literal or otherwise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and intelligent, February 8, 2011
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
It's a must-read for music fans and musicians and anyone interested in the 60s and 70s, the way the world was changing and the way the change was heralded by rock and roll. Keith captures it all, as well as being charming and funny, risque and out there, he was intelligent and paying attention. He marvels at a group of legal types who sit down with the Stones and ask them what they want, for all the world as if they are dangerous revolutionaries. Then he expounds on the benefits of 5-string open G tuning. I only wish this book came with MP3s so we could have examples of all the music and the chords he is playing, and also of his musical inspirations and sources. I can Google them, but I can't find the exact sounds Keith is referencing. There's a lot of personal detail, too, his life and loves, but he never once loses his focus on his music. Inspiring, and amazing, the time he and Mick spent on creating that sound. This book is everything it should be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Architect of Rock & Roll, November 2, 2010
By 
M. Rietdijk (Amsterdam, Holland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
Rock & Roll, or, Rythm & Blues was new in the 60s in Brittain and The Rolling Stones popularized it all over the world, also outside the black community, where is has been developed first. Mick Jagger as lead singer and 'salesman', Keith Richards as scholar and architect of the music and above all innovative guitar player. Mick slept with the girls, Keith with the guitars (literally!). His side of the almost 50 year story is lively and honest, so it seems. He states that his drug addiction (until the 80's) contributed to his survival, althought he was on the 'death list' top ten for many years. A fascinating story, comparable with Voyage au bout de la nuit of Céline. Every Stones fan is inspired in some way in his/her own life. In my case in studying and popularizing the science and application of positive reinforcement for a better world.
Dr. Marius Rietdijk, VU University Amsterdam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let There Be Life, March 25, 2011
By 
Eric Treanor (Belmont, California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
Life (not "Life") is work, kids--hours upon hours of passionate, single-minded, obsessive, bleeding-fingers work. And if you've got an open soul--that's a hell of an "if"--and if you're lucky enough to meet your Mick Jagger, and if by some miracle you manage to remain alive despite the dangers of your own openness, you might make for the rest of us something that matters.

While I was reading this wonderful memoir--which is less about girls and drugs (although they're in there) than about the working life of an artist--I was reminded of a question by the German poet Durs Grünbein:

"I don't want to frighten you, but have you ever thought about what happens to people who aren't artists?"

Keith Richards spared himself that terror. If you want a glimpse into the cost of that calling--the highest calling that we can call a profession--then give his book a long listen. Like his music, it's worth every minute.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Made me Hate Keith Richards, February 25, 2013
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This review is from: Life (Paperback)
I am not a contemporary of the Rolling Stones but have always loved their music (Beatles or Stones? Stones for me far and away). I was very excited about this book and boy did it deliver. Heading into it I held Keith Richards in high esteem, even though I "knew" about his drug fueled past. I went through an entire emotional gammit with Keith in this book. I loved him for being strong enough at a young age to pursue what he wanted and not give a damn about what he or anyone was supposed to do. I hated him for being a degenerate drug addict that pushed away friends and family. Then I loved him again for finding his balance between his life and his loved ones. From an outsider's perspective, Keith doesn't pull any punches and has an incredible story to tell. He doesn't want you to feel sorry for him, or even feel anything for him, he just tells a story and let's the reader interpret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Keef, January 28, 2011
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
"Life" was quite a ride. I'm not, honestly, that familiar with the work of the Rolling Stones, nor with the rock 'n' roll scene in general. I enjoy hearing the band occasionally, when there's one of their more familiar tunes playing on the radio. But I am not a regular nor a particularly enthusiastic listener, and I would likely not even have picked up this book had it not been so widely praised.

I can see why. Despite its length, it does speed along through the years at a nifty pace, in a colorful, effortless romp of language that combines the musician's idiom with a kind of cocky, irreverential Brit-talk that you hear in a Monty Python episode. The narrative, I'm sure, is told orally by Richards and transcribed (by co-writer James Fox) with all its rough edges, non sequiturs and profanities intact--all of which makes for refreshingly salty prose. It's fun to read.

For full review, go to [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars IF you look up the word 'death' in Websters, they say, Keith Richards face will be pictured. Funny line of his., June 29, 2014
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
I read Keiths 'Life' the year it came out. Was he was the Keith Richards everyone thought they knew? Hardly. This guy has lead a 1000 lives and has enjoyed everyone of them, while wondering why he hasn't died as of yet. This brilliant musician can't count the girls he's been with but did manage to fall in Love w/ Ronne Spector of the 'Ronettes'--who he still claims to love even today. "she was the love of my life" says he. The drugs, the women, the quest for virtual immortality musically, right to the 'castles' each one owns is all in here in a fantasy mixed with drugs, sex & rock & roll. I personally love the Stones and even if you don't this book will draw you in and tie you to a chair till you're done w/ it. Fantastic, funny, sad and exciting story of a life lived with uber endurance. If you love the Stones or even one of their songs, read this -his life will make your jaw drop.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Although fascinated by the details of his upbringing in the ..., July 21, 2014
By 
JCY 500 (Santa Barbara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Kindle Edition)
Although fascinated by the details of his upbringing in the London exurb of Dartford, I must say I became more than a bit tired of all the excesses of his rock n roll life. As a man with a multi-decade drug and alcohol addiction, he has precious little insight into his own motivations, and of the damage he caused to himself and others. In many ways, as with many rock n rollers, he never grew up.

Recollections of various members of his circle are presented in the book, but Jagger, although frequently mentioned, is minimized in the book. I'm sure Keith would say it's his book, and that it is.

As yet another "as told to" celebrity autobiography, it frequently reads as transcriptions of recorded interviews. Still, until Jagger or perhaps a "serious" biography of the Stones is written, I guess this one will be required reading for all of us Stones fans.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but worth a read, July 30, 2012
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
I found parts of this book to be delightful and other sections had me close to abandoning it. There beginning part about his backstory and the formation of the Stones was very good, but it felt like that was the proverbial first album and the rest of the book was the rest of the discography (there is an idea in the music realm that the first album of any band tends to be far superior because the bands spends years making it from their best material and it's much harder to make another album of similar quality in a year or two afterward).

Some of the crazy stories of drugs, busts and backstabbing are extremely compelling, but there were also pages and pages of relatively mundane events that most readers I suspect will have little interest in.

I think it's worth a read even for people like myself who aren't huge Rolling Stones fans, but expect some frustration.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A self-serving tale, March 23, 2011
This review is from: Life (Hardcover)
I worried about Richards' book being self-serving and a voyage through bad boy land. But I am a sucker for rock 'n' roll biographies and have read lots of them. This one started out well: an interesting look at the beginnings of the Stones and the dumb things they all did as kids, trying to find their musical footing. But then the book became a seemingly endless recounting of drugs, arrests, sexual forays, how to avoid overdosing and escapes from PR disasters and more arrests. I DID enjoy Richards' explanations about his guitar innovations; I am a guitarist and always wondered how he did some of those riffs. But the book itself got to be plodding and I finally set it down for good before finishing it. This could have been a far more interesting look into the joys and trials of superstar life, but was instead a narrower look at the bad boy life Richards' chose off stage.
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Life
Life by Keith Richards (Hardcover - October 26, 2010)
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