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Lips Unsealed: A Memoir Hardcover – June 1, 2010

109 customer reviews

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The Art of Memoir
"The Art of Memoir" by Mary Karr
As Mary breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Go-Go's lead singer who went on to a solo career recounts a remarkable early Cinderella story that morphs into a frank, though at times self-indulgent, story of drug abuse and failure. Hailing from a working-class section of Los Angeles, the eldest daughter of divorced parents, Carlisle struggled early on with shame over her mother's depression and her step-father's drinking problem; teased for her chubbiness, she sought escape from a difficult home and found it in the mid-'70s' burgeoning L.A. punk scene. Steeped in the brash music of Iggy Pop and Queen, crazy about the iconoclastic new look, she and her friends haunted Hollywood clubs while she worked as a hairdresser and secretary. In 1978 she, Jane Wiedlin, and Margot Olaverra came up with the idea of starting their own band, eventually adding Charlotte Caffey and Gina Shock, and within a short time the all-girl Go-Go's had moved from being a novelty to a super-cool pop band with their dance hit, We Got the Beat. Alongside dizzying stardom came the requisite drug-and-alcohol frenzy, and much of this memoir is a chronicle of one party after another and a list of celebrity who's who. Carlisle writes candidly, and her chronic fear of being exposed as a fake is heartfelt and winning. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Erstwhile Go-Go and distaff rock-music icon Carlisle delivers the goods on her battles with substance abuse and life on the road in the band that was a somewhat more organic version of the Runaways. The Go-Go's were the first all-female band to attain a number-one sales ranking with an album of original material played by the band. Although Carlisle's subsequent solo career has now overshadowed her Go-Go's days, at least artistically if not in the public consciousness, much of the fun here is centered on the wild and crazy partying on the road during the Go-Go's commercial ascendance. Social interactions and psychic adventuring with bands such as the Police provide the behind-the-scenes fodder that rock fans love in their stars' memoirs, and the fact that Carlisle also interacted professionally with the likes of Don Henley of the Eagles adds to her recollections. Carlisle continues to make music but has widened her focus, appearing on a BBC cooking show. This warm, well-written bio brings her fan base up to date. --Mike Tribby

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307463494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307463494
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By E. Allen on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Belinda Carlisle's autobiography is one of the most fascinating books I have read in quite some time. I was riveted, shocked and disgusted as I read Carlisle's surprisingly open and honest confession about her life of self loathing and drug and alcohol abuse. I was aware of her debauchery during her days in the Go-Go's, but was completely unaware of her continued substance abuse and self inflicted mental torture during her solo career. I honestly could not put it down and read the entire 250+ pages in one day. If you were/are a Go-Go or Carlisle fan, this is not to be missed. Belinda was always and still is my favorite member of the Go-Go's and I thoroughly enjoyed following her heartbreaking journey from beginning to end. I am amazed and thankful she actually survived to tell the story of her rollecoaster ride of ups and downs she endured during her life and career. It's comforting to know Belinda has at long last found some sort of peace and come to terms with her turbulent and disturbing past.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By GJP2010 on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Memoir and Bio are my favorite literary genres and this is one of the best I have read. I am a huge fan - from the Go-Go's up to her last French CD, "Voilà" - have always followed Belinda. I recently saw her live and she was incredible. The book - it is refreshingly candid and authentic. It flows well and as someone else wrote in an earlier review - brutally honest. The surprising part is how inspirational it is. As disturbing as some parts are, there is redemption and grace in it as well. I found myself very emotional while reading some parts - she expresses herself in such an emotional and raw manner and I really felt as if I were on this journey with her right through to her recovery struggles and coming out the other side into more light and grace. A great read and again, very inspirational, especially for folks from dysfunctional families and struggling with addiction issues - you will feel the hope and inspiration.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Campbell on July 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love celebrity biographies, and although Belinda's life makes for a great story, not so much for a book. The main thread is her decades-long drug use, but I was never able to get into her head. By the end of the book all I know is that she used alot of coke. I have no idea how that felt, what the specific consequences were, what exactly is a bender and what her rituals were. I don't know if she snort it or shot it, I dont know if she ever had a bloody nose, I don't how she acted or felt while she was high.... Alot of of flat stories with very little depth or description. Drugs were such a huge part of her life (and the book) I don't understand why as I reader I wasn't brought further into it. Still, it is a breezy read, just not alot of substance.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Betty Smith on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought she was so real and raw about her drug use. I do question if she can stay sober, I hope she does. She is so talented. its hard to read she was present in the moment for her son . I hope they truly have all moved on from this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Craig Rowland on June 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Belinda Carlisle wrote her memoir after five years of sobriety. Lips Unsealed doesn't read like a written memoir and resembles a transcribed interview. Carlisle's story was a burning page-turner for the first half of the book, as she recounts the punk scene in Los Angeles which led to the formation of the Go-Go's.

Carlisle was stoned on cocaine and booze for the first 47 years of her life. Her cocaine addiction was no secret to her fans (I count myself as a strong Go-Go's and Belinda Carlisle fan) who knew of her drug addiction over twenty years ago. What was surprising to discover were the countless times Carlisle fell off the wagon, only to sober up again then fall deeper and deeper into a coked-up Hell. Unfortunately Lips Unsealed suffers in its second half because Carlisle tells the same story over and over again. The last twenty years of her life were about going on tour, sniffing out coke dealers as soon as she was in a new town, then going onstage blasted out of her mind and partying for days afterward. It got pretty tiring to read the same story over and over again.

Belinda must have been sober during the making of the Go-Go's' and her own solo albums, because the accounts of her studio session time and the dynamics that were involved in songwriting and production were extremely interesting. Carlisle's later solo albums did not do well at all in North America, yet they were consistent Top Tens in Europe. I found it very interesting to read about her experiences making these lesser-known albums (such as Live Your Life Be Free and her French-only album, spelled mistakenly without the accent grave, Voila) since the local press all but ignored them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By o.i.e.Records,Ltd.  John McGlasson on November 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am always shocked at just how self-absorbed and downright selfish celebrities can be. It seems many of them are born that way. The damage they inflict while they chase success and self discovery can be massive, yet they trudge onward as if they owe it to society to be famous and grace us with their brilliance. Belinda went from decades of selfish junkie to becoming a selfish inner searching yoga desciple. While she does acknowledge the pain she caused, this book became a tedious journey at about the 50% mark. I kept reading because I paid for it, and because I was hoping it would end well. Boring, predictable, shocking at times. Not worth the price. Sad, I used to really like Belinda, before I knew too much about her.
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