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Saint Morrissey: A Portrait of This Charming Man by an Alarming Fan Paperback – March 7, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Saint Morrissey is a cracking read, almost an instructional handbook on how to develop, deal with, and finally escape an obsession." --The Boston Phoenix

"Simpson is funny, clever, honest, irreverent and egotistical: quite the match for Morrissey. More biographies should be written this way." --Independent on Sunday - Books of the Year

"The most incisive biography of Morrissey yet published" --James Maker - 'The Fifth Smith'

"Like his subject, incurable super-fan Simpson is constantly amusing and provocative.... A book Morrissey will claim to hate, but secretly love." --Mojo

"A sweet and tender mash note by an unabashed obsessive...witty, clever, charming, disarming."

-- Geeta Dayal, "The Village Voice"

About the Author

Mark Simpson is the author of several books, including Male Impersonators and Metrosexy. He writes for several magazines and newspapers and is credited with coining the word 'metrosexual'.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074328481X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284813
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,450,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brit author and journalist Mark Simpson is credited with 'fathering' the metrosexual in the UK's Independent newspaper in 1994 (and also his hairy-backed anti-thesis the retrosexual).

Simpson introduced his insufferably pretty offspring to the US in 2002, naming David Beckham as the prime exemplar.

In 2010 the global cool-hunting/trend-spotting website Science of the Time described him as 'the world's most perceptive writer about masculinity'.

Both the New York Times and The London Times acclaimed his saucy new concept of 'Sporno' ('the place where sport and porn meet and produce a spectacular money shot') as one of their 'Ideas of the Year'.

In 2008 GQ Russia listed him - topless and oiled up - in their top ten Things That Changed Men's Lives, above Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigmund Freud and even Biotherm Homme.

Mark Simpson is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including: Saint Morrissey ('Funny, clever, honest, irreverent and egotistical: Simpson is quite the match for Morrissey' - Independent), Sex Terror ('Magnificent... Open Simpson's book anywhere you like as often as you like and you'll find gem-like sentences Zadie Smith would give her white teeth for' Independent on Sunday), and Male Impersonators ('Brilliant' - Observer).

What the critics say about Mr Simpson:

"SIMPSON WRITES WITH ENOUGH PANACHE TO MAKE MOST OF HIS PEERS TOSS THEIR LAPTOPS INTO THE WASTE DISPOSAL AND WEEP" - Simon Price, Independent on Sunday

"THE GAY ANTI-CHRIST" - Vogue

"I ALMOST HATE TO AGREE WITH ANYTHING HE SAYS" - London Review of Books

"AN AMUSED, DETACHED VOLTAIRE" - Independent on Sunday

"ERUDITE, INCISIVE, SASSY... FRESH, HILARIOUS" - Publishers Weekly

"ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST WRITERS AROUND" - Time Out

"BRILLIANTLY BUCCANEERING" - Spectator

"SERIOUSLY FUNNY" - Scotland On Sunday

"SPUNKY'" - Lambda Book Report

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book and, like it's subject, is startlingly unique. It's funny, clever, insightful and often quite moving. Above all it's brilliantly, dazzlingly written. Morrissey finally has a biographer worthy of him.
I have to admit though that I was, relatively speaking, a part-time Morrissey fan when I came to this book, but after finishing 'Saint Morrissey' I realised what I'd been missing out on, went out and bought all the albums I didn't have (except 'Southpaw Grammar' of course) and fell in love with Morrissey all over again, and more completely this time. But then this isn't just the best Morrissey book out there, this is one of the best books on pop culture and fandom ever penned.
Or at least, one of the best I've read - and I've read it twice now, in quick succession. I may even start memorising lines from it - talking about the effect hearing the first Smiths album had on him Simpson writes: 'It filled me with the urge to shoplift expensive perfume and spray bus shelters with it'. Is fandom catching? And can you become a fan of a writer simply because of the intensity and intelligence of their own fandom? 'Saint Morrissey' certainly makes it seem that way
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eyelashes on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Through the first twenty or so pages, Simpson's apparent attempt to appropriate and emulate Morrissey's wit/sense of humor sort of turned me off. But while I would've enjoyed a slightly less precious delivery, Simpson does turn out to have a reasonable amount of original observations on Morrissey's career.

Promoted as a "psychobio," Saint Morrissey is more about the man than the music - you may be surprised how little Simpson has to say about the actual albums through 250 pages (though this may be down to the fact that Morrissey offers much more opportunity for intellectual tangents than the average artist). You might call it a Unified Theory of Morrisseyism: it's less about "he did this, then he recorded this, then this happened" (which is what a lot of otherwise fine bios, like Complicated Shadows, devolve into) than it is about what it all means. It's an emotional response instead of a historical exercise, and that really appealed to me. It's also less...invasive, I guess?...than, say, Heavier Than Heaven, which took disgusting license in trying to get into its subject's head. Saint Morrissey isn't about exposing its subject's secrets, because Simpson understands Morrissey's career well enough to realize that his secrets are a massive element of his appeal. That understanding and respect is the key appeal here. Of course, it's written by a fan, and an alarming one at that, so Saint Morrissey is never critical in any serious sense, but it never panders the way Landscapes of the Mind does, either.

In the end, it's a quick, cute read designed for those who already know all the significant dates and chart placements and catalogue numbers. Why don't you find out for yourself?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Toadyhead on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a lot of fun. I read it while sitting infront of my computer to access youtube.com, dictionary.com, and wikipedia.com to learn about all the references. What can I say I was a business major. It made me laugh frequently. I especially loved the description of Morrissey's androgenous appearance as:"looking like a lesbian attempting a half-hearted gesture at femininity for her visiting parents". The author of course loves Morrissey as do I and it was nice to celebrate this great artist with someone.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "laurapgillespie" on April 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Maybe there are two kinds of Morrissey fans, but I don't really believe so. People who only like one or two Morrissey albums tend to be 80s leftover **Smiths** fans. And to be fair, I suppose it's possible that some of those people will enjoy this book. But my honest feeling, however selfish, is that anyone who might be described as a CASUAL Smiths/Morrissey fan does not deserve this book.
SAINT MORRISSEY is for the only kind of Morrissey fan - those of us who have stuck with Moz. By which I don't mean not liking some albums better than others (I happen to like them all - see below). Or not sometimes feeling frustrated at what being a Morrissey fan seems to mean to certain people we all know!! (There's a great quote about this on the back of SAINT MORRISSEY, which is too good to give away here.) But, well, you're either a Morrissey fan or you're not.
If you are a fan, this book will speak to your heart, make you immediately start grabbing the albums and playing them incessantly (if you've ever stopped), and make you feel... like this book is part of your Morrissey collection.
I've read SAINT MORRISSEY three times. So far. But - as I promised above - I must also confess that I love KILL UNCLE and SOUTHPAW GRAMMAR. And if I were to offer any criticism, it would be that Mark Simpson unfairly neglects those albums and MALADJUSTED... But maybe another true mark of a Morrissey fan is that we all have our own books to write?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Bard on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did read this book, and I did enjoy it. It is not only biographical but also philosophical and psychological. It covers the life of Morrissey from his childhood and influences to his days with the Smiths to his solo career. It is moreover a character study of how such a celibate, asexual man can be so sexual to so many people. The book has many pictures and memorable quotes from the artist, but it also prefaces with how the author himself has been influenced by him, and this prepares one for what mindset one should have in reading the rest of the book. It is a good read if you are into the Smiths, music, or if you just simply want to learn about a very unique human being. Thank you.
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