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Autobiography Hardcover – December 3, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Practically every paragraph has a line or two that demands to be read aloud to the mirror, tattooed on foreheads, carved on tombstones.”–Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

“Morrissey is a pop star of unusual writing talent.”–The New York Times

“As I floated, unmoored, Morrissey would drop in a single masterfully executed sentence. He’s a writer with a gift that he bends to bizarre use.”–Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker

“[Morrissey] is at his very best as he conveys what it was, and is, to be a youth lifted free by the sense of possibilities glimpsed in pop music and films and TV and poetry. He also writes as though he has a clear sense that Autobiography could provide the same kind of beacon, the same kind of life raft, for its most impressionable readers as he found in others. And that’s exactly how he should write, for one of the main reasons Morrissey matters as he does is because he has always been that kind of artist.”–GQ

“Rancorous, rhapsodic, schizophrenic: Autobiography delivers a man in full” –Andrew Male, Mojo

“A wonderfully entertaining read.”–Daily Mirror

“Morrissey's Autobiography is brilliant and relentless. Genius, really.”–Douglas Coupland

“This is the best book ever. Like ever.”–Wonderland 

“The Best Music Biog Ever ... In the world of rock autobiographies, Morrissey's is nigh-on perfect.”–NME

About the Author

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades.

Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.

An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv.

It has been said "Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1 edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399171541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399171543
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Google it - the US edition has details of Morrissey's personal life edited out - details that were apparently deemed likely to upset American readers, who (even when looking to read Morrissey's autobiography) are apparently likely to be offended by discussion of homosexuality. I returned mine and will be buying the British edition. Scandal.
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Format: Paperback
100 pages in and so far it has mostly been pretty harrowing descriptions of the casual brutality of post-war working class life and soul-crushing 'education' in northern England alternating with some of the best writing about what music can do to a human being, MEAN to a human being, ever written.

It has its flaws in that it is clearly penned by a self-taught Irish/northerner from a ravaged, poverty-stricken, red-brick wasteland, and as such has not the slickness and sheen of journalistic prose. A trustworthy editor may have improved a number of passages here and there. He likes alliteration a little too much, which I've never been fond of, & which gives the average sentence a strange sing-song quality and structure all its own. There is no way in hell this book was ghostwritten.

But then this is the books greatest strength, too. As with his passions, his politics, his sexuality, he is not 'this' or 'that', does not belong 'here' or 'there', he exists between the temporary meaning of all those words, all those labels, and it is this place he steadfastly attempts to write from in trying to explain himself and the felt experience of his life. That he achieves at all in this impossible mission would be enough for me to want to recommend the book to everyone I know, but that he makes his stand with such humour, passion and courage makes me want to press it into the hands of anyone with half a heart left to feel.

I thought at first, when I saw that it was going to be put out as a Penguin Classic that this was just another of Morrissey's whimsical appropriations of the things he loves, like getting EMI to reopen the "His Master's Voice" label up again just for him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am one of those die-hard fans of Morrissey. And in my eyes, or better yet, my brain, Mozza can never go wrong. The only sin my brain think he has ever committed, actually, was those weird hypo-sized bag-pants he wore for his show yesterday, in Norway. But if you knew me better, you can hardly blame me for my unconditional love for Moz: this kind of wit, this voice and this towering mix of humor and melancholy, you can't find these days. This autobiography was no exception for me, and I really don't understand those who think he is posing like "the world is against him", or that he "indulges in massive self-pity", etc. To me, he does show you in this quite interesting book his resilience against phases in his life that would turn any angel into a bloody psychopath or someone to recline on the analyst couch for a lifetime. I read about his school days in tears. If you think that Manchester schools in those days weren't as infernal as he describes, try reading then Angela's Ashes or listening to that Pink Floyd's Album (you know which one). I think that what saved him from dank, damp and dingy 1960's and 1970's Manchester was two things that made him NOT a victim but a survivor: his wit and his love of pop music. Two simple things. Ah, and another one: the angry drive to outlast these days.

Somehow, he is still this child that looks upon the world as a sad comedy (and secretly notes everything in some empty room and then blurts it out to the world). I could give this book less stars since it does not have decent paragraph lengths or chapters that could really make your life easier. And it did take me a while to get my brain used to his rococo style. He writes like a lord from the 17th century.
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Format: Paperback
I thought quite a bit about what I would say. Critiquing someone's autobiography is critiquing someone's assessment of their own life, and that hardly seems fair. Still, we're being asked to plunk down some cash to read it, so I'll try to be as objective as I can.

This is unusually written in the present tense, and I quickly grew to enjoy it. It made me feel as if I were along for the ride and living the experiences with Morrissey. However, things would often veer off (as life itself tends to do) and conversations or situations would pop up seemingly out of nowhere and I'd be left going backwards in the book to see what I had missed. Still, I enjoyed Morrissey's style.

Without judging the man, let me say this: Readers who say that there wasn't enough content devoted to The Smiths have a valid point. It's not that this period was ignored, and it accounts for around 10 percent of Morrissey's life thus far so Morrissey may have thought it didn't deserve a huge percentage of the book. But, like other fans, I felt that this period didn't deliver as much about his experiences with The Smiths as I would have liked. I recognize that Morrissey has license to choose how to tell his own story, but that was what I was most anticipating and found myself feeling a bit short-changed.

However, a considerable amount of time was spent discussing the lawsuit between Moz and Mike Joyce, which was clearly a painful recollection. I, for one, found it enlightening to hear his side of the story. And this helped me understand why a Smiths reunion will never happen. People may say mean things about Moz because of his unwillingness to reunite, but when seeing his perspective on what happened, I can understand why he feels like he has given them enough.
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