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Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender Hardcover – October 16, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Little Richard. David Bowie. Elton John. Prince. Madonna. There’s a long tradition of pop-music artists who dare to push theatrical boundaries and blur gender lines, none more adroitly than the late Queen front man, Freddie Mercury. His unabashed flamboyance, which often teetered on the edge of camp, burns brightly for many of today’s biggest stars, most notably Lady Gaga (who is named after the 1984 Queen hit “Radio Ga Ga”) and Adam Lambert (who has performed lead vocals for Queen live in concert on several occasions). They owe an enormous debt to Mercury, one of the most iconic performers ever to command the stage and arguably rock’s greatest showman (or woman). This handsomely assembled and officially sanctioned photo book includes rare and never-before-seen photos of Mercury—from his childhood in Zanzibar to his final, frail appearances on the set of music videos in 1991—as well as personal anecdotes from those who knew him closely. The images are a moving tribute to one man’s style revolution and will appeal to casual and hard-core fans alike. --Chris Keech

About the Author

Richard Gray is the photographer and designer behind some of the best recognized Queen imagery of the past 26 years. He entered the music world in the early '80s, and has worked with Kate Bush, David Bowie, Duran Duran, and Live Aid. He met Queen in 1986, and photographed them on stage at their final concert with Freddie. His book projects include 40 Years of Queen and Queen: The Complete Illustrated Lyrics. He lives in London, England.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Editions; Har/Com edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781608871780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608871780
  • ASIN: 1608871789
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10.8 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Becky Scott VINE VOICE on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I recently received a review copy (from the publisher) of this fantastic book. And I was super excited to see it arrive on my doorstep. Freddie Mercury is one of my favorite musical artists of all time. I grew up listening to Queen. One of the very first Homecoming games I ever went to had We Will Rock You as the theme. (I think we did We Are the Champions one year as well.) Ahem. ANYWAY, did I mention how much I love Queen?

I have to admit that I had heard Bohemian Rhapsody for years and years. I liked it, of course, but I really got to know it all over again in Wayne's World. Yep. I was in college and a friend loved that movie so very much I think we watched it in the neighborhood of 25 times. Maybe more.

In the years to follow, I rediscovered so many Queen songs: You're My Best Friend, Death on Two Legs, Killer Queen, Flash Gordon (yep, even saw the movie), I Want to Break Free, Another One Bites the Dust (ooh, wait, I think that was a Homecoming theme song, too!), Bicycle, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls.... Really, I could keep going.

When you first open the book, there's a great history of Freddie Mercury and Queen. And I absolutely loved the section that talked about the amazing infectious qualities to Bohemian Rhapsody. (Another aside - I didn't know who Scaramouche was until my college English Lit classes.) Some really good stuff.

And then, you reach the photos. So beautiful and touching. I was a little sad looking through them, it made me miss him and his music so much. But it is also a wonderful tribute to Freddie. There are some stunning photos in there, with bits and pieces of Freddie's history woven throughout. I haven't even gotten to the audio interviews yet (CD included in book), I've been so lost in the photographs.
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Though I will watch or read anything that has something to do with Freddie, some are just more magical than others. The great pretender is lavish, gorgeous, and filled with wonderful images and anecdotes... A must have for any Freddie fan!
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Thought I was just getting another plain old book, but when I received it...Wow!! The photography in this book is just beautiful. So glad I found this. A must have for any Freddie Mercury/Queen fan. You won't be disappointed.
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I simply and honestly LOVE all things Freddie Mercury - so I am excited and overjoyed that this is now apart of my F.M. Collection. the only item I will always regret not having in my collection is his original "Mr. Bad Guy" solo album!!! I've run across it several times while surfing - and alas, I could never afford it at today's prices! No matter, I am VERY pleased with what I have garnered in my collection. This is NOT one I would have passed up!
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My 22 year old granddaughter asked her Grandfather for this book for Christmas. When she open the gift, she was so excited and for the rest of the day she was thoroughly enjoying the book. Of course Grandpa was waiting for his turn!!! This is a great item for those who love Queen and Freddie Mercury!!!!
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I bought this for this year's Secret Santa giveaway of the Queen Breakfast Club. That's a group of 7 of us in Nashville who get together every month or so for breakfast at a local restaurant, or dinner at one of our houses, and talk about Queen, Queen-related matters, and some matters that are not at all related to Queen. This book is not only beautiful and substantial, with lots of terrific pictures and anecdotes spanning Freddie's very interesting early childhood all through his life and career, but it helped me nail my gifting responsibility for the QBC this year. It was an awesome present that came in right at the Club's monetary limit on such gifts and is a worthy volume in any QBC member's library. A male QBC member ended up with it but any of our female members would have been equally thrilled. So for unisex gifting purposes, this is a no-brainer. In sum, this book is a fine addition to the Queen canon and I believe I speak for the entire QBC when I recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in Queen.
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By Tiff on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE THIS BOOK!

ANYONE WHO LOVES FREDDIE WILL LOVE THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK!

It is not just pictures there is a lot of info in here to read in the 1st part of the book. Yes some is pretty much in anything that is made about Freddie BUT there have been quite a few little things & fun facts that I didn't know. So I enjoyed that part of the book. Then it turns into all pictures w/ side notes of the info on the picture & that's pretty much it. BUT as I said if you love Freddie (& I am kinda obsessed) you will treasure this & I think it is actually at a really great price I would most defiantly have paid more! So you are getting a fantastic addition to your collection or if you are thinking of a gift for a your Freddie Freak Friend....This Is For You!
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Since I don't have any other Queen/Freddie books, i really enjoyed this one. I see another reviewer was upset because of it being a rehash of an older book. I enjoyed this book much more than the DVD by the same name.
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