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Reckless: My Life as a Pretender Paperback – August 9, 2016
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An Amazon Best Book of September 2015: With her new memoir, Chrissie Hynde makes one point abundantly clear: She, and no one else, could have been Chrissie Hynde. It’s hard to imagine how anyone else could so consistently find oneself time and again in the eye of the cultural storm: In just over 300 pages, Reckless charges through her life with, ahem, reckless abandon, taking us from her Northern Ohio upbringing through the demise of the first, combustible incarnation of her iconic band, The Pretenders. Against a tapestry of the urban decay of her hometown of Akron, Hynde walks a fine line between fan and groupie, effortlessly ingratiating herself with the day’s rock & roll royalty, including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Rod Stewart. As a somewhat shiftless student, she finds herself witness to the tragedy at Kent State University that changed the country and the course of an unpopular war. In London at its punk zenith, Hynde rubs elbows with Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer while looking for the band that would transform her songs into one of the most stunning debuts in rock history. Permeated with sex, drugs, and rock & roll--and sprinkled with sly hints about which experiences became what iconic songs—Hynde’s tell-all is as audacious, raw, and thrilling as her lyrics.-- Jon Foro--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Heartfelt and beautifully written.” —The Huffington Post
“Snaps with wit. . . . Reveals an extremely rare and brave character.” —New York Daily News
“Sharp. . . . Moving. . . . Restless and emphatic.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Hynde is an irresistible, unapologetic storyteller.” —USA Today
“A love letter to rock ‘n’ roll. . . . Honest and distinctive. . . . [Reckless] gives an accurate sense of what it’s like to sit down with Chrissie Hynde. . . . Acerbic, clever, confrontational.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Rich and ragged. . . . Engaging. . . . [Hynde] writes just like she lives, and just like she makes music. She does it her way, which is an inimitable multiplicity of things: impulsive, untamed, ragged, proud.” —The Daily Beast
“Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography, Reckless, out-rocks them all.” —The Washington Post
“Rebellious, fierce. . . . Full of engaging stories, dry wit and revelations.” —The Guardian (London)
“Fascinating. . . . A portrait of an era.” —Vogue.com
“[A] fascinating memoir.” —Financial Times
“Entertaining. . . . Sarcasm and dry humor shine through. . . . One can almost hear her deep, sneering vibrato.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A stirring tale of rock, regret and redemption. . . . Unflinching. . . . Reckless is a survivor’s tale, a portrait of a woman bolstered by conviction and buoyed by extreme fortitude. ” —The Buffalo News
“This long-awaited memoir tells [Hynde’s] life story in full and utterly fascinating detail. . . . She brings a fantastic eye for detail, a withering and sardonic sense of humor, and a fearless emotional honesty.” —Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, sometimes the closest view to a scene might not be the best. I had high expectations for this book. I expected insight into Chrissie and the Pretenders to be as moving as the songs. However, this biography delivered on some and missed on others.
I enjoyed the history of Chrissie growing up, being an under-achiever, and wandering through high school, college, and beyond. This book conveyed the paucity of her early life, although in a somewhat disconnected series of events.
One of the high points in the book was a personal low in her life. The chapter "Tattooed Love Boys" gave insight into a very bad violent and horrible scene in her life. The chapter haunts me. However, Chrissie owns up to the situation and moves on to much better things. What a strong person. I wish I could be so resilient.
I was hoping to hear more about her musical development. There are many stories of her connections to bands and people of the punk era. I hoped to hear more about her learning to play guitar or how her first songs came out chord by chord. I guess I was expecting more, but perhaps they popped out fully finished, no story.
Later in the book, the history of the Pretenders and the relations in the band come off as very quick and cursory to me. I would have expected more illustrations and more insight into the other band members. Things pass very quickly in this part of the book. I was hoping I would understand more about Jimmy, Pete, and Martin here, but it sounds like too many drunken nights to analyze.
Again this seems to happen with the Ray Davies marriage. Yes, they fought like cats and dogs, but over what? He sounds like a mutual idol, but why get married? Tell me more about your daughter Natalie. How did you and Ray deal with the break up and Natalie? He is in the rear-view mirror, but what has gone on with you and him today?
Finally, the book ends much too quickly around 1984-85. The band breaks up. Done. Ugh. I wanted to hear about the down time and "Back on the Chain Gang". I want to hear about every album, the VegiTerranean restaurant, the solo album. I guess that will be part of the next book.
Thanks for sharing this. I want to hear the rest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is no draw into the characters & the story is just bland.Read more