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Seven Years with Banksy Paperback – September 1, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

the closest we'll ever get to a 'tell all' book...with previously unpublished material detailing the two friends' escapades in the 90s, it's brilliantly fly on the (graffiti) wall Marie Claire Including exclusive and unpublished material from the author's personal archive, this illuminating memoir is sure to appeal to the legendary artist's legion of fans Midlands What's On Clarke's frank, spare writing style successfully manages to demystify the elusive, modest artist. Insightful and entertaining with full glossy colour illustrations, this is the perfect read for admirers of street art We Love This Book A peek into the formative years of the graffiti legend, as told by an insider TNT Together they tramp through the mud at Glastonbury, go skateboarding in Manhattan, invade London Zoo under cover of dark The Observer Lifts the lid on the humble beginnings of the Bristol-born tagger The Sun

About the Author

Robert Clarke was born in Bristol and has spent a third of his life traveling the world working a variety of jobs from builder to bicycle courier.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843178656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843178651
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book, but if you are looking for a "Tell all Book" then keep looking, which is good mind you. Most of his encounters are very brief and Banksy only says a few sentences to him at most on some of those occasions, which according to the author is Banksy through and through since he doesn't not say much anyway. It was cool to read about Banksy in his earlier years and how he kind of became the man he is today. However, I agree with another reviewer who said that it was rather odd that the author doesn't wish to reveal Banksy's identity, however, used his "real first name" which has been confirmed as his real name in other tabloids and such. I think he did it as a way to validate his book and get people more interested in the story. Makes him more human if you have his name, instead of his alias. Either way it was odd.

Also, I don't know if it was just me, but it seemed like this guy had a huge hard on for him. I mean every other sentence, he is just GUSHING about Banksy and how wonderful, talented, smart and awesome he is, which is nice and all but spare us the propaganda. We get it he's this amazingly talented street artist, but going on and on about how wonderful he is gets repetitive and annoying.

If you are a Banksy fan, nothing in this book will surprise you. It's all pretty much the same things you learn in interviews with Banksy and other people's encounters with him. He's nice, he's tall, he's down to earth. It's all the same. It gives some insight into his early years as a street artist in NYC, but thats about it. Even the parts when he "helps" Banksy on his art escapades like at the Zoo, it's very brief, vague and anti-climatic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read the book over the weekend and while I am not an art critic I found the book to a bit exploitative of the artists Banksy. For an author to claim to be friends with Banksy you would assume he would have asked his consent before publishing a book about him. While most of the book seems believable there were definitely some scenes that seem highly improbable. Particularly, the part why Banksy approaches Robert in a night club to ask about his identity. Also Robert claims to be the first guy to purchase a painting from the developing artist and he shows a picture of the signature and the date on back but not the actual picture he purchased, why even include a picture of the signature if you are not going to show the art. Overall, the book was a decent read but you definitely were left with the sense that this author leverages his acquaintance with Banksy for profit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So, the guy writing this says right off it's not meant to unmask Banksy. I would ask, "Why keep using a name for him, then? Why not just insert 'Banksy'?" So, that was a bit distracting and disappointing.

Clarke says he intends to show Banksy's soul. Well, he did accomplish that, I think, through the anecdotes he gives. Well-done on that score.

The quality of writing was not what I'd expect from someone who declares his intention to BE a writer. Cliches were lined up and marched across the page, in glorious splendor. Fricking one after the other. It was a hard read only in that your eyes were forced to dodge cliches half the time.

But the story itself has a fresh sweetness to it. And I've already recommended it to a friend who's quite keen on the artist. So, there you go-- 4 stars.
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Format: Paperback
I read any and all books on any artist I find interesting. Thought this would be a decent book, but it's just a book about Clarke running into "Banksy" every now and again through out the years. Not a bad read, but the title and description are not what it is.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a solid read for a true fan and a close look into the maturing of an artist. The author tends to sound like he is falling in love with the artist rather documenting his evolution into the modern art celebrity he is today. But still a good look into how Banksy works and thinks.
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Havent finished reading it yet but its been a good book ;)
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