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Take it Like a Man: The Autobiography of Boy George

4.8 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0330323628
ISBN-10: 0330323628
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The British pop band Culture Club produced a string of mid-1980s hits like "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Karma Chameleon," but the provocative, campy persona of frontman Boy George always attracted more attention than the band's music itself. Characterized by his droll wit, elaborate makeup and bizarre, gender-bending dress, Boy George took pop-star iconography to new heights of outlandishness and was a worldwide media darling until his drug habit all but destroyed his career. In this highly entertaining autobiography, the singer details with wit and pathos his working-class childhood as the self-dubbed "pink sheep" of a large suburban family, his teenage fascination with and emulation of glam-rock icons like David Bowie and Marc Bolan, his years as a London punk scenester, his jet-setting life as a pop celebrity and his painful descent into and recovery from heroin addiction. At times rambling and disjointed, this is nevertheless a compelling portrait of an individual who, by publicly celebrating his kinks and quirks, parlayed his alienation from mainstream British culture into a highly successful career. Bright is a London-based journalist. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Tell-all memoirs by gay or bi stars used to gloss over their sexuality, but Boy George O'Dowd's book forsakes such pretense, presenting him as he is, pancake makeup and all. Comfortably chatty and full of witty observations and characterizations, it is the engaging chronicle of a gentle soul, aware from an early age of what his preferences were and that he was born to perform. Boy George recalls memorizing the words to every song he heard, regardless of musical style, and singing and dancing along with the records. He recalls a lonely childhood as a known "poof," the "pink sheep of the family." His is the story of a talented working-class lad who attained a blinding flash of fame that the media dubbed Boy George Mania, only to fall into drug addiction and personal upheaval. His sweet nature shines out, however, in a narrative that visits most of the usual road-to-fame pitstops but details them in original and insightful ways. This is that rare thing, a rock bio that may appeal to other readers besides its subject's fans. Mike Tribby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books (November 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330323628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330323628
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently went to see Taboo, Boy George's semi-autobiographical musical about the 1980s club scene. It was then that I first became interested in his life and wanted to know more than the musical showed. I knew little about his life, as I'm not old enough to have read those infamous newspaper headlines. To be completely honest I wasn't that interested in George before I saw Taboo, I'm very heavily into my rock music...bands such as Placebo,Hole,Nirvana,Tool, PJ Harvey etc...and as Culture Club were a pop band and George is now doing his DJ thing I thought it wasn't really my cup of tea. I first bought a copy of this book for my sister's birthday as she saw Taboo with me and said Boy George's story was really interesting. When it arrived in the post I decided to have a quick read, just to see if it was as good as all the reviews on Amazon said. Well, once I started to read, it was almost impossible to stop and wrap the book up. I was hooked and knew that I would have to order my own copy. So I did. It's very rare that I find a book that captures me and interests me as much as `Take It Like A Man'. I read at every available opportunity, sometimes reading until 2am because I just couldn't wait to see what happened next. The book is written quite like George is sitting next to you, talking you through his life, the tone is friendly and inviting willing you to read on. George also laces the whole thing with a fantastic bitchy humour, even in the harrowing chapters about his drug addiction. I was very interested to read about his days as a punk, singing with his ex-boyfriend's punk band `Theatre of Hate'.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a great example of how to do an autobiography the right way. So many celebrity bios and autobios I have read in the last few years flirt with the truth but never face it head on. It seems most celebrities feel they have so much to lose by just being honest with their fans that they won't open up and tell it like it is. George is refreshingly candid, incredibly funny, and seems to have learned a great deal from his past mistakes. Some might argue that George's waning popularity since the heyday of Culture Club is the reason for this revealing, warts and all autobiography. That maybe he wouldn't be so forthright if he still had massive celebrity at stake. I would wholeheartedly disagree with that, as he has always been pretty honest about who he is and where he comes from. Who can forget his infamous Grammy acceptance speech for Best New Artist ("thank you, America...you've got style, you have taste, and you know a good drag queen when you see one!" ) and the collective GASP! that was America's response. I am of the opinion that that moment was the begining of the end for Culture Club,partly because the dreaded Best New Artist Grammy Curse, and partly because America at that time just wasn't ready for an openly homosexual, cross dressing soul singer. ( I still doubt they would be now, but that's not really the point. ) If you've no interest in Culture Club, or "Boy" George O'Dowd, then I doubt this book is really for you. But if you're a fan ( and if you've gotten this far, you must be at least curious ) I can highly recommend this book. It is at turns bitingly funny, deliciously camp and sometimes sad. A great read.
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Format: Paperback
I read this big tome three times and plan a fourth. No other rock pop biography I read had the spunk, the humour, the rhythm, the giddiness of "Take it like a man", and I have read plenty. At times harrowing and bittersweet, but also tons of irony and fun. A person as multifaceted as a diamond. Let's hear it for the Boy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where do I even start with this one? I've admired Boy George for years, not only for his songwriting and singing, but also for his articulate, funny and profound views on life. The story is wonderfully detailed, and peppered with George's penchant for humorous plays on words and piercing one-liners. It's a very introspective and honest account of his life up to his early 30s. To be honest, it's a little hard to believe someone actually lived everything that happened in this book, so I'm sure it's much easier for us to read than it was for him to live it. Even so, he tells the story to make it feel like you are there with him, and also somehow remains someone you feel that you, too, can relate to, even in his most outrageous outfits, fantastic successes and even personal lows.

Sure, Boy George has had many very public destructive events in his life, especially ones that have happened since the publication of this book, but it's nice to see that he seems to be in a much happier period in his life now, drug-free, healthy and happy. I always will admire him for his honesty, being true to himself and who he is.
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Format: Paperback
While this book has over 400 pages, it didn't take me long to read it. In fact i had a hard time putting it down. Boy George who has charmed us with his music ever since the early eighties, tells his story with such candor and the witt that he is famous for. I think after all these years and all that he has been through, he still hasn't lost his sense of humor. Between talking about his long time heroin addiction to his romance with drummer Jon Moss, George shows us in Take It Like A Man that he is more than just a pop superstar, but a human being with a heart and soul. George if you ever happen upon these pages, just remember that we love you and wish you the best always.
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