In 1984, at the age of 20, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle - partly to pursue music, but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then-decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In LA only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as "Slash." Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N' Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.
In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.
"Honest but difficult listening"
What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-30s, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Fascinated by the experience, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art.
How to Be Like is a "character biography" series: biographies that also draw out important lessons from the life of their subjects. In this new book - by far the most exhaustive in the series - Pat Williams tackles one of the most influential people in recent history. While many recent biographies of Walt Disney have reveled in the negative, this audiobook takes an honest but positive look at the man behind the myth. For the first time, the book pulls together all the various strands of Disney's life into one straightforward, easy-to-listen-to tale.
He is the proud torchbearer of the Beatles, the greatest band in the history of popular music, and one of the most closely-studied artists in show business, yet secrets and surprises remain in the life of Sir Paul McCartney. The full story is told in Fab. Howard Sounes, author of the acclaimed Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, spent more than two years investigating every aspect of Sir Paul's life and work, including interviewing over 200 people.
In this definitive biography - blessed by John le Carré himself - Adam Sisman reveals the man behind the best-selling persona. In John le Carré, Sisman shines a spotlight on David Cornwell, an expert at hiding in plain sight - "born to lying," he wrote in 2002, "bred to it, trained to it by an industry that lies for a living, practiced in it as a novelist."
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the undisputed giants of 20th-century philosophy. His intellectual writings popularizing existentialism, combined with his creative and artistic flair, have made him a legend of French thought. His tumultuous personal life - so inextricably bound up with his philosophical thinking - is a fascinating tale of love and lust, drug abuse, high-profile fallings-out and political and cultural rebellion.
Thomas Dolby's hit songs 'She Blinded Me with Science' and 'Hyperactive!' catapulted him to international fame in the early '80s. A pioneer of new wave and electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music, and the result was a new sound that defined an era of revolutionary music. But as record company politics overshadowed the joy of performing, Thomas found a surprising second act.
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.
John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it.
"Great book .... terrible narration!"
The American writer Charles Bukowski (1920-94) developed a cult following for his simple and vivid poems, stories and novels based on his experiences as a hard-drinking postal worker in Los Angeles. His classic books include Post Office, Women and Love Is a Dog from Hell. In this engrossing biography, studded with excerpts from Bukowski's writing, Howard Sounes tells the true story of Bukowski's life in the same punchy style as his subject.
"Uncompromising subject and account"
Maigret sets the record straight and tells the story of his own life, giving a rare glimpse into the mind of the great inspector - and the writer who would immortalise him. 'I can still see Simenon coming into my office the next day, pleased with himself, displaying even more self-confidence, if possible, than before, but nevertheless with a touch of anxiety in his eyes.... He trumpeted these last words as if they were a sensational discovery. Making it seem truer than life, that's the crux of it. Well, I've made you truer than life.'
First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era - including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall - through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central example of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.
The Fall of the House of Wilde for the first time places Oscar Wilde as a member of one of the most dazzling Anglo-Irish families of Victorian times and in the broader social, political and religious context. A remarkable and perceptive account, this is a major repositioning of our first modern celebrity, a man whose own fall from grace in a trial as public as his father's marked the end of fin de siècle decadence.
In late 1971 John Lennon left London behind and moved to New York, eager to join a youth movement rallying for social justice and an end to the Vietnam War. Lennon was quickly embraced by radicals and revolutionaries, the hippies and Yippies at odds with the establishment. Settling in Greenwich Village, the heart of Manhattan's counterculture, the former Beatle was soon on the frontlines of the antiwar movement and championing a range of causes and issues.
October 1982: ABC, Culture Club, Shalamar and Survivor dominate the top twenty when the Pogues barrel out from the backstreets of King's Cross, a furious, pioneering mix of punk energy, traditional melodies and the powerfully poetic songwriting of Shane MacGowan.
"brillant story, poorly read most of the time"
Nobel Prize-winning writer André Gide lays bare his adolescent psyche in this early work, first conceived and published as part of his novel The Notebooks of André Walter, completed when he was just 20 years old. This profoundly personal work draws heavily on his religious upbringing and private journals to tell the story of a young man who, like the author, pines for his forbidden love, Cousin Emmanuelle. This unique portrait of Gide as a young man presents the passions and conflicts, temptations and anguish he would explore in maturity.
The life story of Gary Gygax, godfather of all fantasy adventure games, has been told only in bits and pieces. Michael Witwer has written a dynamic, dramatized biography of Gygax from his childhood in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to his untimely death in 2008. Gygax's magnum opus, Dungeons & Dragons, would explode in popularity throughout the 1970s and '80s and irreversibly alter the world of gaming. D&D is the best-known, best-selling role-playing game of all time, and it boasts an elite class of alumni.
"One for the fans"
Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was startlingly short, but just as dramatically eventful and accomplished. Even today, over a century after his death in 1891, his visionary poetry has continued to influence everyone from Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan to Patti Smith. His long poem A Season in Hell (1873) and his collection Illuminations (1886) are essential to the modern canon, marked by a hallucinatory and hypnotic style that defined the Symbolist movement in poetry.
Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut, Fight Like a Girl, is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon to be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.
In Alan Partridge: Nomad, Alan dons his boots, windcheater and scarf and embarks on an odyssey through a place he once knew - it's called Britain - intent on completing a journey of immense personal significance. Diarising his ramble in the form of a 'journey journal', Alan details the people and places he encounters, ruminates on matters large and small and, on a final leg fraught with danger, becomes not a man (because he was one to start off with) but a better, more inspiring example of a man.
"The faint scent of cash-in "
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this audio the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
"Fantastic heartfelt and eloquently told"
Virginia Grohl, mother of Dave Grohl, had not seen any of it coming. Not the arenas of screaming fans, not Nirvana or the Foo Fighters, not the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and certainly not her son, Dave, performing with Sir Paul McCartney at the White House. Theirs had always been a life full of music - the Grohl family sang together on long car trips, harmonising to Motown and David Bowie - yet Virginia never expected her son to become a musician.
Maya Angelou's six volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement, and celebration. In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.
"Such perfect diction and attention to detail"
1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse. 1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. Now - Caitlin Moran rewrites "The Female Eunuch" from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain.... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina?
John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic homelife, with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work, as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman.
As lead singer and songwriter for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has lived life on the razor's edge. Much has been written about him, but until now, we've only had his songs as clues to his experience from the inside. In Scar Tissue, Kiedis proves himself to be as compelling a memoirist as he is a lyricist, giving us a searingly honest account of the life from which his music has evolved.
"Touching, inspiring, informative."
Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a commercial. Soon Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, reenacting scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly his destiny - until one day his father disappeared. As a young man on a classic cross-country motorcycle trip, he found himself stranded at a rest area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To pass the time, he read a tattered copy of Hedda Gabler, and in a flash he found himself face-to-face with his original calling.
Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and the lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today. He's one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of bands - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
"Honest interesting amazing account"
In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed) to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership) to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their relationship.
In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
"This was amazing!"
In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.
As far back as he can remember James Corden has only ever wanted to be in one place: in front of you, doing something to make you laugh, cry, shout, or giggle uncontrollably. At the age of 4, he grandstanded throughout his baby sister's christening, standing on a chair in front of the whole congregation, pulling faces and cracking everyone up. Despite himself, the vicar was impressed. And from then on he couldn't get enough of the spotlight, even when it always seemed to avoid him. Throughout his teens, he and his Dad trudged up and down towards London....
A brand-new collection of Caitlin's award-winning Times columns plus three major new pieces exclusive to this book - one of which is Caitlin's Moranifesto for a better world. As with Moranthology, Caitlin introduces every piece and weaves her writing together into a brilliant, seamless book. And, similarly to her last collection, Moranifesto is a characteristically fun and witty look at the news, celebrity culture and society.
"Brilliant and Funny as always"
'Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.' The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré's memoir and his first work of nonfiction, is a thrilling journey into the worlds of his 'secret sharers' - the men and women who inspired some of his most enthralling novels - and a testament to the author's extraordinary engagement with the last half century.
"Scratching the surface?"
Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish immigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band at 13, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn't until the early '80s, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed.
"exactly as you would expect from Johnny Marr..."
By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays delivers a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she's figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringeworthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah's wit and wisdom and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at her patented brand of reckless optimism.
Jason Manford is firmly established as one of the country's favourite stand-ups and is up there with the best northern comedy legends. His career began one night in a pub in Chorlton when a comedian didn't arrive for his set and Jason, the 17-year-old glass collector stepped in to fill the gap. From that point on he's never looked back, until now that is.... This is the story in his own words of everything that lead up to that fateful moment - a colourful tale of growing up with lots of family and not enough money, of getting by and sticking together.
"What happened from ch26 to 27 .. ??"