Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £22.99

Buy Now for £22.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

It is a story I have been wanting to write for a long time, telling it as it really was before that whole world that I shared with Francis vanishes....

Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in June 1963 in Soho's French House to request an interview for a student magazine he was editing. Bacon invited him to lunch, and over oysters and Chablis they began a friendship and a no-holds-barred conversation that would continue until Bacon's death 30 years later.

Fascinated by the artist's brilliance and charisma, Peppiatt accompanied him on his nightly round of prodigious drinking from grand hotel to louche club and casino, seeing all aspects of Bacon's 'gilded gutter life' and meeting everybody around him, from Lucian Freud and Sonia Orwell to East End thugs; from predatory homosexuals to Andy Warhol and the Duke of Devonshire. He also frequently discussed painting with Bacon in his studio, where only the artist's closest friends were ever admitted. The Soho photographer, John Deakin, who introduced the young student to the famous artist, called Peppiatt 'Bacon's Boswell'.

Despite the chaos Bacon created around him Peppiatt managed to record scores of their conversations ranging over every aspect of life and art, love and death, the revelatory and hilarious as well as the poignantly tragic.

Gradually Bacon became a kind of father figure for Peppiatt, and the two men's lives grew closely intertwined. In this intimate and deliberately indiscreet account, Bacon is shown close-up, grand and petty, tender and treacherous by turn, and often quite unlike the myth that has grown up around him. This is a speaking portrait, a living likeness, of the defining artist of our times.

©2015 Michael Peppiatt (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Francis Bacon in Your Blood

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting!

Highly enjoyable and fascinating account of the author's experiences with painter Francis Bacon. Great anecdotes, I especially enjoyed the high camp conversations from the colony room featuring the legendary Muriel Belcher.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating. Listened in a one-er.

This book is interesting on so many levels - the work of Francis Bacon, his life, his friends, Paris and Soho. I loved it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Prefect for Bacon lovers

This is an almost perfect insight to one of our greatest artists, living up to the mythic stories of Soho, drinking and painting whilst giving better understanding to the very human person behind images that forever changed the landscape of painting. At times it falls into a pattern of recounting Becon at his most poetic then listing the dinner menu along with the wine list at some expensive restaurant in which this happened to often but honestly you can forgive it is flaws you can't help but wish you where at the table.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Incredible Insight

A moving and powerful epilogue was the perfect ending to a throughly enthralling biography. The author’s own narration of his book adds so much to the story. I will read the text version too, to review the many locations, french phrases, and artists mentioned. An incredible book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling listen

As this is read by the author, and someone very close to Francis Bacon, it very much brings this complex figure to life.
Very enjoyable

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant listen

Nothing suits the audio form like a well read, passionate and intimate memoir Pepiatt reads.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating insight into Francis Bacon

Loved this. A huge bonus to have it read by the author. A personal glimpse into another world. Thoroughly recommend it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Left me feeling, was he supposed to tell me that!

A story told with such passion and love that one finds themselves feeling every pain, hope, joy, despise and love as it's relived by the author. I felt as if a old friend was opening his heart up and letting me in on a secret world he promised he would never tell. Left me feeling 'was he supposed to tell me that!' Whether he was or not I'm glad he did. Marvellous from start to finish

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

adore these intimate stories of Bacons life

bacon captured perfecfly through the raw, harsh reality of his life and his close friendship with the author. his art makes so much more sense when you understand the brutality he lived through.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read but *not* a Bacon biography

I absolutely loved this book! The stories and the way Peppiatt reads them are wonderful. However, if you are looking for a biography of Bacon and his work this is not it. Peppiatt and others have done so elsewhere and I believe some of them are available on Audible.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for hester
  • hester
  • 14-09-18

Absolutely delicious!

Everything about this audio book is brilliant. I can't possibly imagine a better version or account of Bacon's life.-not even Proust's! Peppiat's narration is as fundamental as his relationship with Bacon. I especially enjoyed how he so perfectly imitated Francis's voice. BRAVO!!!!!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 23-07-18

A compelling listen

A captivating story of the authors friendship with the artist. Read brilliantly by the author

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sam Are
  • Sam Are
  • 02-11-19

Captivating

I truly enjoyed the authors telling of his own life along side Francis Bacon's. Funny and captivating.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-19

A wonderful tapestry

Beautifully written and narrated. Deeply insightful and honest weaving of the fabric, context and life of Francis Bacon.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alexa Bolland
  • Alexa Bolland
  • 13-08-21

Artist Stalker

Weird stalker story. Repetitive on his social interactions (same old same old) with Francis. But really not much on the artist and his art making.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Collin Harper Leech
  • Collin Harper Leech
  • 01-06-21

Love and horror

The writing took my breath away in places. The listener found herself carousing with Francis Bacon, almost tasting the wine and listening to the brilliant snippets of philosophy and the perspective on art and life that Bacon shared with Peppiatt over the years of their friendship. Your are at times gripped with love for the man and sometimes shock and horror and repulsion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for W. Donovan
  • W. Donovan
  • 17-05-21

Fascinating Life of Francis Bacon

This audiobook is read by the author, and he is a fantastic reader. The book is part memoir for the author, and part biography of Francis Bacon. If you are interested in modern painting, this is a wonderful window into an important artist’s life which otherwise you have to piece together for yourself. Bacon had an enormous personality, and anecdotes about his behavior and even the way he spoke were absolutely fascinating. One of the best artist biographies I’ve encountered. Up there with Richardson’s Life of Picasso and Kusama’s autobiography Infinity Net.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for oldmanwagner
  • oldmanwagner
  • 02-04-21

Falling in love again

This book is gossipy, funny, loving and insightful. It is clearly a love not from one dear friend to another. A book to cherish and revisit. My only note would be that for this, the audible version a bit of Francis’s own repetition(s) could have been edited down without maiming the essential story. What an extraordinary human.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joselo
  • Joselo
  • 24-03-21

Fear and awe

“Not exactly handsome, but strong, well carved, like the figurehead on a ship’s prow or a gargoyle sticking out against the elements.” That’s how art critic Michael Peppiatt describes his close friend, Francis Bacon, one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th Century. This is a nuanced, wonderfully written portrait of a complex character, a narcissist that was both feared and admired, who could be disarmingly generous one moment and devastatingly cruel the next, whose vast self-confidence competed with his own self-loathing. A grand manipulator, Bacon could seduce just about anyone with his wit, talent and fortune, only to then rip the person apart. The distorted, surrealistic figures that he incorporated into otherwise abstract paintings, express a dark, pessimistic vision of life. Bacon would insist during his notorious drinking binges that life is pointless, meaningless, and he regarded his own as being particularly “ridiculous and disastrous.” He spoke in riddles, sometimes manically, like a mad hatter, while dedicated observers around him, including Peppiatt, collected clues in an effort to solve the enigma that he was. The author, a compelling narrator, shares his own personal story, which often orbited around Bacon, the overpowering, self-made man that he looked up to as a father figure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Dillon
  • Michael Dillon
  • 30-12-20

Lush, funny, brilliantly written

I did not realize until I went to write this review that the author read the book. His voice is exquisite, perfect for this book. The story is extraordinary and made want to be there—minus the drinking, not that I don't drink, just not like that. Remarkable book. Great book about a great man and his friend, the author.