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Summary

This is the definitive biography of Freddie Mercury. Written by an award-winning rock journalist, Lesley-Ann Jones toured widely with Queen forming lasting friendships with the band. Now, having secured access to the remaining band members and those who were closest to Freddie, from childhood to death, Lesley-Ann has written the most in depth account of one of music's best loved and most complex figures. Meticulously researched, sympathetic, unsensational, the audiobook - like the forthcoming film - will focus on the period in the 1980s when Queen began to fragment, before their Live Aid performance put them back in the frame. In her journey to understand the man behind the legend, Lesley-Ann Jones has travelled from London to Zanzibar to India. Packed with exclusive interviews and told with the invaluable perspective that the twenty years since Mercury's death presents, Freddie Mercury is the most up to date portrait of a legendary man.

©2011 Lesley-Ann Jones (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic reviews

"No one has captured better than Lesley-Ann Jones the magical, enchanting dualism of Freddie Mercury." ( The Times)

What listeners say about Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting book but irritating listen

The main narrator makes this book an interesting listen but it's let down by the other voices who imitate members of the band and also people who had been interviewed by the author.



The imitated American accents are an insult to the ear and sound like chalk on a blackboard.



Also, the author has tried to cleverly shoehorn in Queen song titles into sentences but it is also an irritant



On the whole , it's full of interesting trivia but you're better off reading the book rather than listening to it.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Workman like

Somewhat mechanical. Would have been better reading it. The impressionists are absolutely atrocious and enormously irritating; trying to do a performance. The main narrator isn’t too bad but somewhat breathless - think the opening narration of Quantum Leap.

It got more and more annoying as it progressed. I stuck with it but I’m not sure it was worth it.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dreadful. Don't buy.

I'm a big fan of biographies and auto-biographies, my favourites being those of musicians particularly. I've read and listened to many (some of which are awfully good and very insightful) and I purchased this (along side a couple of others) before I went on holiday recently. I have to say that this was a huge disappointment to me.

Lesley-Ann Jones is a hack journalist who writes (or has written) for the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the Mail's Sunday supplement magazine. This book sounds basically like a stitched together series of journalistic quotes and sections that have been written over the years (possibly by many writers) and then regurgitated by this author. The structure of the book is very much quote to quote from celebs and contemporaries and it lurches a bit between them to make them fit. The quotes are badly stitched together.

The book is stuffed full of filler - digressions into frankly irrelevant characters, or pieces of rock trivia that serve no purpose and offer no insight into the supposed subject of the book.

If in doubt Jones will fall back on information about the band generally, or what the other band members were doing, but it rarely offers any genuine insight into their relationships.

The overall impression of the piece is quite superficial and glossy. It reiterates rumours and paddles in the urban myths about the band quite a lot. This book didn't give me anything at all that I had seen or heard elsewhere on TV etc.

I appreciate that Freddie Mercury was known to be a secretive guy who preserved his private life and his public/private boundary - and it does come across that Jones did try to track people down to gain some insight into the man - but she failed utterly.

The product is very much like one of those cringeworthy 'E' documentaries that leaps and skims forward months at a time. The quotes are performed by actors who impersonate the source of the quote. There is an actor voicing Freddie Mercury where his quotes have been used. The quality is poor. It doesn't work at all.

It never captured the excitement of the man or the band and it didn't compel me to continue.

When promised 'the definitive biography' I expected a whole lot more than I was delivered. I really wouldn't spend money or a credit on this title.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not enough about Freddie

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would if the person was more interested in the music and groups of the time.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Freddie's childhood was the most interesting.
I got bored with the details of all the music and other bands.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I did not like the voices used especially that of "Freddie's mother" she sounded as if she was permanently crying and it was irritating and whiny.

Was Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography worth the listening time?

Yes.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very tabloid newspaper

I don’t like the authors sensationalist way of writing! As a fan of Queen and Freddy Mercury I am disappointed in the book ! The writing was more like a report from a tabloid newspaper.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

Don’t buy! Terrible narration by the main narrator and others. Buy the actual book and read it instead.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Disappointing drivel. Terrible narrator, monotone at best. Only the relevant facts made me listen to the end. Avoid

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rock lifestyle stories

Entertaining stories about Freddie Mercury as an icon of the rock lifestyle of the 1980s. But is this really Freddie Mercury the person and musician? Probably not, he is observed from a distance. As a viewpoint of the music press, though, it is a warm portrait of an extraordinarily talented star.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

Very good. The different voices bothered a tiny bit in the start but after a short while you get use to it and the whole story is very well told.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely book to listen to.

It was really good to sit back on the journey listening at various times over various days and weeks to this exciting book.
It was good to hear the hidden stories of around that time so many years ago.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Liesel Faulds
  • Liesel Faulds
  • 05-02-19

Interesting but

Interesting but a very one sided only good stories I feel like only a small part was shared not the full story warts and all