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 £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

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

By the time she was 14, Chrissie Hynde knew she had to get out of Akron, Ohio. Her perfect '50s American childhood upturned by a newly acquired taste for rock 'n' roll, motorbikes and the ‘get down boys' seen at gigs in and around Cleveland - Mitch Ryder, the Jeff Beck Group, the Velvet Underground and David Bowie among the many.

Wrapped up in the Kent State University riots and getting dangerously involved in the local biker and drug scenes, she escaped - to Mexico, Canada, Paris and finally London, where she caught the embryonic punk scene just in time not only to witness it first-hand, but more importantly to seize the opportunity to form her own band, The Pretenders.

Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Vivienne & Malcolm, Ray Davies...on every page household names mingle with small town heroes as we shift from bedroom to biker HQ; from squat to practice room; from pub gig to Top Of The Pops - the long and crooked path to stardom, and for The Pretenders, ultimately, tragedy.

That Chrissie Hynde is alive to tell the tale is, by her own admission, something of a miracle. Throughout she is brutally honest, wryly humorous, and always highly entertaining. She has written one of the most evocative and colourful music memoirs to be published in recent years.

Narrated by Rosanna Arquette.

©2015 Chrissie Hynde (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about Reckless

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    54
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    5

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

Brilliant Book!!!

Wonderful slice of life from the late sixties( hippy era) early seventies( punk era) Chrissies style of writing is strong, poetic and melodic...and captures the realities of over excess, creativity and how perhaps the one depends on the other..or drives the other. Difficult to know for sure...this is a very real memoir! She says basically..."This is how it was"

2 people found this helpful

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

Superb and very honest autobiography

A snotty, arrogant turn on" read a early review of a typical Chrissie Hynde live performance fronting the Pretenders. Never a woman to compromise, Chrissie has always been known for her feminist world view not to mention her radical vegetarianism. But that persona, as this superb rock biography shows, is tempered by a touching vulnerability and a genuine wit. Despite a downbeat ending to this book - with the drug- linked deaths of both Pretenders bassist Pete Farndon and guitarist James Honeyman Scott - this book is fascinating stuff. Born in 1951 on Akron, Ohio, Chrissie takes us through a somewhat chaotic life prior to founding the Pretenders in the late 70s. An Iggy Pop obsessive, she was at Kent State University during the fatal riots of 1970. She lived in Canada, Mexico and Paris before falling in love with London. She has ingested a factory full of drugs and booze. She worked at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's shop in London in the mid 70s and later was at the heart of the punk scene, fronting fledgling early incarnations of both the Clash and the Damned. She nearly got hitched to Sid Vicious (but only to be allowed to stay in Britain) and former partner Ray Davies, but didn't marry either. This is a book full of history, tragedy, belly laughs and the author's acerbic but, in the end, likeable personality. While this book is raunchy and acutely honest, it is no kiss and tell celebrity shag-fest, and it's all the better for that. Read it even if you didn't like The Pretenders. It's hugely entertaining and very, very cool.

Rosanna Arquette spits out Chrissie's ripe prose with real venom, even if she does struggle occasionally with some of the English place names. Her reading is far from perfect, but it's very human, even laughing out loud during a funny bit at one point. If your idea of fun is hearing the star of Desperately Seeking Susan saying the word "bollocks", this is very much for you.

2 people found this helpful

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

Fascinating story, shame about the narration

The Pretenders were a band of my formative youth, at an age when i had no conception of the non-music side of rock and roll. I later heard stories of what was happening behind the scenes and when i saw this book i couldn't wait to hear the truth. It was eye-opening, frank and revealing, also shocking, terribly sad but educational. The only thing which spoiled it a bit for me was the narration, which lacked rhythm and feel for the text, often the pace and tone were out of sync with the flow of the story and placed inappropriate punctuation in the sentences. That said, this deficiency should not ruing enjoyment of the book, i still highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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

Terrible

Having watched an interview on youtube of Chrissie promoting this book and being very impressed with how she spoke I decided to look into getting this Audiobook. I read the reviews on audible , most of which suggest it's a brilliant book so decided to give it a try.

What I got was not what I was expecting and I feel a bit duped by the misleading reviews. Most of the book (about 75%) talks of her more mundane existence in the states before she came to London. Then when the book finally reaches the point of talking about her London life most of it is around taking drugs and her trying to find a band. The book picks up a little bit when she forms The Pretenders, but what should have been the main focus of the book is only a fairly minor subject. The book ends in 1982 without any explanation. Bizarre.

The Narrator's American accent gets grating towards the end of the book too. Couldn't wait to get to the end.

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

Great

Loved this book and I love Rosanna however she needs to practice accents ha ha

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

enjoyed listening to this book

really enjoyed listening to this book, well narrated and an interesting life Chrissie had

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

Shockingly reckless

Wow, it’s had to find the words to do any justice to this raw and shocking life story. Beautifully read by Rosanna Arquette, who puts great emotion and commitment to the story.

I always loved the Pretenders music as a kid, Chrissie’s voice is so distinctive and full of emotion. I could never of imagined the road to success was paved with so much risk and pain. How is it even possible that she lived through so much self inflicted hurt and abuse. This is a scary story for sure and deserves the highest plaudits for being so honest and true to the events. If you love music this is a must read. I loved it all, from start to finish. I was very sad at the end, the deaths in the band were shocking and heartbreaking. Well done Chrissie Hynde for surviving and thriving! 💙

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

recommend

Loved it, love her but wow what an inferiority complex she had.

Such an interesting life.

Narrator needs to take a breath and calm down, she sure loves to shout. Overall told it ok.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration so poor I couldn’t listen to the end.

Sadly disappointed, I will buy the actual book to read as I could not listen to this irritating narration.

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

Meh

Story is ok if you’re interested in the topic. I particularly liked the beginning about her childhood. I found RA’s performance annoying as she seemed to be overly dramatic and often emphasised the wrong words. There were some English phrases and words she pronounced in the American way (eg Chiswick) which grated.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Setken
  • Setken
  • 11-03-22

A brilliant memoir but there are pieces missing

I have recently been reminded of how much early Pretenders played a major role in my life. Buying this book some 7 years after it was released is a testament to that fact.

I saw one of the shows referred to at the end of the book in Adelaide, South Australia. It was one of my first ever rock shows and I remember it being just wonderful. Chrissie did have a tanty on stage and threw the tambourine into the audience, but as she mentioned in her book, this adds fuel to the whole rock star enigma and we loved that band no matter what.

Hearing the sad tale of the death of half the band from her viewpoint was touching and tragic. I can see why she wanted to end the biography there: the magic those 4 created on those 2 albums is still palpable today.

I was disappointed though not to hear more about her marriage with Ray, but especially with the omission of her marriage to Jim Kerr. I was a huge Simple Minds fan at the time they got married and would love to have heard all about those 2 megaliths of the music world coming together.

I also would have enjoyed hearing more about Chrissie's journey and the albums she made way into the future. She is an absolutely stellar singer-songwriter and to hear her speak of her craft in more depth would have made this review 5 stars all around.

Rosanna Arquette is a brilliant narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dean
  • Dean
  • 29-06-18

Great yarn , somewhat concise , TERRIBLE narrator

This is an interesting memoir from one of my teen idols . I would have liked to hear much much more about her music , and less about her lifestyle , but it has some great humour interspersed with the mundane. Im willing to bet Chrissy didn't pick the narrator , who was utterly atrocious .