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Summary

For the first time, the final years of one of the world's most captivating rock showmen are laid bare.

When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, aged just 45, the world was rocked by the vibrant and flamboyant star's tragic secret that he had been battling AIDS. That Mercury had even been diagnosed came as a shock to his millions of fans, with his announcement coming less than 24 hours before his death.

In Somebody to Love, biographers Mark Langthorne and Matt Richards skilfully weave Freddie Mercury's incredible pursuit of musical greatness with Queen, his upbringing and his endless search for love with the story of a terrible disease that swept across the world in the 1980s, as medical treatment fought to catch up with it despite underfunding, social ignorance and homophobia.

With brand-new perspectives from Mercury's closest friends and fellow musicians, this unique and deeply moving tribute casts a very different light on both his death and the origins of AIDS itself.

An intimate listen, like Freddie and his art, it will stay with you for a long time.

©2014 Matt Richards & Mark Langthorne (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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everybody to love

intense sad truthful a brilliant listen a man that lived life in the sexual fast lane and crashed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

A brilliant, informative and moving account of the life of on of the greatest frontmen the world has ever witnessed.

RIP Freddie!

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Interesting

What a great insight to Freddie’s life .. he was the true pretender, a great showman, and the greatest singer,songwriter of all time ..
We will rock you !!

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  • mizeryluvkompany
  • 20-05-18

Queen Freddie Mercury.

best Queen book ive ever read or heard. tons of insight in this book. recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 07-03-18

Very good!

Interesting and fascinating look on his life, society/world state of mind and origin of HIV. Narrator sounding a bit like Freddie made for a pleasant listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane Ciau
  • 07-01-18

Amazing book

The narrator was amazing and Freddy will live on for ages to come. Greatly told story of his life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Waterfield
  • 10-08-18

too much homosexual history

good book and a lot of history of Fredy, but way too much about the homosexual history of the world.

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  • Katie
  • 02-08-18

ZzzzZzZzzz

I love Freddie Mercury and enjoy watching or reading anything about him/Queen. I've got to be honest, though. This is a snooze fest. I literally kept falling asleep. If you want a textbook about the history of HIV/AIDS, this is for you. Every time I woke up, that's what I was listening to.

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  • tru britty
  • 19-07-18

Stunning dual biography of Freddie and AIDS

Freddie Mercury's history has become inextricably linked with the AIDS epidemic, but he was so much more than that. It's his music that has become his legacy. His performance at 1985's Live Aid was merely the crowning glory of this charismatic performer.

Still, authors Matt Richards and Matt Langthorne made the decision to tell Freddie's story at the same time they unfolded the story of AIDS, which from the most recent evidence seems to have passed from chimp to human via an animal bite sometime around 1908 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Both stories are fascinating in the extreme. But it's Freddie's that takes up the largest chunk of the story, as the authors follow him from his birth in Zanzibar to Indian parents of Persian descent. There's the Indian boarding school, the move to London, the art school and the first band. (You can find an unearthed home movie of Freddie with his college pals on YouTube. What's amazing is how reserved and camera shy he is.)

The story gets into Queen territory when Freddie becomes a dedicated follower of Jimi Hendrix and a local London group called Smile, with Brian May on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, some guy on bass (eventually to be John Deacon) and a lead singer, whom Freddie would eventually replace, rechristening the band Queen.

The chapters are a good mesh of band and music history along with glimpses of Freddie's personal life. Freddie dated girls, and had one long-term girlfriend (Mary Austin) in particular. But he seemed to begin identifying almost exclusively as a gay man in the mid-70s. That brought him into contact with the gay scene in New York, where AIDS was already making inroads, though no one knew it because the retrovirus has an incubation period of up to 10 years.

The authors try to pin down Freddie's infection to 1981 or 1982 and cite a Saturday Night Live performance in 1982, when Freddie was battling a throat condition, a possible indicator a person has been infected, showing up within weeks of the original infection though the virus otherwise remains dormant.

There is information about Freddie's boyfriends (including his last Jim Hutton), the Live Aid performance, the leaking of Freddie's HIV test to the British tabloid press, the last concert tour in 1986, Freddie living with full-blown AIDS (with the press hounding him for a confession), Freddie throwing himself into studio work, his final recordings and music videos with Queen, his death in November 1991, and the Freddie tribute concert organized by May and Taylor.

Narrator Tim Bruce does an excellent job. His voice is well-suited to the story.

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  • JAA
  • 18-07-18

Brilliant Insight into the Man

Loved this book, and the flow and insight into Freddy Mercury. He was truly a genius, alienated artist, but his vision and drive and assumption of success is inspiring.