I enjoyed this book enormously. I accept that Morrissey is a bit of an acquired taste. He has been a part of my life since teen years when I saw him on Top of the Pops and thought he was like no one else ever. I loved his lyrics, the way he wasn’t afraid to say the unsayable, to elicit what it feels like to be awkward, different, to be rejected.
The book is written in a stream of consciousness style, riffing on Ulysses, not quite managing it. It starts in the grimness of inner city Manchester. I lived there in my thirties so could recognise lots of the places though it has since been remodelled. It is unrelentingly dark. It seems that nobody ever said a kind word to Morrissey – ever.
Fame calls and there is a move to London with entertaining cameo appearances from various celebs. Morrissey can be delightfully bitchy. The pain of the break up of The Smiths and subsequent bitter court case are dealt with in depth. Moz feels permanently ill used and misunderstood.
A move to California gives some kind of happiness and he appears to find love at last and appreciation from American fans.
The book is often black and brutally honest, leavened with Northern English wit often lost on those not born among the Satanic mills. Still, there is much missing. He says little of the creative process and his lovers are shadowy figures. I feel he gives much but also holds much back.
I love you Morrissey. You are in me. As they say in California, I feel your pain.