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Autobiography

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  4,219 ratings  ·  650 reviews
Autobiography covers Morrissey's life from his birth until the present day.

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades.

Achieving eleven Top 10 albums...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 17th 2013 by Penguin Classics
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Autobiography by MorrisseyShakey by Jimmy McDonoughChronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob DylanTrouble Makers by Emme RollinsWivenhoe Park by Ben Vendetta
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30th out of 94 books — 320 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Clint
Dec 03, 2013 Clint rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Morrissey is the most infuriating, arrogant, self-pitying drama queen you will ever come across, and he rules so hard. This book is a train wreck, it has no organization (no chapters!), the first paragraph is about ten pages long, there are tons of references to his own songs, tons of hokey alliteration, his command of Mexican-American slang is just pitiful, he suddenly, and frequently goes off on tangents totally unrelated to what he's talking about at any certain point (like, for example, he'l...more
karen
Nov 07, 2013 karen marked it as in-the-pipeline
 photo DSC01757_zps50d8d801.jpg

a conversation i just had with morrissey:

k -

gak!! someone just got me this book all the way from england, and i really really really want to read it immediately, but i have so freaking many books i have already promised to read. what am i supposed to do??? when am i going to get a chance to read this?? i am super-anxious and depressed over this, moz!

m -

my love, wherever you are
whatever you are, don't lose faith
i know it's gonna happen
someday, to you

please wait
please wait
oh wait
don't lose fait...more
Andrew Schirmer
Oh, it was a good read, good read
It was a good read, good read
It was a good read, good read
Oh-oh,
It was a good read, good read
It was a good read, good read
Oh, it was a good read, good read
Oh oh oh oh o
Oh, it was a good read
It was a good read
Oh, a good read
Oh, it was a good read
Good read, good read
Oh
It was a good read...
Mariel
Nov 14, 2013 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the world created me
Recommended to Mariel by: well there must be
Shelves: my-love-life
From nowhere comes the California cobra chords of Run run run by Jo Jo Gunne and Heaven must have sent you by the Elgins- wide variables on an open pitch, all adapting to different listeners- the well and the ill. All of this starts me, and I cannot stop. If I can barely speak (which is true), then I shall surely sing.


The fields run to the edges of the pages, gilted leaves tucked as a mark between to say, to someone (anyone?) this is still happening. Haircuts bob up and down in television seas....more
GHOULIO™
Apr 17, 2014 GHOULIO™ marked it as no
Recommends it for: myself, 20 years ago.
Recommended to GHOULIO™ by: nobody who knows me now.
lol:

"Morrissey, though, didn’t have to attain the chip of being needily undervalued; he was born with it. He tells us he ditched “Steve”, his given name, to be known by his portentous unimoniker because — deep reverential breath here — great classical composers only have one name. Mussorgsky, Mozart, Morrissey.

His most pooterishly embarrassing piece of intellectual social climbing is having this autobiography published by Penguin Classics. Not Modern Classics, you understand, where the authors
...more
Louisa
May 17, 2014 Louisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
It's all in here, the kindness, hatred, bitterness, wit, triumph, failure, joy, loneliness, poetry, self-deprecation and inhibition.

Songs that came into my head whilst reading this:

1. Hand in Glove
2. Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me
3. This charming man
4. Heaven knows I'm miserable now
5 .All you need is me
6. My love life
7. We hate it when out friends become successful
8. The more you ignore me the closer I get
9. The boy with a thorn in his side
10. There is light there never goes out



Daniel
"Whatever is sung is the case."

The first hundred or so pages of Autobiography are poetry of a kind and Morrissey is at his captivating best when setting the scenes of his youth, or when pouring over the beauty in the art of others; they read as the greatest of (once) unpublished reviews. Particularly affecting is his recounting of loss and death. Those who own part of his heart falling to time and chance, and his expressed pain moved me in a way unexpected of so few words (but, like a poet, isn...more
Michaela
STOP PRESS: MORRISSEY IS A CANTANKEROUS OLD GRUMP SHOCKER!
This is not news to anyone. Neither is the fact that he is hilarious, likes (liked?) poetry, or holds a grudge longer than anyone on earth. Yet, from reviews I've read of Autobiography, this appears to be a revelation. Let's face it. You know what you're getting with Morrissey. Of course it's narcissistic (plus it's a flippin' autobiography - who's it going to be about???). The surprise is that the book isn't cohesive. It's a book of two...more
Arhondi
I would never think that I would rate a book written by my teenage idol, Morrissey, with just 2 stars, but it's true. He clearly does know how to write a sentence and his vocabulary is more than fancy and surely enough, can put a lot of English people digging up their dictionaries. He does know his British culture. However, his self absorbed side gets the best of him. That being said, I take it only as an aspect of his well crafted persona, that he has struggled to create since he was a young bo...more
Tosh
A great memoir needs a strong character who writes, and Morrissey takes that role to the maximum. Overall each page has a quotable sentence or two, and the way he constructs his sentences is a beauty in form. The narrative is not important but its the way he tells the tale, and that he does very well.

A long-time fan or student of Morrissey will not learn anything new. He does get personal in his own way regarding his love life, which is vague, but one is allowed to connect the dots. There are p...more
Paul Gleason
Dear reader, I hated it. I hated with Morrissey's Autobiography with a passion. It exists in inverse proportion to the way I feel about The Smiths' music, with I love with all my heart, body, and soul.

Indeed, Morrissey is nothing without Marr. As I read Autobiography, I kept waiting for the chords of "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" to bring the words to life. Alas, I waited in vain, just like Mick Jones' train.

First off, any Morrissey and/or Smiths fan knows of the singer's admiration for...more
Matt
PENGUIN BOOKS: So Moz, can you give us an idea of what your proposed autobiography will be like?

MORRISSEY: A Manchester childhood of misery upon melancholy upon misfortune, devoid of glamor, absent any hint of human kindness or scrap of salvation save the New York Dolls and Ziggy Stardust unfit for occupations of any sort with death at every door in a society where molesting children is fit for barristers and barons but animals are abused without mercy so I stood up and left Nancy Sinatra at the...more
James
A good chunk of this is great. Well-written, insightful, throws up some interesting historical/personal context for Morrissey's creative work, and accurately reflects his presumed personality. The fact that he continues a despairing attitude from the description of his younger years right through the lifetime of The Smiths is understandable, and the in-depth analysis of the music important to him growing up points to why he would so obsessively note down every chart position of his career.

Howeve...more
Linda
"The arts translate life into film and literature and music and repeat a deadly poison: the monotonous in life must be protected at all costs. But protected from what? From you and I."

It's hard to write objectively, or even think objectively about Morrissey. In Rubber Ring, he instructed his listeners not to forget the songs that saved their lives, and I haven't. However disappointed I've been with him as a person or as a musician, I've never forgotten the way in which he changed - illuminated r...more
martha
Like a great number of people who have read this book, I am a long-time and ardent Smiths/Morrissey fan. I had been waiting for this book to be published even before I knew there would actually ever be one. With that said, there were a lot of things I liked about it, but also some which I didn't care for.

I once read an interview with Morrissey where he said that everything people needed to know about him was already in his songs, after reading "Autobiography" I truly believe it now.They are defi...more
Michael
It has been some considerable time since I have hated a book as much as this one, as is evidenced by the amount of time it took me to finish it.

It starts off promisingly enough, with a colourful description of the Manchester of Morrissey's childhood, and some accounts of the television programmes, music and poets that inspired him. That first 20% of the book was actually pretty good - it clearly was the section of the book that he spent the most time on, and it was interesting to read his influe...more
Anna  Matsuyama
I'm fan of Morrissey and The Smiths however I'm not much into celebrity personal life and so I knew next to nothing about him or the band before reading this book.

But, of course, I'd heard of Morrissey being self-centred and arrogant prick but while reading and googling a lot, I come to conclusion that's bullshit. And now, I how to say that after reading his autobiography, I've found him likeable and all kind of awesome human being. And he can write

I expected it to be bleak read and while some...more
Laurie
I was going to write a grand, illuminating review of Mozzer's book, but alas I just cannot gather my thoughts cohesively enough to do justice. Therefore, these are my disjointed thoughts and quotes that spoke to me:

~This book is a treasure trove of music and film references. I found myself making playlists from the get-go. It's fun to hear and see what has inspired and continues to inspire Morrissey.

~From the very first page this was one of the most brilliantly written books I've ever read. It s...more
Brian
Morrissey's long-ish autobiography is at its best when he is writing about the things he is most enthusiastic about (his teenage love of the New York Dolls, David Bowie, T. Rex, Jobraith, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones; his best friendships; his fans; the musical output of The Smiths). When he is a critic (his bleak upbringing in Manchester; the litigious entanglements of The [Post-] Smiths; NME), he becomes insufferable (mostly because he is long-winded in these sections), though his criticis...more
Tim
As a long time Smiths/Morrissey fan I was excited to get my hands on this book, and largely it doesn’t disappoint. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the most incredible books I have ever read. It’s not your typical autobiography, so much so that for the first page or so it completely threw me. The account of his early years and the rise of The Smiths are full of sadness, wit, tenderness and betrayal. His description of his school days, and the vile bullying teachers of St Mary’s, i...more
Amar Pai
zzzzzzzzz. skimming thru this with alacrity. it's not like I was expecting "Life" by Keith Richards but come on moz, you're gonna spend half the book moaning about how much school sucked ? I could take it in song ( "Beligerent ghouls / run Manchester schools" ) but the saving grace of the smiths was morrissey's sense of humor , which is nowhere to be found in this autobio. just page after page of dour pseudo literary posturing about Manchester, Oscar Wilde, etc. so. boring. now I know how Joan o...more
Stefan Garcia
I have just read this book in a day, after a London friend sent it to me here in South America. Having listened to the naysayers on the BBC beforehand, I was not expecting much in terms of style and substance, but I knew that regardless I would enjoy this book because snippets of his voice interviews have me in ecstatic paroxysms. A whole book! I cried myself into nirvana so often. That's what his words do to me.

To love is the fact that he writes like a dream, an exhilarating nightmare really, f...more
Sara
Oct 06, 2014 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: First 100 pages: anyone; Next 400 pages: almost no one
I recently heard a literary critic assert that an age of gaping income inequality and unpredictable markets has no place for the carefully constructed multi-plot novel; it is an age instead for the picaresque. Morrissey seems to have anticipated this sentiment by a few years, or perhaps a few decades, crafting an autobiography that meanders as delightfully as any sentimental journey Laurence Sterne ever took, producing just as many sensations in just as many bewildering contexts.

It all makes se...more
Lara
Jan 20, 2014 Lara marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2014
Oh, Morrissey. I loved you, deeply, in high school and college. I still dig your music, but cannot force myself to plod through your book. Sorry, dude.
Mark Love
As an ardent Smiths and Morrissey fan I picked up this book with some trepidation, which was well founded. I enjoy autobiographies and almost always find myself sympathetic to their subject, even when it's as obnoxious as Keith Allen or as simpering as Alex James.

But Morrissey's anticipated and much publicised tome could never disappoint, even when he himself does. It's not a surprise to learn that he can turn a phrase, and many of the early sections describing his early life in Manchester were...more
Davidg
Imagine the story of The Smiths written as a bad novel narrated by a whining teenager - a sub sub sub 'Catcher in the Rye'. And here it is.

It takes several pages for the idea of paragraphs to take hold but even then they can start talking of one thing and end up being about something else. No wonder he has no idea of splitting the books into chapters.

Everyone who doesn't fall into raptures at the sight of our whinging hero is immediately branded as some hopeless loser. So, every teacher, EVERY s...more
Abra
This memoir starts off in a sort of wonderful freeform Joycean evocation of an alienated youth in Manchester, and Morissey's inventive twists of language are fascinating: almost enough to justify the glowing review by marxist literary critic Terry Eagleton, in The Guardian. But then, after the break up of The Smiths, a few factors more or less ruin this book. 1) Morrissey spends way, way, way too long detailing the tragic travesty of a civil suit against him by two of his former bandmates who on...more
Deirdre Clancy
Look, I find it hard not to give a book by Morrissey five stars. Aside from the fact that listening to Morrissey tends to bring out my nurturing instincts, and I tend to have the constant vague feeling that I should be making him a hot drink when I have his music on, I am constitutionally incapable of objective criticism once an artist (of the music-producing kind) has gained my affection. If someone's music has touched my life or got me through a tough period, then the artist becomes pretty muc...more
Caroline
Deserts of boredom dripped by, thinly disguised as years.

That’s my favourite line so far, one among many in this fascinating insight into the mind of one of pop’s greatest icons. It should come as no surprise to those of us who followed his latter career that the author’s writing is as inspired as his lyrical inventiveness was in his earlier incarnation as lead singer for the Smiths. Quite how he came by this impressive command of the language is unclear, given the oppressive nature of his scho...more
Misha
Tremendously well-written. Begins by capturing the dreary drudgery and casual, institutionalized cruelty of Manchester's streets and schools. Morrissey provides a barrage of the television shows, stars and songs that formed him, that provided him an education on maleness, and provided him a way out of the narrow world otherwise afforded him. The only disappointment overall is how little he really shares of himself. His relationship and process with Marr is scarcely scratched, perhaps overshadowe...more
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Misery Memoir 22 97 Jun 12, 2014 07:15PM  
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Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known primarily as Morrissey, is an English lyricist and singer. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band the Smiths. The band was highly successful in the UK but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom on ten occasions. Wide...more
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“It was probably nothing but it felt like the world.” 64 likes
“My childhood is streets upon streets upon streets upon streets. Streets to define you and streets to confine you, with no sign of motorway, freeway or highway.” 21 likes
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