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Bad Wisdom

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Having exhausted (and been exhausted by) the young man's religion of rock and roll, the authors undertake an epic journey to the North Pole to sacrifice an icon of Elvis Presley. Two very different accounts of their journey clash and mesh as the pilgrims venture forth into the frozen wastes at the top of the world.Bill Drummond and Mark Manning were involved with two of po ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Creation Books (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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J.T. Wilson
A lot of the reviews suggest the book would be better if Z hadn't written any of it and it's true that the Burroughsian Illuminatus shagging'n'killing bollocks gets tiresome over the length of a book. Yet the wildly fictionalised elements of his section subtly undermine the supposed "God-given truth" of Drummond's more sober narrative. "All versions of the truth are lies", the book seems to say.
I didn’t finish this book. I really wanted to finish this book. I took it on a long train journey with nothing else to read, but ended up starring out of the window. I committed an empty weekend to reading it, but cleaned the oven instead. I’m resigned to not finishing it now, I guess there’s no shame in admitting something is a massive disappointment. To contextualise, I chanced upon a couple of records I really rated released on a label called Kalevala, a bit of googling lead me back to Bill D ...more
Aug 20, 2007 Pizarro rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: savage children of the night
Shelves: greatbooks
This book is at once insane, wise, foolish, serious -- a plausible travelogue and a wild fantasy of sex, violence and effigies of Elvis. And much else. It's among the most gripping, compelling hoots of a book I've read in the last ten years. In musical terms (it was written by two British musicians) it shifts from the mellow strangeness of Syd Barrett to the more ominous strangeness of, say, Harvey Milk or even Dark Throne, to a fantabulous intensity -- imagine the most violently juicy parts of ...more
A.W. Wilson
I read this book some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I absolutely loved the way it switched perspectives from the two authors; one writing a fairly straight albeit entertaining travelogue, and the other going completely off-piste and writing seemingly drug-addled fantasy. There's a great moment when the 'straight' author (I think it's Drummond) reads over the shoulder of his co-writer and refers to the manic ramblings that he's coming up with.

I would love to read it again but I lent it to
I've read this three or four times now, and it never disappoints. I can see how the dual narrative could prove irritating for some people, and how the fantasy elements can be construed as extreme. However underneath it all there is a warm and flowing account of a true epic journey.

The slightly more philosophical approach of Bill drummond is well tempered by Mark Manning's grotesque parallel fantasy journey. Nothing feel completely real, the pretext or the journey details.Drummond even admits emb
a hard read in places, but worth sticking with. Bill Drummond's sections are insightful, Zodiac mindwarp's less so (though still very entertaining)
There are the seeds of a halfway decent travel book in here, with some evocative descriptions of Lapland and its inhabitants, and Drummond is capable occasionally of expressing some interesting thoughts. Unfortunately he gets drowned out by all the tiresome macho rock 'n' roll sex and drugs nonsense. The book could also be improved immeasurably by simply cutting out any of the sections written by Mark Manning, most of which are simply extended, nauseating misogynistic and unimaginative horror-po ...more
I liked bits of this. But the two authors sections clash after a while. And the dude who writes in the the nasty fantasy style gets really tedious by the end.. so much so that I didn't bother reading the last few pages.. the book would have been better off without his imput.
What did I learn from this book? Not to believe everything I read, Mr Manning (aka Zodiac Mindwarp) presents a surreal interpretation to events in this tale alongside Drummmonds more straight ahead interpretation.
Yeah, I can say that I've read this. I prefer Drummond's solo efforts to this tag-team fever dream collaboration with Zodiac Mindwarp. Way better than their second book together. I can see why a third never happened.
who the fuck has my copy of this? i want it back. it's out of print, and i want to loan it out to other people.

it's like if Hunter S Thompson had a couple of illegitimate british art school sons.
Andy Theyers
Mark Manning is a very bad man. His sections gross you out, rather ruining Bill Drummond's much better written sections.
Aleksey Kartavenko
Manning's parts are so nasty that poor Bill's usual day-to-day-life brilliant style and analytics are almost ruined.
грязный нарко-порнографический делирий.
но что-то в этом есть..
Jesper Sorensen
how about a strange journey into this world
Just read it... (unless you're my grandmother!)
wrong, so very wrong, but funny.
Best book ever written!
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“This was the plan: we would take a holy and sacred picture of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, to the very summit of the earth; once there, we would place it with sincere reverence amongst the chimerical shimmering palaces of ice and snow and then (accompanied by some weird Zen magic) we would light joss sticks, dance about making screechy kung-fu noises, get off our faces, and that would be it: Planet Earth saved. Simple.” 3 likes
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