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Face It

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  613 ratings  ·  114 reviews

‘I was saying things in songs that female singers didn’t really say back then. I wasn’t submissive or begging him to come back, I was kicking his ass, kicking him out, kicking my own ass too. My Blondie character was an inflatable doll but with a dark, provocative, aggressive side. I was playing it up, yet I was very serious.’

BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN TO BE PUNK

DEBBIE HARRY is a mu

...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  613 ratings  ·  114 reviews


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Julie
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting, but lackluster memoir

You never know what you are going to get when you start reading a memoir, but it is always hard to write a review for one you feel a little underwhelmed or disappointed with.

So, fans of Debbie Harry, those who will brook no criticism of her, maybe you’ll want to skip this review. I can seem judgmental, more so with a memoir than with a biography written by a third party or a ghost writer.

That’s not really my intent, but I’ve been told I come off sounding that
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Robin
4.5 stars

Although I have fond memories of listening to the music of Blondie and watching the videos of the winsome Debbie Harry prancing in front of the camera, I wasn’t a mega-fan and never followed her career after the break-up of the band. However, that didn’t stop me from anxiously awaiting my early reading copy that promised to be revealing and compelling and I was not disappointed.

I hate coyness in memoirs so I appreciated Debbie letting loose with names along with
...more
Jo-Anne Hayley
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was ok. She didn’t really put a lot of emotion into it. It was interesting but lacked detail of relationships and how she felt about some of the events. It felt glossed over and lacking detail regarding her relationship breakdown etc however she mentioned she was a private person so that may explain it. The photos in my kindle were too small to see clearly. The artwork people sent her was interesting but took a lot of the book up. A bit of a let down for me.

MicheleReader
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting memoir. I enjoy tales of the early days of the New York City punk scene and Blonde certainly had an important role in it. You get a sense of the grittiness of those early days. There are books that chronicle those times better (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain) but hey, it's Debbie Harry - nice to read her perspective of her journey and learn of how some of the band's top hits and records were created. Impressive that she kept so many pieces of(Please ...more
Kristy
2.5/meh. Debbie Harry is 74 and I'm sure she's lived a colorful and interesting life, but the only real interesting parts of this seem to be made up (view spoiler) ...more
Stephen
Well that’s shattered my memories of my early teenage years when I bought Heart of Glass as my first single and thought Debbie Harry was “cold as ice cream but still as sweet” (Sunday Girl).
Jay Gabler
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine you're at a Blondie concert in 2019. The band start vamping on one of their classic grooves...maybe it's "Heart of Glass," maybe it's "Rapture." Then, Debbie Harry walks out to take the mic. Stunning, instantly recognizable, a 74-year-old music icon. When the cheering dies down, she starts to tell the story of her life.

It's funny, shocking, dry, poignant. Mostly chronological, sometimes not. Sometimes self-deprecating, never self-aggrandizing — but then, Harry doesn't have to
...more
Ian
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted something juicy with all kinds of crazy punk 70's NYC shit and this was a major let down. It's PG-13 and in many cases, you’re trying to read between the details of what really happened. The tone was watered down and not at all convincing. The linear structure (we did this and then this and then this...) is almost a powerpoint presentation but with no style or getting to any real story. Harry seems like she's holding back and trying to skate around some major events and not reall ...more
ALC
Oct 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
The stories from 1945-1981 are lifted from Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie a bio published in 1982, which was written by Victor Bockris from interviews with Debbie and Chris Stein. The new stuff 1982-2019 is almost filler with nothing of any substance. Regarding her and Chris, just saying "we split up" is a cop-out. She couldn't bother to mention her participating in a satanic ritual during 2011 (She cut into a life size cake of a nude Debbie Harry and ripped out the heart) -WTF was that all ...more
Michael Legge
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shame he dies in the end.
Rachel
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish Debbie was my mom
Jillybb
Oct 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sorry, I got to Debbie at age 4 and couldn’t any more. The audiobook read by the author is painfully dull. I wish an editor had told Debbie that an autobiography does not have to be laid out linearly. It’s OK to swirl, and swoop back. It’s OK to start somewhere far more interesting than her life as a beloved child living in the middle of nowhere. And it is never OK to minimize pedophilia, even if the exposure did not traumatize you. And, when writing an autobiography, it is never OK to be so utt ...more
K
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
A fair bit of repetitive and a lot about her good looks.
Xilaii
Oct 14, 2019 added it
Can't bring myself to rate or review it but I am overjoyed to have actually finished *something*.
V. Briceland
Some celebrities, in their written reminiscences, enjoy detailing the work that went into their much-beloved canon. The first volume of Julie Andrews’ memoirs, for example, dove deep into the nitty-gritty of My Fair Lady’s rehearsal process; John Waters latest collection of autobiographical essays was at its best with the blow-by-blow memories of how he developed, filmed, and coped with the aftermath of each of his films.

Debbie Harry’s Face It: A Memoir is not one of those autobiographies. And that’s okay.
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Jim
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of 'Face It' at an Oct. 3 panel discussion with Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and interviewer Rob Roth, who co-designed the book. The event, held at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center, was sold out, and a hoot. Harry and Stein told some of the episodes of their lives together that are also featured in the book. The design of it is nice, with thick pages, some black pages with white text in interspersed sections with color fan art portraits of Ms. Harry. For more photos, Stein' ...more
Stuart
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved it, because I have loved Debbie Harry since 1977. I listened to it non stop over 2 days.

As you can expect a lot of it is about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll which to me made interesting reading. Compared to her, you have led a boring life. Safer, but boring.

I always wanted to know about the period when Chris Stein got sick and that was a heartbreaking account. Also, the part when they were penniless due to the tax issues they got into. With so much potential w
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Robert
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Being a huge Debbie Harry/Blondie fan, I am just shy of being infinitely biased, so take this review for what it is. If you are a Debbie Harry/Blondie fan or a fan of the early New York punk scene, this is a must read: Gritty, goofy, and revealing, although at times I wished Debbie revealed more (for example, why did Blondie break up [beyond the platitudes]? Why did she and Chris Stein break up? And what happened to her cats!?!?!?!!?!). I feel like I know and appreciate Debbie much better as a p ...more
Michael Ritchie
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. The most interesting part of the book is the first third in which Harry talks about her pre-Blondie days. But once she hits the mid-70s, her examination of her life becomes very surface. She says almost nothing about the writing or production of her music, and she seems reticent to talk about big events like the dissolution of the group and the break-up of her relationship with Chris Stein. It does seem like every apartment she ever lived in caught on fire. Not essential reading ( ...more
Sonia Levy
I was left longing for more information, more pictures to put faces and names. So many names dropped, some I knew of, but most I’d never heard of, I really would have enjoyed seeing as well as reading. Also, when talking about all of her iconic looks there were no photos to refer to. The writing was scattered and the story wasn’t told chronologically, which made it hard to follow. I loved Blondie and wanted to be Deborah Harry as a young girl, I think I still do. I hope she hires a ghost writer ...more
Lynn Gionette
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. Enjoyed it. She repeated a bit but I never knew anything about her so it was interesting to read.
Romany
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I love her way more than I loved this book.
Laurie
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice illustrations, some revelations. Harry has a pretty level head for a rock star.
Caroline
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved hearing the story of a female artist finding her voice. A large portion of the book covers the late 60s and 70s in NYC, which is always a draw for me. Lots of names, places, and people are mentioned rounding out the picture of the NYC punk scene. Highly recommend.
Jeanne
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit dull - started 'Me' by Elton John straight after, and 10 pages in it's already way better than this - sorry Debbie - love you really.
Belinda
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Face It is a bit like looking in the mirror. Yeah, you face it, but you never get to see much more than the image in front of you. Perhaps Debbie's focus on looks and clothes, make-up and lovers is all she really wants to reveal. Possibly she mistakenly believes that omission equals mystery a la Marilyn, but it hasn't managed to do that in this memoir. There are way too many unanswered questions and the answers would've put meat on the bones.

Ok, first up, the reader is constantly bea
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Steve P
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Sets out the basic facts, but dubious photo content and not much about the Debbie's insights.

I won't go on endlessly about the positive aspects of this memoir: it's a functional autobiography, it’s interesting, and all Debbie/Blondie fans are going to want to read it. It is general enough that it is also an accessible book for those whose awareness of the subject is more incidental – there isn't a surfeit of anorakish facts and figures which will bore the more casual reader. Having s
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2 in the AM PM
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about this memoir, I was curious to know about her story. I didn't know anything about Debbie Harry before this announcement and yet I knew of her status that came along with her name. Transcending in 2 worlds both music and art, her face had become quite recognizable by the time I learned about the history of modern art. Of course, I couldn't forget about the hit singles such as "Heart of Glass" and "Call Me". As a lover of music, I had decided that I would listen to her band ...more
Andrewl
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Harry ends the book with [not really a spoiler] an allusion to leaving the reader wanting more. This is definitely a case where less is actually less, and moreover had this book been shorter it would have been better, since there's a lot of filler.

The largest part of filler is the fan art, divided into sections, each with a (skipable) preface. There's an intro by Chris Stein that makes no sense. Pictures are not dated and/or are out of linear sequence. There's a lot of art direction
...more
C. Quabela
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found myself greatly engaged with the story of Debbie Harry's life but not as impressed with Debbie herself. She led an incredible life and played such an important role in the development of rock history, particularly in regard to the role of women, but she seemed rather flippant about serious issues. It's almost as if she purposely downplays the drugs, sexual abuse, and other traumas for reasons I can only presume are to cope. The last music memoir I read was Wayne Kramer's The Hard Stuff: Dope, Cri ...more
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Deborah Ann Harry is a Golden Globe-nominated and Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and actress most famous for being the lead singer for the punk rock/new wave band Blondie. She has also had some success as a solo artist, recording five solo albums and has sold more then 7 million records. In the mid 1990s she also performed and recorded as part of the Jazz Passengers. Harry has also engaged ...more
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