James's Reviews > Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored

Anger is an Energy by John Lydon
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‘Anger is an Energy’ is John Lydon’s second attempt at an autobiography, following 199 4’s ‘Rotten – No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’. (Clearly one of the drawbacks of writing an ‘early in life’ autobiography, is that there may well be a lot of life still left to live and still left to write about).

Autobiographies generally fall into one of a few categories, either – the ‘warts and all’/kiss and tell/exposé variety, or the vacuous (minor) celebrity pointlessness type, not forgetting the shamelessly self-promotion/self aggrandisement’ version – or a combination thereof. Lydon’s book doesn’t fall fully into any of these categories, although at times definitely veers into self aggrandisement territory.

‘Anger is an Energy’ is reads and is written in a conversational manner – ‘a cosy chat with John Lydon/Rotten’ perhaps and it is interesting (for the most part) to see what JLR has to say. As an individual and leader of both the ‘Sex Pistols’ and the ‘Public Image Ltd’ JLR has undoubtedly, not only changed music and culture, but with the ‘Sex Pistols’ – the way that we think and life in England itself – at the time, sending shock waves around the world. For those that were not around at the time in England (1975-1978) it is perhaps hard to imagine the seismic impact that JLR’s band had – from disgust and apoplectic outrage, to a new kind of excitement, a new kind of music and a different way of thinking – an enlightenment. The influence of which is still felt today.

Sadly though, although interesting to hear what JLR has been up to since 1994, the ongoing antics of PiL, JLR’s adventures in reality television and his views on life in general (although much of that we already know) this is a book that is badly in need of significant editing. There is a lot of waffle here and a lot that reads in the manner of being delivered by the local ‘bar room philosopher’.

Ultimately and apart from being overlong and somewhat repetitive, I’m not sure what ‘Anger is an Energy’ adds to what JLR delivered in the earlier ‘Rotten – No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’.

A ‘Revolt into Style’ indeed. Let the music speak for itself.
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Reading Progress

September 14, 2015 – Shelved
September 14, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
December 3, 2017 – Started Reading
December 7, 2017 –
December 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

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