Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake - Any Good?

Serious discussion about the band known as QUEEN.

Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake - Any Good?

Postby Leigh Burne » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:27 am

Don't normally bother with books like this, but it only set me back a couple of quid so I figured I didn't have anything to lose.

Not started it yet; anyone else read it? Any good?
"I always knew I was a star. And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me." — Freddie Mercury
 
Leigh Burne
Don't Stop Me Now
 
User avatar

 
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:57 am
Gender: Male
Has thanked: 92 times
Been thanked: 106 times

Re: Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake - Any Good?

Postby Good Apothecary Man » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:21 am

The short answer would be: yes, in my opinion.

I have only read it once - quite quickly for me too - when it first came out. I read a lot, I am also fairly knowledgeable about Queen, and my immediate reaction was that this was a well researched, balanced (as in 'dispassionate') history of the band (the kind of book I had always dreamed of writing from my teenage years); certainly the best full-length book on Queen I had read thus far. I keep meaning to read it again, preferably before the film comes out. Blake's history of Pink Floyd is similarly good, by the way.

Having said that, just picking it off the shelf now and quickly leafing through it reminded me of what I immediately realised was its major weakness. I said above that it is balanced in the sense of being relatively objective and dispassionate, but it certainly isn't balanced in terms of its coverage of the band's history. For example, John Deacon doesn't appear until roughly page 110 of a 400-page book. By contrast, the US leg of the Jazz tour gets one page. The Flash Gordon film gets two pages etc.

That's fine, I guess, if you're marketing the book (as Blake is) as the "untold story" - most people won't know pre-Queen history in that much detail. It also fits with the Freestone line (said in relation to the film) that the '78-'80 period is glossed over because there's nothing much of interest.

The trouble is, I think that's wrong...as is becoming clear agonisingly slowly as things like the Peter Hince book and the NOTW box set come out. I don't necessarily mean startling revelations; I just mean a thoroughly documented, well written, interestingly told history of the Queen years. There is still a great, in-depth book waiting to be written. The dream is alive.
"Steel yourself: this is valid"
My review of Bohemian Rhapsody: http://diogenescommunications.co.uk/bohemian-rhapsody-movie-review
 
Good Apothecary Man
Spread Your Wings
 
User avatar

 
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:30 pm
Gender: None specified
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake - Any Good?

Postby Leigh Burne » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Thanks.

As I said, I'm not really felt the need to read a band biography like this, but the place was selling books at 70% off and I figured for that money it was worth a punt.
"I always knew I was a star. And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me." — Freddie Mercury
 
Leigh Burne
Don't Stop Me Now
 
User avatar

 
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:57 am
Gender: Male
Has thanked: 92 times
Been thanked: 106 times


Return to Killer Queen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: QueenFan19 and 4 guests