He's back in the news, number 1 in the charts, but not in the singles or albums charts that he's accustomed to; Stephen Patrick Morrissey is number 1 in the book charts in Europe with the fastest selling musical memoir ever. Unfortunately the book's not out in America yet (but will be coming out on December 3rd) but somehow my brother managed to get me a copy for my birthday which I have just finished reading. Here's my succinct review:
First off, it's written in quite an odd manner (no chapters), especially the first 150 pages or so (457 pages total). Morrissey writes in a lyrical, almost poetic way at times which can be hard to grasp but is enjoyable nevertheless. However, for someone like me, things get more tasty as his career takes off and he starts writing in a more normal way about his time with the Smiths and his solo career. There's also a lot of stuff in there about his influences (particularly the New York Dolls) and the horrible time he had at school.
The Smiths section is distressingly short but that makes sense when you consider how long their recording career was (1982-1987), especially when compared to Morrissey's much longer solo career (25 years and counting). There's a large section on the Smiths' court case in which the Smiths' drummer, Mike Joyce, successfully sued Morrissey and Marr for 25% of the Smiths' recording royalties in 1997. After that Morrissey writes at length about his post-Smiths career and his contentment with his solo records and tours. By all accounts it's a satisfying read and one that I highly recommend to fans of the Smiths and Morrissey.
Side Note: NME names "The Queen is Dead" as the greatest album of all time.