Author:  Keith Richards & James Fox

Title:  Life

Genre:  Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Audiobook

Narrator(s):  Johnny Depp & Keith Richards

Publication Date:  2010

Geographical Setting:  England & America (for the most part)

Time Period:  1943-2010

Series (If applicable):  N/A

Plot Summary:  The Rolling Stones are one of the most successful, famous, and infamous bands of the 20th century.  Over the years, rumors have developed about the band, with Keith Richards being viewed as a washed-up, one-transfusion-a-day, crazy rocker.  This compelling autobiography however, combats such rumors and gives readers an intimate look into the life of one of the most memorable guitar players in history.  It provides a no-holds-barred, candid account of Keith’s life, from his beginnings in Dartford, England, obsessing over artists like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and Elvis Presley (to name just a few), to the formation of the Rolling Stones, to his multiple drug busts, to his tumultuous relationship with Mick Jagger.  Most of all, it dispels Richards’ singularly stock classification as rock legend, helping readers realize that deep down, Richards, in many ways, is  your everyman, who falls in love, loses his best friend, struggles with addiction, and whips up one wicked version of bangers and mash.  This audio version, narrated mostly by Johnny Depp, helps transport the listener as well.  Depp’s smoky vocal tone and nuanced inflection are the perfect fit for the narrative, truly engaging the reader on multiple levels.  In this way, the words become more—the reader can visualize each setting, each event, each tragedy.  A surprisingly moving, yet oftentimes funny and colorful story, this glimpse into the life of a rock superstar is nothing short of spellbinding.

Subject Headings:  Richards, Keith—1943-, Rock musicians—England—Biography, Rolling Stones, Arts & Entertainment, Autobiographies, Celebrities, Music, Rock and roll—history

Appeal:  compelling, candid, edgy, humorous, moving, eccentric, engaging, flawed characters, authentic, rich and famous storyline, details of blue-collar England, details of music, details of rock star life, historical details, colorful, frank style, profane language, vivid

3 terms that best describe this book:  compelling, candid, colorful

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir—Steven Tyler & David Dalton (candid, details of rock star life, similar subject)

The Rolling Stones and Philosophy: It’s Just a Thought Away—Luke Dick & George Reisch (December 2011) (more details on the band, in-depth look at the controversies, details of music, historical details)

Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-lick-per-day Workout Program for Developing, Improving and Maintaining Guitar Technique—Troy Nelson (provides instruction for readers that are inspired, details of music)

Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters—Robert Gordon (Muddy Waters was a major inspiration for the Rolling Stones and is mentioned multiple times in Life, details of music, details of a musician’s life, historical details)

Gimme Shelter (DVD)—(Documentary featuring the Rolling Stones’ 1969 U.S. tour)

The T.A.M.I. Show (DVD)—(Film of a concert in 1964 featuring The Rolling Stones, James Brown, The Supremes, and many more)

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Sway—Zachary Lazar (historical details, biographical novel, inspired by the Rolling Stones)

Necrophenia—Robert Rankin (similar time period, humorous, music band aspects, the Rolling Stones are in the narrative)

Evening’s Empire—Bill Flanagan (humorous, British rock band’s rise and demise, issues with drug addictions)

Almost Famous (DVD)—(rock band subject, historical time period, rich and famous aspects)

This is Spinal Tap (DVD)—(rock band subject, humorous, British rock band)





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