The autobiography is a work which must be treated very tenderly. If you happen to feel other people may be interested in your life story- then I have some advice for you should you be looking to complete a memoir in the future. First of all, try to keep it away from the bottomless abyss that is self-indulgence and secondly- read the ones on this list first.
10. Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story – Arnold Schwarzenegger
This features first on my list as an example of exactly what constitutes an insufficient memoir. Essentially, this is 600 pages of Arny justifying every decision he made during his political career (that I’m pretty sure no-one cares about) and telling us about all of his many excellent sexual conquests. It’s quite funny if you read it in his voice yes, but in terms of being a credible slice of intriguing and charismatic literature- no, just no.
9. My Booky Wook – Russell Brand
I suppose the enjoyment of this book would be helped along if you were indeed a fan of Russ- if you can’t tolerate the guy in any way, shape or form however- I’d give this one a miss. I happen to be a fan, hence why I’ve read this book…The content therein is not only often as grim as it is hilarious, but extremely eloquently written- making it all the more enjoyable a read. Documenting his rise from humble drug riddled beginnings in showbiz at stage school in London, all the way through his controversy ridden time as a toilet circuit stand-up, and concluding right on the tip of the Hollywood fame he currently enjoys- My Booky Wook is an easy yet sufficient read.
8. The Way I Am – Eminem
A must read for any fan of the hip hop superstar- The Way I Am brings together archive material of a scrapbook nature as well as the artists personal insights and thought processes. Giving you an idea of his opinion on several wider issues as well as telling the tale of his eventful career thus far- this really is one for the hardcore followers. The endless amounts of old photographs combined with an open and honest writing style confirm there is a lot more going on with this guy than some may think.
Who wouldn’t want to read a book written by one of the most iconic figures in rock music? Telling the tales of his wild early years with Guns N’ Roses and carrying on all the way through to his current exploits as a solo artist and as part of hard rock supergroup ‘ Velvet Revolver’- the book is full of gripping near death scenarios at the hands of substance abuse just as much as it is with charming stories of the guitar aficionado’s personal life.
6. The Heroin Diaries – Nikki Sixx
I’m unsure if this one counts as an auto-biography- mostly due to the fact that its material is compiled largely from an actual diary kept by the Motley Crue bassist back in the 1980’s. Either way, it’s an exquisite read which takes you into the depths of rock and roll depravity. Taken from journal entries in the year between Christmas 1986-1987, the books full title reads ‘The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar’. Speaks for itself really.