If you’ve not heard of Moby, you’ll probably have heard one of his songs. They grace so many blockbuster movies, from the Bourne series to Any Given Sunday, Heat to Blue Crush that they’re almost impossible to miss. He’s an internationally known and well-regarded artist.

I assumed he’d had a fairly easy and straightforward rise to fame and fortune. That assumption turned out to be wrong.

This is very much a warts-and-all telling of his life, starting with the early days where he paid $50 a month to live in part of an abandoned warehouse with no running water. It charts him climbing the runs as a DJ, the slow rise of his initial hits and subsequent fall when he tried to move into metal.

It doesn’t shy away from his personal life, describing the excessive drinking, failed relationships and desperate sex. It’s a seedy, grimy look at someone living in New York through a tough period while working through the less glamourous side of the music business.

He reads it in his monosyllabic tone, never injecting emotion as he describes events that would make any of us cringe to recall. For that you have to give him kudos. Equally, the endless mentions of his sex acts with women ranging from strippers to models and almost anyone in between feel unneccesary and both degreading and boastful at the same time (although I suspect they are meant to show how grateful he has been that they picked the weird guy).

This book charts his life up to the creation, but not the release, of the album Play. As a breakout, it would be interesting to see how that changed things and he has a follow-on book called Then It Fell Apart that I’ll probably try and read at some point.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 18th February 2020