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A gritty, gripping memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers), chronicling his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s "Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" -Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle A gritty, gripping memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers), chronicling his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s "Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" -Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle in the mid-1980s, he was just "an arrogant, self-loathing redneck waster seeking transformation through rock 'n' roll." Little did he know that within less than a decade, he would rise to fame as the front man of the Screaming Trees, then fall from grace as a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, all the while watching some of his closest friends rocket to the forefront of popular music. In Sing Backwards and Weep, Lanegan takes readers back to the sinister, needle-ridden streets of Seattle, to an alternative music scene that was simultaneously bursting with creativity and dripping with drugs. He tracks the tumultuous rise and fall of the Screaming Trees, from a brawling, acid-rock bar band to world-famous festival favorites that scored a hit #5 single on Billboard's Alternative charts and landed a notorious performance on David Letterman, where Lanegan appeared sporting a fresh black eye from a brawl the night before. This book also dives into Lanegan's personal struggles with addiction, culminating in homelessness, petty crime, and the tragic deaths of his closest friends. From the back of the van to the front of the bar, from the hotel room to the emergency room, onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between, Sing Backwards and Weep reveals the abrasive underlining beneath one of the most romanticized decades in rock history-from a survivor who lived to tell the tale. Gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw, Sing Backwards and Weep is a book about more than just an extraordinary singer who watched his dreams catch fire and incinerate the ground beneath his feet. Instead, it's about a man who learned how to drag himself from the wreckage, dust off the ashes, and keep living and creating.


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A gritty, gripping memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers), chronicling his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s "Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" -Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle A gritty, gripping memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers), chronicling his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s "Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" -Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro When Mark Lanegan first arrived in Seattle in the mid-1980s, he was just "an arrogant, self-loathing redneck waster seeking transformation through rock 'n' roll." Little did he know that within less than a decade, he would rise to fame as the front man of the Screaming Trees, then fall from grace as a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, all the while watching some of his closest friends rocket to the forefront of popular music. In Sing Backwards and Weep, Lanegan takes readers back to the sinister, needle-ridden streets of Seattle, to an alternative music scene that was simultaneously bursting with creativity and dripping with drugs. He tracks the tumultuous rise and fall of the Screaming Trees, from a brawling, acid-rock bar band to world-famous festival favorites that scored a hit #5 single on Billboard's Alternative charts and landed a notorious performance on David Letterman, where Lanegan appeared sporting a fresh black eye from a brawl the night before. This book also dives into Lanegan's personal struggles with addiction, culminating in homelessness, petty crime, and the tragic deaths of his closest friends. From the back of the van to the front of the bar, from the hotel room to the emergency room, onstage, backstage, and everywhere in between, Sing Backwards and Weep reveals the abrasive underlining beneath one of the most romanticized decades in rock history-from a survivor who lived to tell the tale. Gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw, Sing Backwards and Weep is a book about more than just an extraordinary singer who watched his dreams catch fire and incinerate the ground beneath his feet. Instead, it's about a man who learned how to drag himself from the wreckage, dust off the ashes, and keep living and creating.

30 review for Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Dark, gritty, and brutally honest, this is one of the most eye-opening memoirs I’ve read. Mark Lanegan is digging up some serious skeletons in his new memoir Sing Backwards and Weep. He spews it all, sharing parts of his childhood upbringing, the rise to fame with Screaming Trees, and his descent into drugs and homelessness. The truth is the truth, but I can see some people mentioned in this book becoming irate with the all-out divulging of the past. In retrospect, this book is Mark’s hard knock Dark, gritty, and brutally honest, this is one of the most eye-opening memoirs I’ve read. Mark Lanegan is digging up some serious skeletons in his new memoir Sing Backwards and Weep. He spews it all, sharing parts of his childhood upbringing, the rise to fame with Screaming Trees, and his descent into drugs and homelessness. The truth is the truth, but I can see some people mentioned in this book becoming irate with the all-out divulging of the past. In retrospect, this book is Mark’s hard knock life throughout. This doesn’t feel like an autobiography in any sense—it does begin that way, but quickly turns into scenes of Mark’s tumultuous life beginning in childhood with the mental beat-downs from his mother, all the way up to somewhere around the death of Alice in Chain’s vocalist Layne Staley. High points for me were the stories about Mark’s friendships with Kurt, Layne, and others. There were even a few comical tidbits including one with Chris Cornell that made me smile. I had a terrible cold one day and Cornell insisted I allow him to lick my bare eyeball to test his invented-on-the-spot theory of virus transmission. I was, of course, delighted to take part in the experiment. Chris never got sick. I can’t recall if this proved or disproved his theory, but it was an effective way of making me laugh. I was hoping Mark would expand on these relationships surrounding him, but what’s here is a huge helping of what seems like (has to be) the darkest times in Mark’s life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and loved the writing. I literally dissected this book; there was just so much hope in me for a more in-depth accounting of these relationships. It’s always been hard for me to stay interested in stories where there’s constant animosity between people, in this case: band mates, drug dealers, friends, and family. The physical fighting and the getting back at one another felt like a total drag. For that, maybe this book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure kept me hypnotized regardless of what I felt the book lacked. The book ends after Mark’s rehab, and then with Layne’s death in 2002. I sat speechless for some time after because this memoir left me with an empty feeling. It was such an unexpected ending even with already knowing Layne’s outcome, and there isn’t much included on Mark’s collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age. The short epilogue was much appreciated, but what about all the other years? What’s been happening since Layne’s death? How has Mark coped? All I can do now is hope that Mark will write and share another memoir, and if he does, I’ll be first in line to read it. 5*****

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Mark Lanegan is an artist I've enjoyed seeing live and have loved the shit out of his solo records, yet I didn't know much about his personal background, other than the Screaming Trees and his friendships with Kurt Cobain and Josh Homme. Most rock memoirs are garbage but this one was everything Gritty, cathartic, bitchy and tender, my only complaint is that I'm left yearning to read about the next 20 years of his life, how he's staying clean, and his collaborations with what feels like just abou Mark Lanegan is an artist I've enjoyed seeing live and have loved the shit out of his solo records, yet I didn't know much about his personal background, other than the Screaming Trees and his friendships with Kurt Cobain and Josh Homme. Most rock memoirs are garbage but this one was everything Gritty, cathartic, bitchy and tender, my only complaint is that I'm left yearning to read about the next 20 years of his life, how he's staying clean, and his collaborations with what feels like just about everyone. 4.5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matti Paasio

    MARK MELROSE I take no joy in stating this, being no stranger to addiction myself... and Mark Lanegan having been a hero of mine since 1992... a position he no longer occupies, for a couple of reasons. (1) This book. What's the difference between Lanegan's memoir and and the tabloids? I appreciate his honesty, I guess. But do we need to know absolutely EVERYTHING? The more you learn about the author's journey, the less you care... until his epiphany on the very final pages of the book. That was gr MARK MELROSE I take no joy in stating this, being no stranger to addiction myself... and Mark Lanegan having been a hero of mine since 1992... a position he no longer occupies, for a couple of reasons. (1) This book. What's the difference between Lanegan's memoir and and the tabloids? I appreciate his honesty, I guess. But do we need to know absolutely EVERYTHING? The more you learn about the author's journey, the less you care... until his epiphany on the very final pages of the book. That was great! What happened next? In general, though, addiction tales are a drag — unless the author is Hubert Selby Jr himself — and Cubby Lanegan is not. You just get sick of this dude. And there's way too much macho business here, considering the progressive pose that the author has taken in public recently. Tell me, sir, WHO is the bully? (2) His career. Sing Backwards and Weep is better than Lanegan's lame music and cliche-pumped lyrics of late, but Lord knows that isn't much. This memoir isn't as tedious as the junkie adventures of Patrick Melrose, but it comes pretty damn close. "I had been a rank nihilist," Lanegan sums up his story. Several hundred pages of that is too much. Sorry, bro. I'm waiting for the next installment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erick

    This was not an easy memoir to get through. I decided to listen to this as an audio book. I figured it would be great to hear Mark Lanegan's story in his own words. It might've been easier to read it as a book. His biography is grueling, to say the least. I've been into the music of Screaming Trees for years. They were definitely my favorite Washington band of the 90s. I owned albums by Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, etc--but Screaming Trees were the band that This was not an easy memoir to get through. I decided to listen to this as an audio book. I figured it would be great to hear Mark Lanegan's story in his own words. It might've been easier to read it as a book. His biography is grueling, to say the least. I've been into the music of Screaming Trees for years. They were definitely my favorite Washington band of the 90s. I owned albums by Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, etc--but Screaming Trees were the band that I took to the most from that state. I'm not entirely sure why. Until just recently, I wasn't even aware that the guitar player Gary Lee Conner had been the main song writer for the majority of their existence. I always did like the overall mood of the music though. They seemed to shirk the stereotypical formula of a lot of so-called "Alternative" bands. They had a strong 60s Psychedelic vibe, but an equally strong 80s Post-Punk vibe as well. Lanegan's voice and lyrics have always resonated with me. I have had their songs show up in my dreams more than once. Not too terribly long ago, I awoke with the song Shadow Of The Season in my head. Now I realize that song was really about Lanegan's substance abuse. This book details how bad that abuse was. Lanegan's descent into addiction can only be described as hellish. He doesn't glamorize the rockstar life in the slightest. I remember reading about his arrest for crack possession in the 90s. Even at the time I was amazed that he could allow himself to fall that far, but I wasn't aware until hearing his memoir that his decline was more horrid than even that arrest could intimate. He was often penniless, homeless and selling drugs for other people to support his habit while being a notable vocalist in a famous band. The details have to be either read or listened to in his own words to fully appreciate. Lanegan does recount other aspects of his life in the Screaming Trees and his early solo career. He was good friends with Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. He often supplied them with drugs. He also supplied Courtney Love. Some of the more humorous aspects of his memoir was his runins with Al Jourgensen of Ministry and Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Lanegan almost pummeled both of them--and they clearly would have deserved it. Unlike the typical stereotype of the brooding non-confrontational artist, Lanegan is a big dude and was a scrapper from very early on in his life. Often a turbulent home life contributes to that kind of disposition. Lanegan's relationship with his mother makes it clear why he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't totally go into detail about his strained relationship with Gary Lee Conner from the Trees but that he hated his lyrics and didn't like his guitar playing is obvious. He also paints him as a moody and silent tyrant during their tenure at SST records and even for their first album Uncle Anesthesia for Epic. Lee Conner did back off with his control of songwriting for Sweet Oblivion and Dust though. Still, Lanegan has very little good to say about him, nor about the Screaming Trees in general. I honestly do not understand his disdain for the Screaming Trees records though. He implies it in interviews and does so here as well. I don't think he is able to be entirely objective on Screaming Trees' music. Their music was well respected by his peers for good reason. I also happen to like a lot of the songs from the SST period and most of the songs from their Epic years. I also don't agree with his overall disdain for Gary Lee Conner's songwriting. Like I said, he has a lot of animosity towards Lee Conner. And the fact that he mentions that Lee's brother Van, who was the bass player for Screaming Trees, also regularly had physical altercations with him does make it apparent that Lee was difficult to get along with. Very good memoir. It was often difficult to listen to. It also put me in a rather dark mood after hearing some of it. It was good to know what was going on behind the scenes during this tumultuous period. There was a lot I didn't know. With how dark the subject matter was, I am glad it turned out well in the end; and I am glad to have gotten through the memoir. I'm very sensitive to hearing about human suffering and I can only tolerate so much before it really starts to affect me. This memoir was starting to do that and I am relieved to be done with it. It might be poignant to end this review with a set of lyrics from the Screaming Trees' song For Celebrations Past that I had in my mind when I awoke one morning a number of years ago: "This is for footsteps approaching the night They keep themselves moving and do what is right Now watch what you gather and hold in your hand Numbers are many who misunderstand"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Felipe Schuermann

    A quasi-thug turned into a sensitive artist (or vice-versa), Lanegan's autobiography/memoirs are a more than captivating read! The parts on Kurt's and Layne's deaths are beyond heart-rending and there's plenty of stuff in the book regarding their friendships that I didn't know (which are not necessarily sad). Other than that, I just wish he'd knocked Liam Gallagher out cold back in 96! :P

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew McMillen

    Towards the end of Mark Lanegan’s engrossing memoir is a series of scenes in which he shares space with Liam Gallagher, the singer of British rock act Oasis. It is September 1996 and Lanegan’s band, Screaming Trees, is supporting Oasis on an arena tour of the US east coast. Oasis’s star is on the ascent while the Trees are on a slow descent into obscurity, and Gallagher’s very first interaction with his American counterpart is to take the piss out of Lanegan’s band name by spitting “howling branc Towards the end of Mark Lanegan’s engrossing memoir is a series of scenes in which he shares space with Liam Gallagher, the singer of British rock act Oasis. It is September 1996 and Lanegan’s band, Screaming Trees, is supporting Oasis on an arena tour of the US east coast. Oasis’s star is on the ascent while the Trees are on a slow descent into obscurity, and Gallagher’s very first interaction with his American counterpart is to take the piss out of Lanegan’s band name by spitting “howling branches?!” in his face while backed by two huge, hired goons. By this point in the book, 260-odd pages deep, we know enough about the narrator to recognise the extraordinary mistake that Gallagher has made in provoking Lanegan, who earlier had detailed his innate ability to keep people at arm’s length — and to keep the seat next to him open on a crowded, standing-room-only city bus — by mastering a dark, dead-eyed visage that once had earned him the nickname “Shark”. “It would take more than one blowhard singer to intimidate the Trees,” writes Lanegan. “I was a veteran of violence foreign and domestic, onstage, backstage, rural countryside, big city, barroom, parking lot, pool hall, and alleyway … All I knew was that in my 31 years on Earth, I had never encountered anyone with a larger head or tinier balls. And he had chosen exactly the wrong guy to f..k with.” This stand-off between the two rock singers is an extremely funny interlude in an otherwise painstakingly unflinching account of a troubled life further troubled by the excesses of rock ’n’ roll. History records Screaming Trees as also-rans in a Seattle alternative rock scene that bloomed in the early 1990s with multi-million-selling album releases by the likes of Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Lanegan was close friends with the singers in those two bands — Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley respectively — and, like both of those men, he carries inside him a powerful, singular instrument, with his baritone style occupying the deepest end of the male vocal spectrum. And, like both of his friends, eventually he would become desperately mired in drug addiction. This book chronicles about a decade in Lanegan’s life in Seattle and abroad — from the mid-80s onward — in ultra-high definition, and if you’re looking for detailed retellings of sordid scenes with some of the key characters from that highly romanticised time in popular music, there are certainly plenty of those. About halfway through, for instance, he describes scoring dope for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds when the Australian act passed through Washington. When the band leader arrived at Lanegan’s apartment to score heroin, the author writes: “Cave looked at my f..ked-up arms, crisscrossed like a road map of Germany with huge, deep, red-and-black abscessed tracks. ‘Damn,’ he said. ‘I guess you can’t just pop into the can for a quick hit’.” Lanegan was a prime candidate for becoming a compulsive user, but it’s not until late in the book that we learn of the gruelling array of traumatic abuse he experienced as a boy, which explains the deep well of rage that ran through his psyche and why he was thrilled eventually to find a numbing substance that dulled his painful memories. “My entire childhood, my mother, who, unbelievably, worked as a college lecturer of early childhood education, had been a wholly detestable, damaged witch,” he writes. The abuse detailed in these passages is completely shocking, even more so because Lanegan detonates those bombs so late in the narrative of his 20s. But writing a lacerating self-examination is only half the challenge for any memoirist; the other half is writing it beautifully, in a way that connects with readers whose lived experiences are distant to the author’s own. In that respect Lanegan surely succeeds, for his tone throughout Sing Backwards and Weep, the title of which is taken from a lyric from his 1999 song, Fix, is wry and knowing without ever transmitting a trace of self-pity. With great skill, he renders long-ago memories in vivid three-dimensional scenes that perfectly capture who he was then and why he acted how he did in the moment. Only occasionally does he allow a modicum of present-tense wisdom to enter into the narrative and, when deployed economically, it becomes brutally effective. Take this passage on page 95, which comes just as Screaming Trees are finally beginning to find a wide audience with the release of their sixth album, in the wake of Nirvana’s success with their 1991 breakthrough, Nevermind, whose rising tide lifted all boats. At this time Lanegan had become a regular but cautious heroin user as he found its appeal overwhelming, yet he hid his use from everyone — including his girlfriend, with whom he lived — because of fear and shame of being caught: "But it was the fear of showing my true heart, at times either so full it might burst or so empty I could cry, that hounded me most viciously. […] There had been a perpetual war between myself and the costume of persona I’d donned as a youngster and then worn my entire life. Petrified that someone might discover who I really was: merely a child inside the body of an adult. A boy playacting a man. My lifelong hard-ass exterior and, underneath that, ironclad interior were all an intricately constructed, carefully cultivated, and fiercely guarded sham. I was, in reality, driven by what I’d heard referred to in rehab all those years ago as “a thousand forms of fear”. Sadly, somewhere deep in my soul, I knew that was probably me." Is that not one of the most cuttingly honest and striking self-descriptions you’ve read? The author writes with the ragged pen of one who has not only lived through some of the most depraved psychic and physical states that our species can endure but has wallowed in that world for years on end. As his lucid, unguarded depictions make abundantly clear, there is absolutely nothing glamorous about heroin addiction. It is a haunted wasteland of the human soul that consumes all of one’s time and energy until the host dies — as happened with Cobain in 1994 and Staley in 2002 — or the addiction is kicked. Lanegan eventually stumbled his way down the latter path. The very last word he writes here is what he became: clean. We are all the beneficiaries of that outcome, not only because his singular artistic voice is still with us today, and still creating and performing, but because he was able to write this extraordinary, unforgettable book. It is right up there with the very best memoirs I have read, by a musician or anyone else. It is not often that a book’s cover blurb is worth repeating in a review but, in this case, a succinct summary of its contents could not be better expressed than what Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin came up with, and with which I wholeheartedly concur: “raw, ravaged and personal — a stoned cold classic”. (Originally published in The Weekend Australian Review, July 4 2020: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts...)

  7. 4 out of 5

    April

    Raw, brutal honesty by my favorite singer-songwriter of his years of addiction. Five stars for the harrowing audiobook featuring his deep, gravelly-voiced narration.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe Kraus

    In my after-college, semi-Bohemian days, my roommates and I used to be regulars at Chicago’s Lounge Ax. We’d be there for incredible shows in a room that held no more than 250 people, seeing shows sometimes with no more than 40 or 50 others. If we were there early, the band would often be at the bar, and my roommate Bill had a knack for winding up next to semi-famous figures not saying much. Alex and Ray were better about initiating conversations. I was always the most star-struck, so when I jump In my after-college, semi-Bohemian days, my roommates and I used to be regulars at Chicago’s Lounge Ax. We’d be there for incredible shows in a room that held no more than 250 people, seeing shows sometimes with no more than 40 or 50 others. If we were there early, the band would often be at the bar, and my roommate Bill had a knack for winding up next to semi-famous figures not saying much. Alex and Ray were better about initiating conversations. I was always the most star-struck, so when I jumped in it was usually with just a banal “that’s cool” so I could claim, with technical correctness, that I’d been part of the conversation. That’s how we met Alex Chilton, the Rev. Horton Heat, and Rick Miller from Southern Culture on the Skids. The idea of it – a real rock star just spilling the shit! – sounds a lot better than it was. Chilton was just hitting on women a generation younger than he was. The Reverend was an agitated, aggressive guy even off stage. (Rick Miller was cool, though.) I digress with such memories because reading this book feels like sitting at the bar next to someone on that order of cool. I confess I didn’t know Lanegan’s music – either solo or with The Screaming Trees – before reading this, and I still don’t know it well. But he was famous-proximate from his Seattle grunge days, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Again, better in concept than in fact. Lanegan defines himself here – and I don’t know the alternative if there is one – as a hardcore junkie. He opens with a description of the day (or is it one of many?) when he got busted. He describes his descent into drugs, some music, occasional transactional sex, and more drugs. This doesn’t open with a sense that he’s learned anything, and it doesn’t suggest along the way that he has either. He’s been through a lot, but we get it the way you might get it at the bar of the Lounge Ax, some touring musician running a hand through his grungy hair, pulling back on a cheap beer, and sighing out an “insider” story. “I was so high” or “I was too fucked up” or “I was thinking between my legs.” It’s a refrain, and it’s cool only from the outside. Reading this, it’s not clear to me that Lanegan has learned anything. Props to his punk sensibility that he doesn’t give us much of the “and then I got clean” version – though there is a strange near-final religious epiphany that he describes without exploring. Instead, we get everything in a kind of monotone, something I experienced first-hand since I listened to this one with him reading it. Most of his stories have a wistful, “I was dumb as shit” quality, a puzzled, almost bemused sense that he was there, that he didn’t return calls that would have used his music as the soundtrack for David O. Russell’s first film, that he neglected to call Kurt Cobain back during the binge in which he killed himself, that he chose drugs over one of about six different women who could have been “the one.” A few have a vague cruelty to them, a taking pride in kicking the shit out of someone who deserved it or a not-quite-contrite description of how he belittled someone beneath him on the ladder of rock star fame. Lanegan seems to be working toward honesty with this, but – outside of its slow-motion car wreck quality – it’s fairly closed. Without reflection, it feels something like a journal: Day One, I did these drugs, day two I did these other ones. Again, Lanegan seems to have learned almost nothing other than the fact that he’s somehow survived the wreckage around him. If he hasn’t learned anything, he doesn’t have anything to teach. All of that’s compounded by amateurish writing. If I’d had the guy in a class, I’d push him on some of the sentence-crafting basics. He overuses adjectives, not just larding them on but allowing them to fill in for the substance of analysis. I honestly can’t tell one of the women he almost loves from another. They’re all ‘sensitive’ and ‘soul-tingling,’ but there’s little to distinguish them beyond the adjectives. Anyway, I did finish this, and I’m glad for the glimpse at a scene that – in Nirvana and Pearl Jam at least – produced some music I very much admire. As for the rest, maybe the show will be good, but I’m getting tired of the conversation at the bar.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian Joynt

    I’ve loved Mark Lanegan since I heard his 2004 album Bubblegum. The dark, grime-covered beauty of that album spoke to me in a big way, and became the soundtrack to the troubled state I was in at that time. After discovering Bubblegum I went back through his entire solo catalog, and he became a top artist for me--an iconic musical mastermind, a haunted poet. Lanegan is a relic from the Seattle scene, the last surviving godfather of that dark, mystical era of music that burst onto the radio in the I’ve loved Mark Lanegan since I heard his 2004 album Bubblegum. The dark, grime-covered beauty of that album spoke to me in a big way, and became the soundtrack to the troubled state I was in at that time. After discovering Bubblegum I went back through his entire solo catalog, and he became a top artist for me--an iconic musical mastermind, a haunted poet. Lanegan is a relic from the Seattle scene, the last surviving godfather of that dark, mystical era of music that burst onto the radio in the 90s. Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden—that was my time, and those were my bands. Unfortunately a lot of it remains shrouded in mystery. But slowly, with new memoirs and biographies emerging, additional windows are opening to this iconic period in music, and Lanegan’s new book is a crucial connective piece following Patty Schemel’s Hit So Hard. Sing Backwards and Weep is a raw, sad, painful, and often hilarious account of Mark Lanegan’s time as a singer for Screaming Trees, detailing his difficult upbringing, his rise to fame, and his various interactions with other icons of the Seattle scene as they collectively battle substance abuse, each other, and general rock and roll debauchery. Lanegan holds nothing back here, and makes no excuses for his behavior. He tells it like it is, and if he’s raw about something he doesn’t hide it. Like dropping a lit cigarette in actor Matt Dillon's coat pocket simply because he hated the movie Singles, and for not getting a dime for the hit song on its soundtrack. There’s a lot of hard truth here, and it’s incredibly detailed and beautifully written. Hopefully he writes a second book detailing his later solo career. Highly recommended to those who grew up with grunge and alternative music as the soundtrack of their youth. It’s still my favorite era of music, and these are still my favorite bands.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Sztehlo

    Regardless of your familiarity with Mark Lanegan this is a must read book. It’s both an entertaining history of the Screaming Trees, the beginnings of Mark Lanegans solo career, and an often hilarious personal journey through the Seattle music scene, AND a masterpiece of literary writing and an absolutely harrowing journey into the degradation of drug addiction. There were so many moments that were absolutely heartbreaking to read for me; as someone who has loved and looked up to and been inspir Regardless of your familiarity with Mark Lanegan this is a must read book. It’s both an entertaining history of the Screaming Trees, the beginnings of Mark Lanegans solo career, and an often hilarious personal journey through the Seattle music scene, AND a masterpiece of literary writing and an absolutely harrowing journey into the degradation of drug addiction. There were so many moments that were absolutely heartbreaking to read for me; as someone who has loved and looked up to and been inspired by this man for my whole life, I was horrified and upset to see some of the truly awful things he’s done in his life, in the grip of a disease that wouldn’t let him go. You are pulled through the ringer, and Lanegan holds nothing back. He gives his truthful honest opinions on everyone from the people he adored to the scumbags he will hate for the rest of his life. But of all them, the most critical eye he turns is to himself. This book is stunningly authentic and incredibly introspective and honest. It’s one of the great creative pursuits of his whole career, an exhausting read that is insanely wild, hilarious, fun, but also goes to the most earth shatteringly awful moments of his whole life, the moments of existential and nihilistic despair that will always be in his soul. This should be a new high bar for memoir writing and for the often tedious genre of rock autobiography. Compulsively readable and compelling, Sing Backwards and Weep comes with the highest recommendation.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Absolutely breathtaking I have loved Mark Lanegan's music for years this book is hard to read at times but the honesty of its content makes it hard to put down it proves what you hear and what you see isn't always how true a persons real life really is. I can imagine that this memoir has been extremely difficult for Mark to write . Fantastic read from a very talented man who's music I look forward to listening too I wish you well Mark and look forward to your new work in the future keep safe and Absolutely breathtaking I have loved Mark Lanegan's music for years this book is hard to read at times but the honesty of its content makes it hard to put down it proves what you hear and what you see isn't always how true a persons real life really is. I can imagine that this memoir has been extremely difficult for Mark to write . Fantastic read from a very talented man who's music I look forward to listening too I wish you well Mark and look forward to your new work in the future keep safe and well .

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Neko

    One of the best musician memoirs I've ever read. Up there with Julian Cope's Head-On/Repossessed. Insert all the clichés here: brutally honest, depraved, dark, tormented, insane. After reading this, I can safely say: being a heroin addict must be NO FUCKING JOKE.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Wow. Lanegan did not spare himself in this memoir—he bared all and it was ugly. Felt like I was right there with him going through every harrowing bit. I adore his singing and am grateful I had the opportunity to delve into his past life like this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt Suder

    Dark, brutal, gross. Don’t do heroin, kids.

  15. 5 out of 5

    MacDara Conroy

    When I first learned what this story of Mark Lanegan’s early years in music would entail, I couldn’t help but think of Bob Mould’s own autobiography, See A Little Light, and all of its recriminations and petty swipes at his ex-bandmates in Hüsker Dü. But at least I can understand Mould’s bitterness, if not accept or agree with it, because it comes from a place of passion — a band that he and his former musical compadres wanted to be in, music they wanted to make, and then life and its complicati When I first learned what this story of Mark Lanegan’s early years in music would entail, I couldn’t help but think of Bob Mould’s own autobiography, See A Little Light, and all of its recriminations and petty swipes at his ex-bandmates in Hüsker Dü. But at least I can understand Mould’s bitterness, if not accept or agree with it, because it comes from a place of passion — a band that he and his former musical compadres wanted to be in, music they wanted to make, and then life and its complication sours the milk. From what he writes in Sing Backwards And Weep, however, it seems that passion was never really there for Lanegan. In fact, he’s seething with resentment from the get-go — for losing his shot at a career in baseball (ultimately by his own doing), for an adolescence smeared with drink and drugs and petty crime (ditto, but we’ll get back to that) and for taking a role in a band that he didn’t like, with bandmates he didn’t particularly care for at best but mostly outright loathed, seemingly for having the temerity to… not be to his exacting standards? For sure there are many accounts of the Screaming Trees’ guitarist Gary Lee Conner of being a, well, difficult individual — those physical squabbles with his brother, bassist Van Conner, were no secret to this guy reading about the band in snippets from the ’90s music press. And Lanegan initially paints what feels like a fair picture of Gary Lee as an introverted loner, prone to the selfish tantrums of the coddled. But far from understanding that, Lanegan uses it as fuel for his self-righteous, unnecessarily savage character assassination. For page after tedious page, Gary Lee Conner is the albatross around Lanegan’s neck; he’s a fraud obsessed with a musical bygone era, whose lyrics Lanegan is embarrassed to sing; or he’s the tyrant steering the band away from the heights only Lanegan is capable of reaching; he’s the ‘large’ or ‘huge’ — or whatever synonym for ‘fat’ he could find in the thesaurus — individual taking up valuable space that could be filled with Lanegan’s own ego. It may not seem so to Lanegan, even though he wrote the thing (we’ll get back to that, too) but it’s pretty clear to any reader not taken in by his shtick that he’s just put out he wasn’t the boss as the frontman. He rode the Screaming Trees’ coattails to escape life in a dead-end town (which is at once universally populated by deplorable rednecks, but also has a university with lefty arts students — not the only contradiction within these pages) and, as my friend Erik Highter pointed out, he’s mad he has to share his legacy with them. And the Screaming Trees do have a legacy; far from “terrible”, their earlier albums are treats of rough-hewn backwoods psych — even their debut Clairvoyance, which has that kind of we-made-a-record spirited naivety. It’s telling that the first record the band made that gets anything close to the Lanegan seal of approval, 1992’s Sweet Oblivion, is their most bloated and least interesting. (Lanegan wouldn’t be so gauche to admit this is the one where he finally called the shots, because that would give the game away, but it’s not hard to read between the lines that’s exactly the case.) When he’s exhausted his tirade against the band he’s convinced locked him in chains, along come the drug bore stories. It’s an attempt at a warts-and-all confessional, but those are meant to be cathartic, part of a learning experience laid out on the page. But there’s little to learn here. Instead, there’s a nagging sense he’s enamoured with the picture he paints of himself a romantic fuck-up, taking advantage of everyone and everything in his purview for the next score of skag or whatever he’s shooting up or smoking today to “get well”; an aura of conceptual art about his almost ritual puking and shitting in the throes of withdrawal. It detracts from any attempt he makes to recount the struggles of making his solo records, which are all excellent. (See? I’m not just bitter he hates a band I like!) This is when he gets so, so close to grasping his self, but his solipsism won’t let him; he’d rather go for faux humility, or unintentionally reveal his desperate pettiness (such as his decade-long enmity for Sub Pop’s Bruce Pavitt over an album cover photo that’s perfectly fine). It’s not funny, it’s just pathetic. (See also: his constant objectification of women, who he can only view through a prism of attractiveness, read fuckability; yet another aspect of his character he fails to grasp despite it being right there for the taking.) When he recounts a member of another band the Trees are touring with remarking, “That idiot thinks he’s Jim Morrison!”, rather than take the opportunity for self-examination he goes on the defensive. If he’s trying to be sarcastic, it’s lost amid the seething ire that reverberates throughout the text. And let’s talk about the text, because there’s a distinct impression this is not the unmediated expression of one Mr Mark Lanegan, but the contrived, purple prose of a ghostwriter, or an editor entrusted to massage whatever scribbles he came up with. It only reinforces the sense of dishonesty which is the book’s real admission. Even near the end, when we get the ‘big reveal’ that the source of his sheer awfulness is, by and large, his mother, who appears to be a uniquely cruel and abusive influence on his life, he resists the characterisation lest it casts him as a ‘mommy issues’ cliche. His ‘born again’ prodigal son bullshit in the final pages passes muster, but that’s too much? Quite.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Menno Pot

    I was a huge Screaming Trees-fan in the early to mid-1990s. Mark Lanegan, frontman of the band, hated the Screaming Trees. That was just one of many shocks while I was reading this book. I knew, at the time, that Mark Lanegan was a drug addict. You could easily tell he was destroying himself. When Kurt Cobain died many people felt the most likely Seattle rocker to go next was Mark Lanegan (even more likely than Alice in Chains' Layne Staley). I knew all that, but nothing could have prepared me for I was a huge Screaming Trees-fan in the early to mid-1990s. Mark Lanegan, frontman of the band, hated the Screaming Trees. That was just one of many shocks while I was reading this book. I knew, at the time, that Mark Lanegan was a drug addict. You could easily tell he was destroying himself. When Kurt Cobain died many people felt the most likely Seattle rocker to go next was Mark Lanegan (even more likely than Alice in Chains' Layne Staley). I knew all that, but nothing could have prepared me for this unforgettable, absolutely brutal autobiography. It covers the decades between his troubled childhood in Ellensburg and - roughly - the demise of Screaming Trees just before 2000. Lanegan's account of his heroin (and crack) addiction in the 1990s is William Burroughs meets Trainspotting. It's savage. I also laughed out loud many times. Lanegan absolutely murders his Screaming Trees bandmates and Oasis' Liam Gallagher, for example. And his very detailed and graphic account of a desperate quest for dope in Amsterdam is so sleazy and hilarious... you'll never forget it (I was at the concert at the Paradiso the next day, November 1996; it's a complete miracle that it took place and an even greater miracle that it was a decent show). More than anything else, Lanegan portrays himself as an unreliable, criminal, hateful, rancorous, utterly useless, miserable piece of shit, a dope dealer semi-guilty of the deaths of several Seattle peers, a violent, lying sex and porn addict and complete failure. Is this an honest memoir? Or did he 'fictionalize' the events to a certain extent for dramatic effect, which would make this autobiography a bit of a Burroughs-meets-Knausgård novel of sorts? I don't know and I don't care. It's just great.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beck

    Wow. I was completely blown away by this memoir (a genre I don't often read). This book chronicles the rise and fall of Screaming Trees singer, Mark Lanagan. I was drawn to this book because of a) I had never before heard of the Screaming Trees and b) I find redemption stories irresistible, true or not. The publisher describes this book as "gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw". I couldn't have said it better myself. Mark Lanagan's drug addiction was portrayed in the truest and clearest of fa Wow. I was completely blown away by this memoir (a genre I don't often read). This book chronicles the rise and fall of Screaming Trees singer, Mark Lanagan. I was drawn to this book because of a) I had never before heard of the Screaming Trees and b) I find redemption stories irresistible, true or not. The publisher describes this book as "gritty, gripping, and unflinchingly raw". I couldn't have said it better myself. Mark Lanagan's drug addiction was portrayed in the truest and clearest of fashion. It's like a car crash.. you can't help but look. And look I did. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. If you like memoirs than you will undoubtedly devour SING BACKWARDS AND WEEP.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    Sing Backwards And Weep is Mark Lanegan’s autobiography and it’s brutally honest and so fascinating. It tells of his journey to success as a member of The Screaming Trees, in the 80’s and 90’s, and his fall into drug addiction. This is not a pity party, just a dark, honest and at times humourless tale of an extraordinary life. I found this to be a fascinating, entertaining and compelling read, a look into the darker side of a life in the music industry. Thank you to Bei at Midas PR for the opportun Sing Backwards And Weep is Mark Lanegan’s autobiography and it’s brutally honest and so fascinating. It tells of his journey to success as a member of The Screaming Trees, in the 80’s and 90’s, and his fall into drug addiction. This is not a pity party, just a dark, honest and at times humourless tale of an extraordinary life. I found this to be a fascinating, entertaining and compelling read, a look into the darker side of a life in the music industry. Thank you to Bei at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bellish

    That was off the charts. It's incredible that Lanegan survived the 80s and 90s - and for that matter even the 70s when he was a child - in order to be saved by Courtney Love (who he didn't like) and Duff McKagan (who he'd never even met). He doesn't pull any punches describing the depths he went to in his addiction, and the honesty is bracing. The delivery on audiobook was fairly deadpan, and occasionally it could have done with some more emphasis, but his voice is great to listen to and frankly That was off the charts. It's incredible that Lanegan survived the 80s and 90s - and for that matter even the 70s when he was a child - in order to be saved by Courtney Love (who he didn't like) and Duff McKagan (who he'd never even met). He doesn't pull any punches describing the depths he went to in his addiction, and the honesty is bracing. The delivery on audiobook was fairly deadpan, and occasionally it could have done with some more emphasis, but his voice is great to listen to and frankly if read by an actor this would have felt like fiction. The ending was heart breaking. Poor Layne.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

    If you want dirt on 90's era rock stars you've come to the right place But be warned This book is an uncompromising look at addiction and the damage to yourself and to others that comes with it. It's an absolute must read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Savory

    a riveting, but harrowing read. after awhile, i had gotten tired of reading about the drugs, drugs and more drugs, which is mitigated by the stories about music/ other musicians. towards the last part of the book, Lanegan puts himself through so much BS just so he doesn't get ill from lack of heroin, it's insane. a weaker person would not have survived, never mind moved forward. if you're a fan of his music, or music in general, you will enjoy this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Desole

    I love the music of Mark Lanegan. And I wanted to love this book. I devoured the first half. I thought it was interesting in a voyeuristic way. My biggest impression though was “this guy is such an asshole”. In his defense, Lanegan fully owns up to this. Then came all the name dropping and professions of how much he loved this and that musician Although I was at first skeptical, I also realize that the Seattle music scene was small, and the dope addict Seattle musician scene was (somewhat) small I love the music of Mark Lanegan. And I wanted to love this book. I devoured the first half. I thought it was interesting in a voyeuristic way. My biggest impression though was “this guy is such an asshole”. In his defense, Lanegan fully owns up to this. Then came all the name dropping and professions of how much he loved this and that musician Although I was at first skeptical, I also realize that the Seattle music scene was small, and the dope addict Seattle musician scene was (somewhat) smaller. And it would have been fine if I had stopped about 2/3 of the way through. The final 1/3 is a long repetitive slog through the daily existence of a junkie. Read it before. Nothing new here. It’s sad and pathetic but also so predictable and mind numbing. My recommendation : read the first 2/3. And why isn’t there a music nerd compiling a Spotify playlist to go along ( and I mean a real one that includes the music talked about in the book)?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan Martin

    I met Mark Lanegan and the rest of Screaming Trees a couple of times in the early 90s as a young, rabid fan—turns out right before he became badly strung out on drugs. It's sad to think of it now—the band was hanging out, joking around, seemed to be getting along fine near the end of a long and difficult tour. All of them, but especially Mark, were very nice to a couple of geeky college kids who had traveled a long way to see them. I'm trying to reconcile that Mark Lanegan with the person who wro I met Mark Lanegan and the rest of Screaming Trees a couple of times in the early 90s as a young, rabid fan—turns out right before he became badly strung out on drugs. It's sad to think of it now—the band was hanging out, joking around, seemed to be getting along fine near the end of a long and difficult tour. All of them, but especially Mark, were very nice to a couple of geeky college kids who had traveled a long way to see them. I'm trying to reconcile that Mark Lanegan with the person who wrote the book. The depth of degradation he describes that was his life in the 90s shocked me, and as a fan of his solo career I was not unaware of his problems and his problems with Screaming Trees generally. He made an amazing recovery in his life and I hope he writes the book of what transpired after he got clean. I loved this book, I gave it 5 stars. It's terrifically written and very brave and all that. But I have to wonder why Lanegan feels necessary to rip on Lee Conner so mercilessly. Why the hell does he have such a grudge against the artist that essentially gave him his break? We get it. Conner was a weirdo. He creepily watched Lanegan scam on girls and was anti-social. Lanegan himself calls him a savant. But for Lanegan, as a now successful artist, to trash a guy whose career was basically short-circuited by Lanegan's own behavior and choices (by his own admission, mind you) seems unnecessarily, senselessly cruel. I had been puzzled and a little disappointed in recent years when he disowned the early Trees records, but now I understand. I didn't realize he didn't write the lyrics until Sweet Oblivion--that really blew me away, but now it all makes sense. His disregard of that music is a bit of a slap in the face to fans of the Screaming Trees, but Lanegan obviously doesn't care and that's his right. The tell-all stuff is great. The SubPop and Cobain stuff is amazing (albeit a bit self-serving at times). Lanegan has had an incredible, and in many ways, incredibly lucky life. I'm sure it's cathartic for him to describe the relationship with his cold and borderline abusive mother. He made it out the other end of a brutal addiction, alive, to tell this story.. But I don't understand what he gains by trashing Lee and the Trees publicly like this. Makes for a great read though!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    This was on sale and I was drawn in by all the good reviews - particularly the ones that compared him to Bukowski. I am now rolling my eyes - Bukowski? Are you kidding me? This guy seems honest, I guess. And according to him had some pretty shitty things happen to him - some his own fault and many not. That carries the book only so far. He has talent and people that appreciate that talent must really want to know more about him -want it bad enough to think this book is good. It's not. It's unorga This was on sale and I was drawn in by all the good reviews - particularly the ones that compared him to Bukowski. I am now rolling my eyes - Bukowski? Are you kidding me? This guy seems honest, I guess. And according to him had some pretty shitty things happen to him - some his own fault and many not. That carries the book only so far. He has talent and people that appreciate that talent must really want to know more about him -want it bad enough to think this book is good. It's not. It's unorganized, confusing, and in parts unreadable. Where was the editor? Maybe Lanegan is a good guy, maybe he's not. I don't really care. This book did not make me care. You have to come into this book caring in order to appreciate it. I did not. As far as being compared to Bukowski. No, just no. There is no emotion in this book, no insight, no beautiful writing. That all being said, I assume there are fans out there that love this book. If you're a fan, I'll bet you'll love it, too. As far as standing on it's own, forget it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    Sing Backwards And Weep is Mark Lanegan’s autobiography and it’s brutally honest and so fascinating. It tells of his journey to success as a member of The Screaming Trees, in the 80’s and 90’s, and his fall into drug addiction. This is not a pity party, just a dark, honest and at times humourless tale of an extraordinary life. I found this to be a fascinating, entertaining and compelling read, a look into the darker side of a life in the music industry. Thank you to Bei at Midas PR, the author, the Sing Backwards And Weep is Mark Lanegan’s autobiography and it’s brutally honest and so fascinating. It tells of his journey to success as a member of The Screaming Trees, in the 80’s and 90’s, and his fall into drug addiction. This is not a pity party, just a dark, honest and at times humourless tale of an extraordinary life. I found this to be a fascinating, entertaining and compelling read, a look into the darker side of a life in the music industry. Thank you to Bei at Midas PR, the author, the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of the book. . This is my honest and unbiased review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Giuliano

    Most so-called "rock memoirs" are self-obsessed works heavily bent on back catalog-promotion and gratuitous name-dropping. Not this one. Mark Lanegan's book reads like a treatise on addiction of the Burroughsian kind, with a few vitriolic (or, in contrast, extremely tender) detours around the subject matter of famous colleagues he got in touch with. Some people are apparently natural born addicts, and Lanegan seems to be one of them. Luckily he lived to tell the story and to keep on playing musi Most so-called "rock memoirs" are self-obsessed works heavily bent on back catalog-promotion and gratuitous name-dropping. Not this one. Mark Lanegan's book reads like a treatise on addiction of the Burroughsian kind, with a few vitriolic (or, in contrast, extremely tender) detours around the subject matter of famous colleagues he got in touch with. Some people are apparently natural born addicts, and Lanegan seems to be one of them. Luckily he lived to tell the story and to keep on playing music.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This isnt your typical rock star brag book... this is a brutally honest, nothing held back look into childhood trauma, mental health and the resilience of the human spirit that has been knocked so low by drug addition. Mark is not the hero in this book. He lays out every painful memory, his regrets, his emotions almost begging the reader to dislike him.... But you cant. His humour and wit are a welcome addition to the bleak stories and you realize this is what probably kept him going through his This isnt your typical rock star brag book... this is a brutally honest, nothing held back look into childhood trauma, mental health and the resilience of the human spirit that has been knocked so low by drug addition. Mark is not the hero in this book. He lays out every painful memory, his regrets, his emotions almost begging the reader to dislike him.... But you cant. His humour and wit are a welcome addition to the bleak stories and you realize this is what probably kept him going through his darkest times. This is a beautifully written book as Lanegan has an obvious talent for writing. I hope he continues, wether it be autobiographical or fiction. Highly recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mat Davies

    Unflinchingly bleak memoir that leaves no stone unturned, no vein untapped (excuse the pun) in looking back at a life dominated by drugs, darkness but ultimately redemption. This is a raw, often painful memoir that leaves you wondering how the author is still alive let alone making brilliant heartfelt music. There is not one ounce of self pity in this book and it’s all the better for it. Lanegan is honest, brutal and compelling. A brilliant and, quite literally, sobering book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Sing Backwards and Weep, singer Mark Lanegan’s autobiography, is a darkly entertaining account of Lanegan’s rise to a measure of fame and fall into heroin- and crack-addicted homelessness and despair. I’ve long enjoyed Lanegan’s music, particularly his solo work, but prior to reading this book, I knew very little about Lanegan’s background or where he and his band--The Screaming Trees--stood in the context of the larger Seattle explosion that permeated rock and roll in the early 1990s. The stori Sing Backwards and Weep, singer Mark Lanegan’s autobiography, is a darkly entertaining account of Lanegan’s rise to a measure of fame and fall into heroin- and crack-addicted homelessness and despair. I’ve long enjoyed Lanegan’s music, particularly his solo work, but prior to reading this book, I knew very little about Lanegan’s background or where he and his band--The Screaming Trees--stood in the context of the larger Seattle explosion that permeated rock and roll in the early 1990s. The stories about the utter dysfunction within the Screaming Trees are as amusing for the reader as they probably were maddening for the author. Lanegan also details his comradeship with famed luminaries of the Seattle rock pantheon, like Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, both occasional collaborators and, of course, fellow travelers down the dark road of drug addiction. The book does get a bit repetitive at times as Lanegan recounts in harrowing detail his spiral into addiction, but he leavens the material with enough self-deprecating dark humor that the material remains a compelling, if far from pleasant, read. Throughout most of the book, Lanegan’s writing is engaging and evocative, as he demonstrates an eye for telling detail and a talent for powerful description. My most significant critique of the book is that it doesn’t detail much of a connection between Lanegan’s life and his music--I would have liked more specific detail about how his experiences informed his songwriting. However, I have not read Lanegan’s I Am the Wolf book, where he ostensibly does more of this, so I can’t really fault him for not duplicating his content--I should just read the other book, too. Thanks to Netgalley for providing a preview copy of this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I love Mark so there was no chance this book would disappoint. What I wasn't expecting was what a raw and unflinching account of his own misdeeds it was. Few people can write a book that's basically a confession of every evil they've ever committed and come out the other side as a better person.

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