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Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink


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From his controversial early television appearances, to becoming one of the industry's elder statesmen, Costello's memoir - which he has written himself - is a one-man history of British music. A warm, deep and surprisingly funny insight into an amazing life, it is rich with anecdotes about fame, music and the creation of his famous songs.

About the Author

Elvis Costello has written and recorded legendary albums including My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Imperial Bedroom, and King of America, and songs including "Alison", "Watching the Detectives", "Oliver's Army", "Almost Blue", "Shipbuilding", "I Want You", "Tramp the Dirt Down" and "Jimmie Standing In The Rain". He has collaborated with The Attractions, Paul McCartney, the Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint and The Roots, and has written songs for George Jones, Chet Baker, Solomon Burke and Johnny Cash. He has enjoyed the acclaim and the infamy that comes with a forty-year career in show business.


The book is fantastic - maybe the best about music by a musician that I've read...The stuff about the collaborations alone - McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint, the Roots, the Brodsky Quartet - is riveting Nick Hornby Better written than your average rock memoir ... Costello is one the greatest writers of the 20th Century. It's funny, observant and clear of purpose Times By turns lachrymose, self-flagellating and impassioned. Unsurprisingly, it is beautifully written. It is also often extraordinarily moving. -- Dan Cairns Sunday Times Streaked with some of the best writing - funny, strange, spiteful, anguished - we've ever had from an important musician ... dark gems twinkle here in abundance. New York Times [Unfaithful Music] is truly remarkable in the way it presents a riveting, honest portrait of the author and the many A-listers he's tread the boards with, while ricocheting through the years at an almost breathless pace ... even the most ardent Costello fan will come away having learned more about the man than any of us ever dared hope to discover -- Jeff Slate Rolling Stone Long one of music's wittiest, smartest, and most perceptive lyricists, Costello has done his legacy proud with his new book, which, thankfully, goes far beyond his angry-young-man days, most movingly in its frequent reminiscences about the relationship between the singer and his musician father New York Magazine In a world littered with uneven (and largely ghosted) celebrity memoirs, "Disappearing Ink" is a beautifully written revelation ... The book is not just for fans. "Unfaithful Music" is a lyrical tale that stretches across generations, geography and a century of popular song." Washington Post Costello ultimately emerges as clever, compassionate, self-aware man, brave enough to acknowledge his faults and fortunate enough to have overcome the worst of them Sunday Telegraph Written elliptically, episodically beautiful ... this man's knowledge is breath-taking Observer Every page exudes his deep love and knowledge of modern music Guardian Remarkable for its breadth and candour about everything: childhood, family, marriages, musical collaborations, love life, heroes, villains, screw-ups (even the most painful) and his songs...there are treasurable moments in profusion for admirers panning for gold...or diving for pearls MOJO His witty, word-playing voice transmits loud and clear...there are smart snapshots of vanished worlds...all his sins and virtues are displayed in this stylish, astute book -- Victoria Segal Sunday Times A truly weighty rock memoir ... There's plenty of insight into his art here, a smattering of gossip, a wealth of pop-cultural knowledge, and just enough self-flagellation to keep things interesting NME A series of wryly comic tales that surely deserve the full Penguin Classic treatment randomly afford Morrisey GQ Without doubt, one of the greatest self-penned appraisals of a popular entertainer's life and work...What makes this book a classic (yes, you heard me) is the beauty of the writing, the seemingly effortless imagery of situations, saints and sinners (EC puts himself in the latter category, often), and the persuasive nature of the text that should make even the most casual reader clamour for more after 670 pages The Quietus One of the finest musical biographies I have ever read ... an engrossing and rewarding read -- Keith Bruce The Herald The greatest songwriter of our generation ... a tremendous read -- Jonathan Ross It really is stunning. Hugely illuminating, fiercely passionate, funny, moving and beautifully written. -- Mark Billingham Typically sharp and funny on songwriting Telegraph Books of the Year The writing is as good as you would expect from such an accomplished lyricist. The tone is wise, warm and often rueful, befitting a 61-year-old elder statesman, and the story a compelling one Mail on Sunday For serious music fans? It has to be Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink (Viking). Utterly definitive and clearly, painstakingly penned by Costello himself, who doesn't want to miss a detail -- Kitty Empire Guardian Writers like Costello because he's always taken writing seriously. That's obvious to anyone who pays attention to his lyrics, and it's even more apparent to anyone who reads Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, his charming new autobiography. The book is refreshingly free of salacious gossip and needless name-dropping; it's an intelligent self-assessment from a musician who went from angry young man to elder statesman of pop ... a defiantly fun autobiography. -- Michael Schaub NPR Books This is a big book, literally, by one of the best rockers in the business. Given the singular, and eclectic, nature of his career, it is no surprise that Elvis Costello's anecdotal autobiography is an idiosyncratic journey through his music and the people and places that have inspired him ... A must for Costello fans everywhere. Booklist (starred review) Costello's prose cuts with the same spiky wit and observational power as his well-known lyrics ... packed with great lines, vivid anecdotes ... a treat for his many fans. Kirkus Reviews Plenty of tales to keep the pages turning. Readers will be fascinated by Costello's stories...his book feels like a discussion between friends over a pint. Publishers Weekly Often brilliant and wholly idiosyncratic -- David Ulin Los Angeles Times Revelatory, evocatively crafted, [and] highly entertaining -- David Fricke Rolling Stone A winningly droll and good-natured guide to his life and many works throughout -- Clark Collis Entertainment Weekly Punctuated with sardonic and self-aware truths Pitchfork Vivid ... It's not surprising that one of rock's most literate songwriters would pen such a deep, free-form memoir Houston Chronicle Elvis Costello delivers an impeccably detailed autobiography. He's often as brilliant at turning a phrase in prose as he is in his lyrics Paste Magazine Enthralling ... This is family history as musical encyclopedia, and to listen to Costello recount his life is to be buttonholed by an enthusiastic fan. Fandom for Costello is inseparable from the compulsion to write songs and, it seems, to understand his own life ... Fortunately for the fan of Costello's music the topic of discussion is often his own songs, and he is, unsurprisingly, a witty and eloquent guide -- Paul Grimstad New Republic [Costello] pens books with the same clever writing that he uses in song -- Kathy Flanigan Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Costello['s] book is capacious, clever, and full of heart and soul -- Dan DeLuca Philadelphia Inquirer The story unfolds like a movie that jumps across time, more thematic than chronological, as boyhood anecdotes and obsessions intersect with mature songs and adult reckoning... The book doubles as a selective mini-history of 20th century music, as told by a discerning guide. He addresses artists both towering (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash) and relatively unheralded (David Ackles, Robert Wyatt) with a fan's affection and music scholar's insight -- Greg Kot Chicago Tribune With an encyclopedic knowledge and appreciation for, and deep love of, music, and with an expressive power and heart, Costello's memoir will take its place in the highest echelons of the genre Library Journal (starred review) His book is almost essential as an idiosyncratic history of 20th-century pop music Express Studded with entertaining anecdotes -- Evening Standard Best Music Books of 2015

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