Hot Best Seller

Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine

Availability: Ready to download

'Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.' In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Alb 'Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.' In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Albion; a decade later, Carl would emerge from his second band, the Dirty Pretty Things, after one of the most significant -- and turbulent -- rock 'n' roll trajectories of recent times. Threepenny Memoir navigates the choppy waters of memory, and gives an inside look at life in the eye of the storm, chronicling how a pair of romantics armed with little more than poetry and a punk attitude inspired adoration in millions worldwide -- and proceeded to tear apart everything they had. With unflinching honesty but real warmth, Carl -- who has recently performed with The Libertines for the first time since 2004, and released a solo album -- looks back at the creative highs and the drug-addled lows of life with both bands, as well as giving an intimate account of the people and places that have informed his songwriting. From Camden bedsits, impromptu gigs and minesweeping drinks in the Dublin Castle to Japanese groupies, benders in Moscow and chatting to Slash, Threepenny Memoir charts a fantastic course through recent musical history. And, in the aftermath, Carl reflects on the pressures -- both external and self-inflicted -- that led to each band's demise, and on the challenges and rewards that life as a solo artist now holds.


Compare

'Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.' In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Alb 'Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.' In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Albion; a decade later, Carl would emerge from his second band, the Dirty Pretty Things, after one of the most significant -- and turbulent -- rock 'n' roll trajectories of recent times. Threepenny Memoir navigates the choppy waters of memory, and gives an inside look at life in the eye of the storm, chronicling how a pair of romantics armed with little more than poetry and a punk attitude inspired adoration in millions worldwide -- and proceeded to tear apart everything they had. With unflinching honesty but real warmth, Carl -- who has recently performed with The Libertines for the first time since 2004, and released a solo album -- looks back at the creative highs and the drug-addled lows of life with both bands, as well as giving an intimate account of the people and places that have informed his songwriting. From Camden bedsits, impromptu gigs and minesweeping drinks in the Dublin Castle to Japanese groupies, benders in Moscow and chatting to Slash, Threepenny Memoir charts a fantastic course through recent musical history. And, in the aftermath, Carl reflects on the pressures -- both external and self-inflicted -- that led to each band's demise, and on the challenges and rewards that life as a solo artist now holds.

30 review for Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Carl seems to be a very unreliable narrator. There's a lot of stuff he's left out, presumably to make himself look better. He talks about being almost incessantly "off [his] face" on a variety of mind-altering substances that he felt unable to function without; but then he says it was only Pete's addictions that caused the problems in the Libertines and in Pete and Carl's relationship, and acts like his own drug and alcohol use are no big deal. I tend to be nervous about memoirs, since they are Carl seems to be a very unreliable narrator. There's a lot of stuff he's left out, presumably to make himself look better. He talks about being almost incessantly "off [his] face" on a variety of mind-altering substances that he felt unable to function without; but then he says it was only Pete's addictions that caused the problems in the Libertines and in Pete and Carl's relationship, and acts like his own drug and alcohol use are no big deal. I tend to be nervous about memoirs, since they are normally less based in reality than autobiographies or biographies. I read a memoir by an aviatrix once, and when I found out later that the majority of what she'd written about her life wasn't even true, I was very upset. Even though I know it's impossible to be entirely objective, I get uncomfortable when there's fabrication in a work that's supposed to be nonfiction. Throughout "Threepenny Memoir", I found myself wondering if, in addition to leaving things out, Carl was making things up as well, or otherwise twisting things in some way so that he seemed more like a sympathetic character.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Pivic

    I did an NME cover with Morrissey once, and Morrissey said, 'To some people I'll always be Morrissey from The Smiths, no matter what else I do. And you'll always be Carl from The Libertines.' Yes, but these are not the words from a panicked man, even though Carl Barât seems to be frazzled and afraid at times. In a good way, because he lets his emotions go and reveals himself as another person than the confident man onstage, as he says he often comes across as, according to other people. He writes I did an NME cover with Morrissey once, and Morrissey said, 'To some people I'll always be Morrissey from The Smiths, no matter what else I do. And you'll always be Carl from The Libertines.' Yes, but these are not the words from a panicked man, even though Carl Barât seems to be frazzled and afraid at times. In a good way, because he lets his emotions go and reveals himself as another person than the confident man onstage, as he says he often comes across as, according to other people. He writes about his special relationship with Peter Doherty, about the greatness, of the "brown" and other drugs that helped to spoil it all (even though all of the responsibility of that use is of course due to Peter himself), and at the very end, on how they reformed. That actually makes this book seem rushed, as though a deadline was set. I'd love to have read more about the Libertines' reformation after the fact, but then we have Roger Sargent's visual documentary, "There Are No Innocent Bystanders", for that. Barât delves into what made him and Doherty gel, love and live. The former's heroes - notably Oliver Reed and David Niven - are referred to but mainly, this tome is a book on his own life. Even though he'd ultimately kick my door in and try to steal my stuff, Peter gave me security and confidence to go out and do that, to believe that I could go out on a limb, even in prosaic, financial matters. When we were really firing on all cylinders and were together then it really felt like no one could touch us, and that nothing else mattered. As much as I try to deflect it, play it down and be English about it, there was a very powerful romance and beauty to our friendship. Yes, and it spawned The Libertines' brilliant first album with a very good second one. All in all: reflecting on some Days of Yore while his girlfriend expects their first child, having disbanded Dirty Pretty Things and en route to releasing his debut album, Barât has written a scattered yet very honest book about his life, mostly his musical life, that is.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ben Palphramand

    The Libertines are an immensely underrated band from the early 2000s. With their chaotic brand of indie rock and post punk, they created a foundation that could of catapulted them into superstardom. Unfortunately, inner turmoil between Pete Doherty and Carl Barat saw the band split not long after the release of their second album. This memoir from Barat explores the years of his life that were dedicated to making music, touring, drinking, drug taking, relationship ruining and overall dossing. Ess The Libertines are an immensely underrated band from the early 2000s. With their chaotic brand of indie rock and post punk, they created a foundation that could of catapulted them into superstardom. Unfortunately, inner turmoil between Pete Doherty and Carl Barat saw the band split not long after the release of their second album. This memoir from Barat explores the years of his life that were dedicated to making music, touring, drinking, drug taking, relationship ruining and overall dossing. Essentially, the book is about chasing a dream that a lot of young teens wish they could achieve, being in a rock band. I did like this book, it's well written, insightful and full of poetic flourishes throughout. The only thing that I really wanted was more storytelling, a bit more of a detailed description of events. That's not to say there isn't any, but there are areas of the book that I wish were more fleshed out.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    A fairly short read and very enjoyable despite the often depressing subject matter. Carl has a talent for imagery you don't see in most books written by rockstars. Those looking for a detailed picking apart of his relationship with Pete may be disappointed. The book begins, after a very brief chapter on his childhood, with his moving to London to start university and spans his career until 2009. Laid out like that it is incredible to realise how short lived The Libertines really were. However, I A fairly short read and very enjoyable despite the often depressing subject matter. Carl has a talent for imagery you don't see in most books written by rockstars. Those looking for a detailed picking apart of his relationship with Pete may be disappointed. The book begins, after a very brief chapter on his childhood, with his moving to London to start university and spans his career until 2009. Laid out like that it is incredible to realise how short lived The Libertines really were. However, I still think any fan will enjoy it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TWA

    Got a bit cringe worthy in places, but my nostalgic obsession with The Libs and my overwhelming lust for Carl saw me enjoying it anyway. Also, Istrongly identified with his feelings on Paris. There's also the occasional laugh out loud moment and really, it's not all that bad. Got a bit cringe worthy in places, but my nostalgic obsession with The Libs and my overwhelming lust for Carl saw me enjoying it anyway. Also, Istrongly identified with his feelings on Paris. There's also the occasional laugh out loud moment and really, it's not all that bad.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Bentley

    None who know The Libertines can ever accuse Carl Barat of living a boring life. In Threepenny Memoir we see the inception, the excitement and indeed the demise of the the most important bands of the noughties. What is wonderful about Threepenny Memoir is seeing the love affair (because although it was a platonic thing it has to be called a love affair) between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty from the perspective of an actual Libertine and not from someone at the sidelines of musical history. What thi None who know The Libertines can ever accuse Carl Barat of living a boring life. In Threepenny Memoir we see the inception, the excitement and indeed the demise of the the most important bands of the noughties. What is wonderful about Threepenny Memoir is seeing the love affair (because although it was a platonic thing it has to be called a love affair) between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty from the perspective of an actual Libertine and not from someone at the sidelines of musical history. What this memoir has managed to do is to remind me just how much I love the music of this era and how much I miss the person I was back then. Threepenny Memoir by Carl Barat is available now.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Maria

    This account made a lot of sense of my previous suspicions about Carl Barat and continues to reaffirm my love for the Libertines. It’s definitely better told through Carl’s perspective than Pete’s, just waiting for Carl to release an updated account.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    3.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Airs

    I enjoyed this for the most part but to be honest it did get repetitive towards the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jemma

    They say 'never meet your heroes', Carl Barât is not quite in the hero leagues but I admire his work. This was a tragic meeting. Laid bare without any music or poetry it confirmed the rumours were true - the 00's were not profound, exciting or groundbreaking. A horrible indictment of everything I suspected was true but had previously refused to believe. They say 'never meet your heroes', Carl Barât is not quite in the hero leagues but I admire his work. This was a tragic meeting. Laid bare without any music or poetry it confirmed the rumours were true - the 00's were not profound, exciting or groundbreaking. A horrible indictment of everything I suspected was true but had previously refused to believe.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    No creo yo que sean muy fiables mis estrellitas teniendo en cuenta que es peor que yo híperadjetivando cuando habla de todos los sitios insalubres que pueden existir en Londres (no he visto a nadie más enamorado de una ciudad) y que menciona a David Niven en A Matter of Life and Death.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Really enjoyed a slightly different perspective of this familiar story. Sorry to hear straight from the horses mouth how fucked up it all got - but that was fairly obvious anyway. Would read another five of these - I'm sure he has enough stories to write again. Really enjoyed a slightly different perspective of this familiar story. Sorry to hear straight from the horses mouth how fucked up it all got - but that was fairly obvious anyway. Would read another five of these - I'm sure he has enough stories to write again.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Polina Liberman

    Fascinating read. Fun and heartbreaking, bittersweet. Memoirs rarely feel like adventures but this one truly is.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Scott

    Unless you're 15 and/or a big Libertines fan I wouldn't bother reading this book. Unless you're 15 and/or a big Libertines fan I wouldn't bother reading this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Craig McMullen

    Always good to hear both sides to a story

  16. 5 out of 5

    Suzy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louie Cameron

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nobby

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matilda

  20. 4 out of 5

    CiderandRedRot

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ayse Cihanyandi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tilly Foulkes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marketa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Iyare Osarogiagbon

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elena

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacobo Bendayan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anamarija

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.