Sergeant vividly evokes a troubled childhood on a council estate in Melling, a satellite village of Liverpool ... Elsewhere, Sergeant’s humour is darker ... He’s especially sharp on fashion...and on the excitement of raucous early concerts ... Fans of the band may be disappointed by the book’s curtailed timeframe, but Bunnyman is a fine, keenly observed memoir that offers moments of pure joy, such as Sergeant’s description of Eric’s and of its black-clad regular Pete Burns as 'a demon that’s got on the wrong bus and just popped into town for some bits'.
Fans of Sergeant’s transcendent guitar work with Echo and the Bunnymen might be frustrated that Sergeant doesn’t even get around to his first band until about two-thirds of the way through. But the life that led up to that event is essential in understanding Sergeant and his music ... Sergeant’s story is as much a depiction of childhood in post-World War II Britain as it is a chronicle of his musical growth. He spares no detail in portraying his grim surroundings in a small town outside Liverpool ... Bunnyman is not a light read by any means, as there are some piercing moments. However, Sergeant’s dry wit and thoughtfulness make it a provocative and compelling experience. Those who expect a standard musical autobiography might be dissatisfied, but Bunnyman escapes the sometimes too rigid confines of that genre, and, like its author, finds its own path.
The first two-thirds of Sergeant’s book resembles the kitchen-sink mundanity of Douglas Stuart’s novel Shuggie Bain rather than Mötley Crüe’s scurrilous biopic The Dirt, as Sergeant grows up in squalor in the village of Melling, eight miles from the heart of Liverpool ... The band’s rise is giddying ... Sergeant’s genial memoir about growing up poor in the 1970s is an engaging coming-of-age story. It certainly resonated with this reader, who found himself nodding along at mentions of awkward snogs, boot boys, and Adam Faith’s 'Budgie' on TV. Maybe the rock ’n’ roll will be accompanied by sex and drugs in a future instalment.
He immerses readers in the punk and post-punk scenes, describing venues like the nightclub Eric's from the point of view of an acne-faced teen trying to belong ... Those looking for stories of the Bunnymen's heyday may be disappointed, and there are times Sargent struggles with narrative focus, blurring tenses and scenes. But those interested in the memoir of a boy from Liverpool finding his way into the music business will be pleased.