... a hairplugs-and-all memoir that pushes the envelope for aging rock star candor ... If John had no material other than the job his foul-tempered parents did on him, he’d still have a riveting story to tell. But Me is a very crowded book by a man who’s kept a lot to himself until now. Earlier this year the movie Rocketman gave a reasonably accurate overview of the Elton John story — but it barely scratched the surface of what’s in this memoir. The lurid parts will get all the headlines. But the man’s hard-won self-knowledge is what the book’s really about ... carefully apolitical about anything but L.G.B.T.Q. issues ... Aficionados of rock star memoirs, take note: This one also gets into John’s bout of prostate cancer, complete with his surgery and use of adult diapers. The latter may be a first in the genre ... Even the worst of it can be ghoulishly funny ... the voice here sounds just right, even if it has been unfamiliar until now. It’s a gift to finally hear from someone who has delivered so many of Taupin’s words and so few of his own.
... magnificent ... While Me is as colorful as you’d expect from an artist famous for his outlandish stage costumes and outsize temper tantrums, it is also so much more than simply a dishy sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll tell-all. (Although it is, deliciously, that too) ... The scenes are by turns fantastical and poignant and shot through with an uproarious sense of humor ... It cannot be overstated that John is a scream, with Me boasting many gasping-for-air moments of comedy ... He is at his best when taking the piss out of his own, well-earned, reputation for obstinance and ill-advised decisions. The singer-songwriter is acutely aware of how ridiculous he, and by extension much of his life, is and the reader benefits from that awareness ... A steady stream of remembrances (Freddie Mercury, John Lennon) and revelations (including a bout with prostate cancer — means keeping a box of tissues handy advisable ... both deeply relatable and specifically alien in the way all memoirs of the rich and famous can be with a sense of voyeurism. But John suffuses the proceedings with a refreshing sense of humanity, not just a laundry list of songs and shows, deeds and misdeeds ... a riveting, laugh-til-you-cry, heartfelt page-turner.
... outrageously enjoyable ... That he has celebrity anecdotes to burn is not a surprise. But the self-mocking tone is more unexpected from a musician so grand that at his 2014 wedding party he had one table dedicated solely to the Beatles and their families. Yet while his extraordinary talent justified his personal excesses, it is his self-awareness that has counterbalanced the narcissism and made him such a likable figure ... It quickly becomes clear in Me that few people are more suited to the celebrity autobiography genre, given that he combines the most essential ingredients of the form ... makes sure there is a laugh out loud moment on pretty much every other page. This gives a pacy originality to what could have been a by-the-numbers celebrity ... credit really must go to Elton, whose extremely amusing voice very much drives the book ... [John] is utterly, astonishingly, hilariously self-lacerating ... his clear-eyed honesty and his ear for the comic line make him a deeply appealing memoirist.
Elton John is not an artist known for being shy about his personal life. Even so, the candour with which he speaks in his first – and apparently only – autobiography, is astounding ... [John] never appeals to the reader for sympathy. His voice, assisted by music critic Alexis Petridis is warm and genial ... There are moments that are by turn hilarious, touching and surprising ... By the time you reach the moment he lost his virginity (although the actual moment is glossed over, suggesting even John has his moments of prudishness), aged 23 and already a bona fide star, you’re practically cheering him on ... He’s remarkably self-effacing about his temper, addictive personality, and the admitted 'dreadful behaviour' with boyfriends whom he’d expect to drop everything to come with him on tour. His reflection on how, regardless of the success or adulation he was enjoying at the time, underneath the glittering costumes he was still Reg Dwight from Middlesex – body-conscious, insecure, full of self-doubt and self-loathing – is deeply moving. In between the countless anecdotes with stars from across the decades, John’s enthusiasm for music continues to shine through ... It’s wonderful to read about an artist who really has succeeded at both stardom and stability – who wasn’t lost like so many others to the dark side of fame.
Given that we know everything that’s going to happen in Mr. John’s excellent memoir, Me, simply by virtue of having been alive, it’s a testament to almost completely unmentioned ghostwriter Alexis Petridis...that it remains so readable ... it doesn’t disappoint, mining a rich seam of salacious and self-deprecating anecdote, heady scandal, personal struggle and ultimate redemption, all delivered with a total lack of self-consciousness (he’s quite happy to tell us about surreptitiously relieving himself into an adult diaper onstage in 2017).
... bracingly open and spectacularly funny ... premium celebrity tittle-tattle ... With equally beguiling unguardedness, Elton meditates on his epic temper and monumental unreasonableness, traits inherited, he suggests, from his mother, although he seems to have put his own unique spin on them ... moments of self-disgust, unsparingly recounted...eventually inspire Elton to clean up, to settle down a bit, have children, and slip at least part-way free of the self-obsession that is rock stardom’s traditional counterpart and which doesn’t tend to produce books as riotously entertaining as this one ... In the main...perhaps this heroic volume’s most uplifting lesson is that, with a clear head and enough will, major tiffs with almost anyone can be overcome[.]
... a self-deprecating, funny, ultimately rather melancholic memoir from someone who found his voice not so much through his attributes, but his lack of self-worth ... [John] isn’t modest about his musical talent, detailing how he could hear a tune and play it on the piano straight after from the age of five. However, in most other aspects of his life he’s quick to admit his failings, sex in particular ... Petridis has done an excellent job of capturing what reads like John’s conversational tone. Me is very much a post-rehab book. He isn’t afraid of putting the boot in, and David Bowie and Tina Turner come off pretty badly, but mostly there is self-realisation, apologies to the people he has hurt, and reflections on where the coke binges, shopping addictions and endless need for attention came from ... Sometimes he can get a bit holier-than-thou, forever warning his druggy friends of the pitfalls lying before them, and given that it is called Me, there’s no shortage of ego. Ultimately he’s hardest on himself. You cannot help but enjoy his company throughout, temper tantrums and all.
[John] proves himself an engrossing, fluid and alarmingly forthcoming writer ... Like John’s songs, Me overflows with whimsical characters, twisted humor, winking self-aggrandizement and stark pathos. True to his spirit, it’s a little silly and over the top, but it’s also an absorbing and unfettered joy ... John is also a notorious gossip, and he fleshes out his well-known story with zany vignettes from behind closed doors—many of which involve some of the biggest stars of the last half century ... If Me has a primary weakness, it’s that John struggles to write about his own accomplishments. His attempts to capture his songwriting process read like recipes ... Conversely, he writes about his failures and challenges with a verve and a cackling glee, even when they are dark and painful ... But John doesn’t just address his failures through flippant punchlines; he also engages in thoughtful self-analysis, putting the blame on both himself and the structures of fame.
Everything in Elton John’s roller coaster life has been done in a big way—costumes, stage sets, recordings, shows and celebrity friends. Me by Elton John is a wonderful, truthful, everything-you’ll-ever-want-to-know memoir about a kind-hearted, caring superstar with a delightfully smutty sense of humor.
This is the warts-and-all reality ... while a little skimpy on revelations about his brilliant, groundbreaking music — is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the difficult road that he walked while creating it.
The wonder of Elton John’s new memoir is that one comes away from reading a first-person account of a half-century of global stardom, extravagant drug abuse, wild promiscuity, hundreds of millions of dollars earned and burned through, and palling around with the likes of John Lennon and Princess Di with this reaction: 'Gee, Elton John is a lot like me' ... But Elton is not like us at all. He has the star’s gift for making ordinary people see themselves in him, even while he prances around a stadium stage dressed as the Statue of Liberty ... Elton chronicles his rise to riches and excess with hilarious self-knowledge ... cringingly honest, daring the reader to turn away from descriptions of doing lines of coke while watching porn, masturbating, and vomiting on himself. Such candor suggests the ruthless honesty of a self-made man who has refused the temptation to disappear into the mythical Elton John ... a racy, funny celebrity memoir. What a surprise that it turns out to be a hero’s journey.
... a remarkably self-lacerating and frequently hilarious account of a fantastic life ... There are numerous, enormously entertaining tales, many of which have never appeared in print before ... The jaw-dropping stories must have had the subsidiary rights department of his publisher salivating over the sales potential, but they serve a secondary function, distracting critical attention and sanctimonious judgments from John’s endless extravagances ... a rollicking and salutary story, written with verve, humour and pathos. Few, if any, rock autobiographies have been so nakedly revealing.
It is to Reg Dwight – the music obsessive, the football fan, the son of quite a mother – you must cling throughout a no-holds-barred memoir ... a landmark in the whole memoir genre. A tale this eye-popping, this name-dropping, this chemically enhanced, this era-charting should be quite hard to mess up. But John’s willingness to reveal and Petridis’s unerring ability to foreground John’s ridiculousness are key ... The radical candour is one of this memoir’s strongest suits ... The tone is off just once: he’s a tad too flippant about his two suicide attempts – cries for help, he contextualises, but playing them almost for laughs as just more drama ... One big appeal of this book to most readers will be that simply everyone is in here ... Being a nightmare is very much John’s brand and the subplot throughout is one of post-hoc self-deprecation and enough eye-rolling contrition to make it all palatable ... It is to this book’s credit, though, that a lot of time is spent not just recounting how Sylvester Stallone fancied Princess Diana but in the fertile mulch that was the British 60s blues-rock scene, where the future pantheon of pop stars rubbed along.
... the former Reggie Dwight has already lived his life as an open book, so his memoir doesn’t feel like a collection of secrets shared for the first time. He could have dispelled a few myths but instead finds fun in declaring that he’s exactly as awful as you thought ... could be twice as long but is mercifully free of technical details about recording sessions, and covers the extravagance with pace and hilarity. Towards the end, his feelings about first-time fatherhood at 63 leave a warm glow, and there’s a reassurance that although he’s retiring from touring, his career is not over. It feels like there are lots of outlandish tales still to tell.
... self-aware, revealing ... John deftly sets the scene ... With unflinching detail and touches of self-deprecating humor, he also discusses his contentious relationship with his parents, his sexuality, the years of drug and alcohol abuse, and his stint in rehab (he includes his devastating farewell letter to cocaine) ... Intimate, with brushes of gossip and hard-won wisdom, this compelling work joins the ranks of other masterly rock memoirs. A must-read for John’s many devotees, it will also make fans out of those new to his music.
The legendary pop star looks back cheerfully on a melodramatic life in this rollicking autobiography ... Beyond a vivid account of his flamboyant showmanship and outfits, he gives an unusually candid look at his insecurities—his unrelentingly critical mother haunts the book—and at the bubble of celebrity entitlement that enabled his rock-star excesses ... John keeps his good humor throughout, treating even his suicide attempts as farces and poking fun at his own vanity ... John’s fans will love this funny, down-to-earth, and openhearted self-portrait.
The legendary piano master tells all, and delightfully ... Sir Elton looks back at it all with grace and good humor. One might wish only that he spent as much time revealing how he came to such things as the astonishing structure of Tiny Dancer as he does recounting bad hair transplants and bad behavior. Even so, his memoir is a terrific read ... One of the best rock memoirs of recent years and a revelation for fans.