Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones
An Intimate Biography of Freddie

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Synopsis

A REVEALING, INTIMATE LOOK AT THE MAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

As lead vocalist for the iconic rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury’s unmatched skills as a songwriter and his flamboyant showmanship made him a superstar and Queen a household name. But despite his worldwide fame, few people ever really glimpsed the man behind the glittering façade.

Now, more than twenty years after his death, those closest to Mercury are finally opening up about this pivotal figure in rock ’n’ roll. Based on more than a hundred interviews with key figures in his life, Mercury offers the definitive account of one man’s legendary life in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Rock journalist Lesley-Ann Jones gained unprecedented access to Mercury’s tribe, and she details Queen’s slow but steady rise to fame and Mercury’s descent into dangerous, pleasure-seeking excesses— this was, after all, a man who once declared, “Darling, I’m doing everything with everyone.”

In her journey to understand Mercury, Jones traveled to London, Zanzibar, and India—talking with everyone from Mercury’s closest friends to the sound engineer at Band Aid (who was responsible for making Queen even louder than the other bands) to second cousins halfway around the world. In the process, an intimate and complicated portrait emerges. Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. At the heart of this story is a man . . . and the music he loved.
 

About Lesley-Ann Jones

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Lesley-Ann Jones is an award-winning music journalist and author. She toured with Queen and has unrivalled access to the band. She lives in London.
 
Published July 3, 2012 by Touchstone. 370 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mercury

Kirkus Reviews

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Although Mercury never officially came out during his lifetime, songwriter Tim Rice fascinatingly suggests that Queen’s signature hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” can be read as Mercury’s own coming-out song: “He’s killed the old Freddy he was trying to be: the former image.” Jones dutifully follows the...

Apr 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Publishers Weekly

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There he developed his “flamboyant and melodramatic” stage persona to counter the shy and insecure self later epitomized in his recording of “The Great Pretender.” Though he “preferred [his] sex without any involvement,” his relations with women and sexual exploits with men “embroil...

Jun 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

BC Books

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For anyone interested in a balanced, yet nuanced biography of the life of one of the greatest rock singers ever, Mercury is unquestionably the one.

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

BC Books

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Having read a number of Queen biographies over the years, I am pretty familiar with the basics of Freddie Mercury’s life (1946-1991).

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Tampa Bay Times

If Jones fails to analyze Queen's ascension in the rock canon — in her defense, this isn't a book about the British group, and that includes Mercury's otherworldly vocals — she delves deep into the parallels of Queen's finding its confidence as Mercury found his.

Jun 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Independent.ie

Valentin, who often lived with the pair once Mercury moved Hutton into his London home, is dismissive of the barber.

Oct 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Chicago Tribune

But it does make an attempt to avoid silky sentiment (perhaps to a fault, given that Rodgers and Hammerstein were uniquely capable when it came to the guileless musical imparting of truths and life-lessons) and to shine a light on the lesser known shows and numbers in that formidable catalog, inc...

Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Chicago Tribune

"Freud's Last Session," the hit off-Broadway play now in commercial residence at the Mercury Theatre, replete with the original New York cast, imagines that a dying and exiled Sigmund Freud invites a young man to his study in London, on the very eve of World War II.

Mar 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

DNA

Freddie Mercury is the third rock bio I’ve read in 2011, and by far the weakest.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

The Roanoke Times

While she alludes to Mercury’s sexual excesses, she avoids going into graphic detail, which makes this biography a good choice for a fan wanting to know his story without all of the seedy particulars.

Sep 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Bookshelf Bombshells

There’s also your usual assortment of evil angels, fallen angels, and HR drone angels to round things out, as well as a send up of the Harry Potter series called Charlie Nyx that figures largely as agents of the Apocalypse in both books.

Dec 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

The Kenyon Review

Dolan’s Springsteen is a bit harder to parse simply because it’s now part of a large collection of book-length considerations of Springsteen, his vision, and aspects of promise (this is the second Springsteen book with promise either in the title or sub-)(for the record, the multiplicity of title...

Jun 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

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High Voltage

Upon completion of Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury there were several mixed feelings about structure and content.

Jul 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Mercury: An Intimate Biograph...

Reader Rating for Mercury
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