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Book Title: Feel: Robbie Williams|
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Reader ratings: 3.3
The author of the book: Chris Heath
Edition: Ebury Press
Date of issue: January 31st 2005
ISBN 13: 9780091897543
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.50 MB
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A ‘fly on the wall’ documentary but in the guise of literature, Chris Heath was given the remarkable opportunity to follow music super star Robbie Williams around the world in order to observe and subsequently deliver a truly insightful and painfully honest picture of Robbie.
At first I was expecting a biography, the book was given to me as a gift for my birthday and I didn’t have any precognitions before I read it, as to it’s content. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn’t going to be one of those journalist written, drivel, tosh accounts, cashing in on the fame of a popstar, which, let’s be honest, happens far too often.
So the question this book essentially asks is, what is it like to be a pop megastar? Well the answer isn’t what you’d expect. Robbie is not only a popstar but is also a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, another victim to the harsh realities of the music industry.
The book begins in 2002, Robbie having just split with long time writing partner Guy Chambers and is about to tour for his fifth studio album, Escapology. All this whilst deciding to up sticks and move to LA where he gets to enjoy a relative level of anonymity, which is something that is quickly apparent to be lacking from Robbie’s life and as such is much missed.
Of course to assume that Heath just spent his time in the background with a notebook, a tape recorder and a sinister grin, would be wrong. No, Heath manages more than once to coax a sense of nostalgia out of Robbie, revealing intimate thoughts and feelings about many issues that were prevalent in his life: Gary Barlow, Take That’s management, and even an evil alter ego Robbie Williams, the media banshee whose antics are exacerbated by the candid reporting of wannabe pulitzer prize winners.
Those of you who played the part of the cynic when Robbie got back with Take That will probably be surprised to find that actually even so far back as this book it seemed like the bridges were beginning to reform in Robbie’s mind, at one point he even gets a Christmas phone call from, then sworn nemesis, Gary Barlow.
Still the most discussed antagonist talked about throughout the book is still Williams himself. The Robbie who would have been quite content with living the rest of his like quietly in Stoke on Trent is constantly having to battle with the drug taking, all singing all dancing Robbie Williams. It is often compared to a mask that he puts on, becoming the arrogant Williams using an entertainers mask to impress and entertain his fans.
The main thing about this book is that it’s content is never at any one point monotonous. The prose is genuinely engaging throughout, and instead of biasedly painting Williams in any kind of light it instead takes the middle of the road and manages to be a fantastic example of the life of a 21st Century popstar, through highs and lows.
To those with either a genuine love of Williams or an interest in the life of a pop millionaire, this book is for you. It’s genuine, it’s engaging and above all it is completely honest making it one of the best journalistic books I have ever read.
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