A Drunken Poet's Dream
Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me
Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Dec. 11, 2015
When Joy Division guitarist-turned-New Order guitarist/vocalist Bernard Sumner sets his record straight about those iconic Manchester bands, of course he's going to talk about his former bassist and perennial nemesis, Peter Hook. Rather than a footnote, however, Hooky's specter hangs over every page more than even JD singer Ian Curtis. This is a coldly seething riposte to Hook's definitive double whammy of their turbulent years together, 2013's Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division and last year's The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club. Yet Sumner is so determined to deny his own obsession that key figures in his bands, the Madchester rave scene, and even his personal life, become peripheral players (hint, one Northerner to another: First time you mention your wife, you might want to mention she's your wife). It's an odd fish: There's introspection, but no insight; calmness, but a lack of humility. And after all these years, still no understanding of that pivotal love/hate relationship that is his legacy.
Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Meby Bernard Sumner
Thomas Dunne Books, 352 pp., $27.99