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Animal House

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About this deal

James’ prose was a kind of turbofuelled psychedelic rant of infectious enthusiasm, like if Hunter S Thompson had been raised in Leeds on a diet of jam sandwiches and amphetamine. James Brown worked on the NME, founded Loaded, Jack and Leeds, Leeds, Leeds magazines, and was Editor-in-Chief of British GQ.

If I didn’t have a nine-year-old son, or if I actually lived with him and his mum, I would have moved to New York or Tokyo by now. The cumulative effects of living with and without a parent with this most cruel of illnesses found expression in the kind of habits and mindset that both propelled him to the top and very nearly killed him.It was the biggest noise in the golden generation of magazine publishing, rocketing from zero to half a million sales in a matter of months.

Today, though, Brown sees it more clearly: “There was not much fun in media before we came along,” he says. I liked the James in this book but I feel he may have hidden a lot of his bad behaviour as he said a few times that he had condensed down the original draft of his anecdotes significantly.Rather than sack him, the company offered him something he’d never had before: support, and an introduction to an addiction therapist. On one occasion, Brown says, the references to narcotics became so overt that the publisher at IPC became worried the drug squad might be about to turn up. Being told that when you know you’ve got no control over yourself was a real wake-up moment,” he says.

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