Book Review: Me by Elton John

If you fancy living in a despondent world of unending, delusional bullshit, I really can’t recommend cocaine highly enough.

I must confess before reading this, I had never heard Elton John’s music. I vaguely followed him and his work against AIDS based on pop culture news, but that was about it. I picked up ME by Elton John after seeing it being shortlisted in Goodreads Best Books 2019. Thank God I did, because it’s pretty much one of the best biographies I have ever read (alongside Becoming by Michelle Obama, of course!).

Like every memoir, this too begins from his pre-Elton John days, when he went by Reginald Dwight, an introvert kid who grew up in a modest household. His mum’s affinity towards music played a strong influence on him. It became the beginning of everything.

Going ahead, John slowly opens up about his battles with sex addiction and drug abuse all the while climbing the ladder of success. He looks back and confesses the mistakes he made and learnings he took from them. He talks about his deep friendships with Princess Diana and the Royal Family, Lady Gaga, John Lenon and Freddie Mercury among others. I was reduced to tears when he spoke about losing some of his best friends to AIDS and other circumstances. He honours them by reminiscing the impact each of them had on him. This also became a turning point in his career and a base for his extensive work in AIDS. I can’t help but be in awe of him.

To me, he comes off like a friend who always has a good gossip in-store and with whom you always have a terrific time engaging in the banter. Something that I peculiarly caught on was John’s way of narrating his anecdotes and the language he used. I only realised how well written it is, after picking up another book following this and instantly missed the tone.

There aren’t enough words which can encapsulate the rollercoaster of feelings I experienced as I read this book. Sir Elton John is inherently funny, loud and a fucking excellent author. Currently, in my personal life as the future seems too daunting, reading Me by Elton John brought me peace which not many things could. This book demands your attention, it demands to be read.

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