Porcelain: A Memoir (Non-Fiction) ★★★☆ ½

moby (Custom)

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Title:        Porcelain: A Memoir
Series:     ——
Author:   Moby
Rating:    3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:     Autobiography
Pages:     408
Format:  Digital Edition



Moby, the music artist, looks back on his life from his late teens until the release of his album, Play, in 1999.


My Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed various songs by Moby, as I like the kind of music he puts out. I’m not his greatest fan, nor do I know all his albums or all his songs or anything like that. I’m a casual fan. At best. I knew that one of his songs was the end song for the movie Bourne Identity. I knew that he was a vegetarian [turns out he’s vegan] and I knew that he had, at some point, claimed to be a Christian.

Non-fiction is not the genre [notice how I lump it ALL together? That should tell you something] that I like to take long swims in. I prefer to let others have that privilege. But my recent read of Deadhouse Gates really left me needing something very different to get me back in the reading groove. This popped up at the library, I believe, so that is how I ended up reading it.

How do I review a book that is pretty much a journal? There is no plot. Moby goes all over the place even while keeping things very chronological. We might get introduced to Karen in one chapter and then he’s with Josephine in the next with no rhyme or reason. This was not an indepth, exhaustive look at Moby’s life. It touched on highlights that have apparently stood out to him up until 1999, when things started going his way?

3 things stood out to me. He had a very hard life growing up and overcame being the token poor boy where he lived. Relationally, he needs to grow up and make a commitment to one of the ladies and stop searching for “The One”. Love isn’t just a feeling and he chases the feelings, time after time after time. Finally, while he might call himself a Christian, I’d be forced to say he’s “spiritual”. He’s interested in “God” but it is apparent that while he’s read and even studied the Bible, he doesn’t think that the God of the Bible is the God he’s after. It is sad to see and he even acknowledges his gradual loss of Faith, but he never claims to have had Faith in Jesus Christ. So from my perspective, what has he really lost? A feeling.

This is definitely geared more towards those who are musicians themselves. When he starts talking about “the beatback interwoven with the attack high on his RGB-304” I have no phracking clue what he’s talking about, specifically. I can glean that he’s doing something musical with one of his instruments. In all honesty, that is enough, but it would have been nice to understand a little more sometimes. I felt like the dumb kid peeking through the window occasionally.

With all of that being said, I still enjoyed this read. I learned more about a guy whose music I like. I jumped the rut of SFF for a day and I learned that I am pretty damned satisfied with my life even if I’m not famous, making 100K a year or sleeping with pornstars. If Moby, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, writes another memoir about later in his life, I’ll be reading it for sure.

★★★☆ ½


6 thoughts on “Porcelain: A Memoir (Non-Fiction) ★★★☆ ½

  1. Sometimes I also go on a non-fiction binge…non-fiction gives me something fiction does not: awakens the (frustrated) scientist in me. On the other hand, the best novelists have always known more about the world than non-fiction writers. They have long understood that truth and experience are subjective, that no amount of scholarly apparatus can mask the non-fiction’s conscious our unconscious subjectivity. Novelists are more honest, less naive, less cynical, more skeptical. Ideally one reads fiction to fill in the gaps left by the (always unreliable) historical record. A good case in point is History. If I want to get a sense of what it was like to live in turn of the century America, I read E.L. Doctorow and some of the contemporary novelists. If I want data, I read historians of the period. Very few historians stack up against the best novelists of a period, they are too often conditioned by modes of knowledge production and disciplinary convention. What I frigging don’t like is when the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction get blurred. I don’t care what people write, as long as they make it clear when it’s fiction. Many years ago I was on a non-fiction binge and I stopped reading (almost) all fiction. At the time I was still enjoying fiction, but decided there was simply too much good non-fiction out there, and, in a limited lifetime, something had to give. With all this blurring of boundaries, I remember falling into the trap of getting half-way through a book before I realised it was fiction. It was bloody annoying…

    Nowadays I still read a lot of non-fiction, particularly on computer science and physics. But that’s just trying to keep my (frustrated) scientist in me at bay…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am with you on that blurring the line. It annoys me because I KNOW that a generation of kids will be reading that kind of thing and thinking it is actual history. I also feel it is dishonest on the writer’s part. It is like they are trying to be historians without any of the actual messy work and background.

      And good to see you around again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still on the mend… Still not up to reviewing though. It all seems rather pointless. I’m leaving for Fatima (1 hours from Lisbon where I live) in an hour. The Pope is due to arrive in 5 hours time. I feel I need to be there once again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, at the moment, it IS pointless. You’re dealing with bigger issues and lets face it, blogging is a hobby. Something you do when things are going ok.

          I pray that you’ll get through this and will begin healing. You seemed very close to your dad and I’m sure this is a seminal moment [in a bad way] in your life.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This was interesting. The whole bit about his loss of Faith which you sum up as a loss of a feeling was a pretty accurate way to put it. I have yet to read an auto-biography, but so far, some of them sound nice. I guess you have to really have an interest in the person to be able to want to pick up such a book too.

    Liked by 1 person

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