Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division’ UK audio book 8 CD set (AudioGO, ISBN 978 1471 318535, 2012)

With an advertised running time of 8 hours and 25 minutes, this whopping 8 CD set brings you the voice of Peter Hook himself reading his in parts amusing and unpretentious take on his days as one quarter of Joy Division. Any conceptions of the mythic, pained, sullen and mysterious image of Joy Division as a band is taken in hand and dismantled by Hook. You’d be hard pressed to balance the immature, laddish wind-ups and downright cruel ‘japes’ played on one another by the band with the somewhat sombre yet brutal grace of the music they made, as told by Hooky. There’s a recurring retrospective regret to proceedings as the inevitable end of Ian Curtis unfolds. A good many ‘why didn’t we see what was happening?’ or ‘why didn’t we take a break?’ questions arise as one event after another that should have rung the klaxon of concern takes shape, is absorbed, patched up or glossed over and everything proceeds relentlessly all the same. All too often the urge to forget the implications and move on seemingly from Ian Curtis himself. Hook jokes about naming his book ‘He Said He Was All Right So We Carried On’ and you have to chuckle, darkly.

Peter Hook 'Unknown Pleasures' audio book front cover design

^ Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures’ audio book front cover design

There’s been a good deal of falling out amongst the Joy Division members in recent times of course. Principally Hooky and Bernard Sumner. It’s all rather regrettable that, though what is evident from the book is from how early on it appears such distancing began. Hooks’s closer compatriots such as ‘Twinny’ and ‘Terry’ (Terry Mason) are regularly mentioned throughout proceedings and seem to be as important to the whole story in their own small ways to Hook as the more familiar characters of Gretton, Hannett, Wilson et al. The tome very much conjures up another, long gone, harsher world in many ways. Drunken, stupid escapades abound, casual cruelty in the name of having a laugh. Shit conditions to deal with as being part of a band and a permanent lack of money (daily rate of £1.50 each to live on while recording ‘Closer’ in London!). Random violence amid the cheap nights out.

Peter Hook 'Unknown Pleasures' audio book rear cover design

^ Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures’ audio book rear cover design

There’s no shortage of literature on Joy Division and I’ve read a fair few of them. This work adds to the story and while it probably avoids as many questions as it answers, it is well worth a listen or read, whichever way you might wish to experience it.

Peter Hook 'Unknown Pleasures' audio book discs design

^ Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures’ audio book discs design

One Response to “Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division’ UK audio book 8 CD set (AudioGO, ISBN 978 1471 318535, 2012)”

  1. Lieutenant 030 says:

    i had previously read the book, which the author had dutifully inscripted during one of his tours, and it is one of those rare books where you can hear the author reading it to you in your head. i have since listened to the audiobook and it is how i imagined it would sound when i read it hopefully his muse will take control of him again and we see the release of “the new order years” ” band of bastards” or however else he wants to name it (although the lawyers may have fun with that). i have read mr. sumners tome and it was not such an enjoyable read as this.

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