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Paperback A Drink with Shane Macgowan Book


ISBN13: 9780802137906

A Drink with Shane Macgowan

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Book Overview

Best known as the cofounder of the Irish band The Pogues, Shane MacGowan has become a cult figure on the alternative-music scene. His achingly beautiful lyrics, as well as his legendary lifestyle of excess, have earned him an avid following that packs his shows and buys his albums. One of the most unusual memoirs to come along in quite a while, A Drink with Shane MacGowan is structured as a series of interviews between MacGowan and his wife, Clarke...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

"It's not that difficult, forcing a door."

Shane MacGowan is sort of a thinking man's hooligan, or a hooligan's thinking man. Due to this rare combination, one would expect that he has some terrific stories to tell, and this book doesn't disappoint in that respect. It ranges all over the map, from his fascinatingly unusual childhood to his London punk days to his time with the Pogues and to the present; from discussions of literature to history to music to religion.The book is a transcription of taped question-and-answer sessions he had with his wife (Victoria Mary Clarke). There are two problems with this:First of all, Clarke seems to not know when to shut up and let Shane go. He's often in the middle of some great story, and when he pauses seemingly to take a breath, she interrupts with some unrelated question. This leads to another great story, of course, but the reader is left with the feeling that there was much more to the first one, which will now never be heard.The second problem is that Clarke periodically interrupts the transcription with italicized comments about the current setting of the interview (e.g. that they are in the airport during the taping, or that Shane picks up a pack of cigarettes, or whatever). This wouldn't be so bad, except that she has a horrible habit of treating these as opportunities for self-aggrandization: stuff like "Victoria looks resplendent as she sips her wine", or "Victoria daintily smiles, glorious as always". Perhaps these are meant as self-effacing sarcasm, but they sure come off as ridiculously obnoxious. After a while, I found myself skipping any text in italics.Other than those things, though, this is a fun book; though she seemingly tried, Clarke simply could not take the fun out of MacGowan's stories.

MacGowan is the king !

Forget what those pompous pricks say in their official review. The book's format works fine for true MacGowan fans. I rather liked Victoria's " stage directions, " as the reviewers call them, and Shane's humor had me laughing pretty damned hard. This book is a " must read " for any Pogues and/or MacGowan fan !

Shane MacGowan Rocks!

This book is a series of interviews/chats conducted by Shane's wife(Victoria Mary Clarke). The format allows for some great storytelling about his past and family and helps to understand how he is the way he is. Great read for any fans of the shane MacGowan, the Pogues, or Ireland in general.


I was in Dublin a month ago and ate at a pub in the "Temple Bar" called (excuse spelling) Erin Dorian. As I was upstairs, I learned later, that Shane was downstairs and had been every night for the last 3 weeks causing trouble and, well, being Shane. Of course, I kicked myself all the way back to America having been a mere 10 stair steps from him. This book is the next best thing to being there. I doubt if Shane would be as informative or fluent to allow me inside his world if I had met him in Dublin. This is a must read for every Pogues or Shane fan! It gives a true insight to the madness behind the method.
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