Book Review: Mercury, An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury



By Lesley-Ann Jones


In this intimate biography of Freddie Mercury, award-winning rock journalist and author Lesley-Ann Jones presents the full portrait of both the complex man and the myth.  

Jones toured widely with Queen and has unrivaled access to the band. She has secured more than 100 interviews with those closest to Mercury, many of who are only opening up now, 20 years after his tragic death.  

Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished, revealing look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. Jones details it all from Queen’s slow but steady rise to fame, to the creation of ground breaking songs like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, to the decadent, raucous after parties Queen became infamous for, to the band’s creative process and their perpetual quest to challenge themselves musically. 

To gain a better understanding of Mercury’s early life and his somewhat fraught relationship with his traditional, conservative past Jones traveled to Zanzibar, his birthplace, and India, where he attended boarding school.  Jones also provides new insights into the great loves of Mercury’s life—long-time girlfriend Mary Austin, chef Joe Fanelli, German soft-porn star Barbara Valentin, live-in-lover Jim Hutton—and what those relationships meant to him.  In Mercury a compelling, definitive portrait emerges of this cultural icon.  




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