Book Review — Reckless: My Life as a Pretender

Reckless: My Life as a Pretender

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio just over a decade after the author. The book brought back so many memories of North East Ohio: The ultimate rock and roll radio station — WMMS, Blossom Music Center, Captain Penny, Barnaby, Chippewa Lake Park, and of course the red brick street where I grew up (Vineyard Avenue and there are still red bricks). There were also other memories of the motorcycle gangs riding the streets, and surprisingly, putting out a house fire on my street before the Cleveland Fire Department could respond. Hynde, however,  has different memories of the biker gangs. The 1960s and 1970s were not good decades for Cleveland.

Hynde does not sugar coat her life and the events. She takes responsibility for what she did and what she did while intoxicated. The origin of some of her song lyrics are explained in the context of the book. It is a well written and personal biography. She explains her life to whoever is reading in an informal and interesting manner. This ranks up with Just Kids and M-Train for those in their fifth decade of life. There are many memories not only of Cleveland and Akron, but also the players in the punk movement from Iggy Pop The Sex Pistols.

I actually listened to this book from Audible. It is read by Rosanna Arquette who read well enough that the listener might even think it was the author reading the books. She seemed to capture the emotions and the spirit Hynde’s life. With the exception of repeatedly mispronouncing Akron as Ack-KRON (instead of ACK-rin), the reading was exceptional. A very worthwhile read for those who remember East 55th and Euclid being precious.

This book was read/listened to for person enjoyment and not review.

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