In I AM OZZY, Osbourne lets us in on every single detail of his life, including intoxicated adventures, drug escapades, terrible jobs and his struggle to becoming the person he is today.What intrigued me: I have been on a rockstar biography binge!
An Absolute Surprise
If you think about Ozzy Osbourne, the prince of darkness, lead singer of Black Sabbath, you're usually associating him with satanism, murder, drugs and a lot of hatred. This novel shows that he's absolutely not the person the media portrays him as. He's a sweet, sweet guy, who's maybe a little bit naive, but whose biggest flaw is that he doesn't care about what other people think.
It's hilarious to read about how the band members think about the associations with their name and how they all met each other. There is so much media misconception around his person that I'm just in awe.
Not Only for Fans
I'm not a die-hard fan of Black Sabbath and I got this novel in the first place because it was recommended to me. You don't have to be a fan of him to enjoy this, but beware: it's graphic. The life of a heavy metal musician is definitely not suitable for highly sensitive people. Osbourne worked in a slaughter house, has a really dark sense of humor and didn't always bring out the best in his friends. It's remarkable that he survived all of the insane things he tells us about in this book if you think about it.
The writing is a little bit slow. You have to consider though that this is not entertainment literature, this is the life of an actual person - it's absolutely surreal to me how one single human being could have possibly experienced that many absolutely ridiculously dangerous situations and lived to tell the tale. I'm not sure whether you can actually believe everything that's in this novel, and to me, it doesn't even matter.
For a biography, it's definitely an action-packed read and really interesting. In most biographies the authors lose themselves in boring details so much that you just want to skip forward to the interesting bits. In I AM OZZY, you'll regret skimming pages, because you'll most likely miss something huge.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
You don't have to be a fan of Black Sabbath to enjoy this, but it helps. Some parts, especially the forming of the band and his background connections to Led Zeppelin, The Beatles etc. are probably more interesting to fans of the music of the 60s.
However, Osborne managed to write a hilarious, authentic and interesting novel that doesn't even feel like biography. I rooted for him to finally make it big and he definitely won my heart through this novel. I can only recommend to give it a try.
"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.
It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.
People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.
A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time"