This was a rollercoaster for me. I listened to it read by Mr Hall himself, which really lent character to all his dialogue in the book. It started with a cracking pace, chronicling an upbringing one would think could not foster anything special and blossomed into a full-speed-ahead coming of age tale of both Moby and a generation around the world. Hall's frankness is at times off-putting and at times laugh out loud funny. From awkward encounters with all types of women all around the world to silently judging and a dark internal monologue, the inner working's of his mind are served up on a silver platter.
The writing is amazing too - Hall manages to create some beautiful landscapes out of locations filled with trash and disease. I particularly appreciated his ability to build a vivid picture out of nouns that normally wouldn't have a place in that space.
Around halfway, it felt like the story began to slow down. Entire chapters are devoted to a few days somewhere with some people that is eventually resolved and not mentioned again. I didn't expect Hall to explain bar by bar how he produced Play, but the landmark album (and anything to do with it) isn't mentioned until the last 50 or so pages. Coming into this book as a fan I was really looking forward to hearing about inspirations or stories that encouraged the tracks that were everywhere in my childhood, and even more so after the detail Hall went into for earlier records. I wanted to hear about how fame the second time around affected him and licensing tracks for movies and how he dealt with all the stress as he was bigger by multitudes off the back of Play. How did he even get it produced? Who believed in him again? Hall won't tell me in Porcelain.
I'm not sure if this omission is a masterstroke akin to the briefcase in 'Pulp Fiction' or 'Ronin' or if it's a troll to the reader. I was definitely more disappointed in the book that I was being left hanging in either of those movies, but I have to forgive Moby for creating a spectacular read of a life I wouldn't believe unless he had read it to me himself.
This is a great example of writing that doesn't try to hide anything or exaggerate anything. It just is and we can take or leave it. I'm just hoping that Moby works on another for the following 20 years! Thanks Mr Hall, what a wild ride!
This memoir really shows the value and rewards of persistence and sticking with something you love and are passionate about. Honest, personal and illuminating. Porcelain covers the period from Moby's childhood up until the recording sessions for Play. As others have noted, the book ends a bit abruptly with no finishing mention of the release of Play or it's incredible success. Given what he writes up until that point, it would have been really interesting to hear more about that period and the aftermath of it's success. Maybe there will be a followup to cover from that period onwards
This book is an imperfect but honest account from a flawed, creative man, and a interesting document of a specific moment in time, New York in the 90s. As an alcohol enthusiast myself, his non-judgemental accounts of excess and the results resonated. I read it over six months ago and am still reminded of it all the time. I'd like to give him a hug.
I didnt know moby suffered from anxiety and self doubt and punk rock. I was suprised to find moby's auto biography such a compelling read. I learnt heaps about moby, the music industry and how he achieved so much despite his devils. I laughed out land in places and in others i wanted to cry. Cant wait until part 2.
For anyone who's ever enjoyed Moby's music, but especially for those who have danced to it and remember the early, lovely days of the rave scene. Searingly honest, very amusing and at times so bleak it makes you cry, this trip through Moby's world and head is totally absorbing. It felt like meeting someone you'd lost touch with ages ago, but really wished you hadn't. A beautifully scary individual.