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By the time I reached page thirty-one of this ‘definitive’ biography on Pete Doherty (who isn’t yet thirty, so it’s hardly definitive), I was struggling to continue.  

Could Alex Hannaford have been any more saccharine in his writing?  

On page thirteen he writes: ‘’…he was pretty good at everything.  Inevitably, his teachers loved him,’’ and on page fourteen: ‘’He was in the top set for everything he did; one of those lucky bastards who was immensely popular, good at football and got all the best looking girls.  Everything he touched turned to gold – he was a jammy bastard and a bit of a bruiser too.’’  On page fifteen: ‘’…he was the envy of the male half of the school,’’ and on page sixteen: ‘’he just wasn’t aware at that point that he’d end up penning lyrics that would be devoured by hundreds of thousands of fans...’’  On page eighteen:  ‘’Pete again blew his school-mates out of the water, winning the most academic merit marks of the entire year,’’ and on page twenty-one:  ‘’Everybody loved Pete.’’

Hmm… do the words fuck-off leap forth? For so it continues throughout much of Last Of The Rock Romantics, which hardly makes for informative – let alone enjoyable/believable - reading.  

Clearly, Hannaford has knelt at the alter of Pete Doherty for a tad too long.  His all round declaration of adoration has ensured that all objectively has been discarded.   And when fandom reaches such a point, true consideration (or in this case, writing) becomes mired in the most obsequious of quagmires.  

David Marx
Last Of The Rock Romantics – Pete Doherty By Alex Hannaford Ebury Press £16.99        
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