In September 2005, the punk-rock band Million Dead played their final show. Whilst it was the end of the line for this band, it was the beginning of a new journey for Frank Turner. Over 1000 shows (nearing 2000) and 10 years later, he finally stopped for long enough to write this book. Which is a miracle in itself. Even if you don’t include the thousands of miles around the globe he’s travelled, all the tens of people he’s met and the hundreds of sweaty shows he’s performed.
I don’t read a lot of autobiographies, but this one was recommended to me by (and then leant to me by) my boyfriend. And it’s one of my favourite singers. So I kinda read it.
One thing I really liked about this book is that it was written as if it was being spoken. It’s one of those things where you lose yourself in the book, and when you look up you can’t smell the sweat of the stage or hear the roaring of the crowd anymore, and you’re actually just sat on a freezing bus on the way to another long day college. This was the first autobiography that I lost myself in.
I should probably say something about the chapters. They’re not chapters, per se, but told in shows. The shows tell you the stories of the people and adventures around them. He puts in the actual show too, of course, but it’s the stories that tell you what life is like when you’re travelling, which was another thing I wrote in my notes. I’m not a musician, and I have no particular aspirations to be, but this book really tells you what life on the road is like…without actually having to be there.
Another thing I really liked about Turner’s style of writing is the pure, well, Englishness of it all. He would hate me for saying it, but using words like “alas” is just awesome. Frank also swears a lot in his music, so it was bound to be in his novel, which is just a head up if you don’t like that type of stuff, but I found it actually worked really well with it.
Finally, Frank’s passion for music really comes through in his writing, and it’s actually rather pleasant to read; the life and vibrancy he creates in his words really translates into life for the reader.
I would recommend this book to music lovers, and people who like Frank Turner, obviously. This novel isn’t for everyone, so don’t read it if what’s up there doesn’t appease you. Personally, I really enjoyed it, though, and would read another if he wrote a few more.
TITLE: The Road Beneath My Feet
AUTHOR: Frank Turner
PUBLISHER: Headline Publishing Group
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2015
NUMBER OF PAGES: 272
PRICE: £20.00 (but you can find it reduced in most places because it’s so new)
PERSONAL SOURCE: My amazeballs boyfriend