Mick Wall
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Buy *W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose* by Mick Wall online

W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose
Mick Wall
St. Martin's Griffin
400 pages
January 2009
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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We can probably expect books on Duff McKagen and Izzy Stradlin and Gilby Clarke and anyone else who ever had anything to do with that band called Guns 'N' Roses. Slash's autobiography - a remarkably honest and insightful piece of work - was recently released, so it seems like anything Guns goes these days.

There is all the requisite sleaze, sex, drugs and violence between these pages. It is who Axl is and what he does, and Wall has covered it all. From the early days of the Hell House crash pad, where the singer and his roomies were attended to by strippers, through the addictions and the fights and the ultimate breakup of GNR, it's all here.

Somehow, the idea of Axl becomes more alluring than the reality of him. Reading about the debauchery de-mystifies the myth and, in so doing, deflates the outrageousness. Wall has done his homework (including citing a story written by this reviewer) but can't quite manage to keep himself out of the telling. If you just read the introduction, you'd almost swear the book was about Wall talking about this Axl Rose character.

And Mick does get many of the moments. He talks about the music - specific tracks like "The Garden" and "Back Off Bitch" - and calls them throwaways. According to Slash, these were some of the band's best jams.

This is exactly what you'd expect an unauthorized book about the world's most notorious lead singer to read like. That is not necessarily a good thing.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2008

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