Unknown Pleasures – Inside Joy Division – Webmaster Review.

Peter Hook – Unknown Pleasures – Inside Joy Division, the ultimate, all-encompassing definitive guide into one of the most influential bands of a generation.

Written in the same forthright, tongue in cheek, tell it as it is vein as his previous book “The Hacienda – How Not to Run a Club “Hooky starts this epic tale with stories from his early life to meeting Bernard Sumner at Salford Grammar School, to the formation of the band, from the original recording of An Ideal For Living, the recording of the Unknown Pleasures LP on Factory, right until the untimely death of one of the most charismatic lead singers in the last 40 years.

The book is split into five parts. Timelines are provided at the end of each part with specific dates and years which were pertinent to the band and Peter Hook.  The timeline at the end of part one lists the dates and years of birth of anyone important to the Joy Division story. The timeline in the epilogue covers the final two years of the band.

Throughout the book the scene is set with paragraphs about what was happening with the band at that particular point. This is then followed by Hooky’s narrative on what was happening from his own perspective. This helps the reader to understand  what was happening in terms of gigs, record sales and management and what was happening on the road and behind the scenes with the band themselves.

Closer and Unknown Pleasures are dissected track by track. This gives the reader an insight into Hooky’s memories of recording the track and his thoughts on the tracks themselves. This in itself is interesting reading for any Joy Division fan that already has their own thoughts on the albums and individual tracks.

The book also contains never seen before photographs of the band and two pictures from the wedding of Ian and Deborah Curtis.

Hooky is frank in his account of the friendships and fallouts among the band members and those who came into their realm.  His honesty is all the more apparent when talking about the death of Ian Curtis and the impact this had on himself and the beginning of the end for Joy Division.

This an easy to read book detailing every aspect of the ups and downs of four young men beginning  their journey from humble beginnings in Lancashire to becoming one of the most influential bands of the post punk era.

Steve Smith