An enjoyable tale of a legendary time and place, from a master story-teller — former bassist of Joy Division & New Order, club owner, DJ, author, and all around wild man Hooky. Unfortunately, unlike his second book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, you can tell that Hooky hasn't yet quite perfected the art of translating his oral story-telling skills and wickedly brilliant humor to the written page.
The tale of the Hacienda is a fascinating one that I had been intending to read up on for some time. I knew going in that this book would be mostly fact and a little fiction, as all recollections are, especially those from Hooky. That doesn't bother me in the least. Think of a family member telling you a story about that time they went on vacation and this and this happened — over the year the story changes a little bit, facts get distorted, and it's all accepted.
The general gist of the story is true, no harm is meant by the story-tellers distorted memory, we all just smile and laugh. Hooky's stories will make you smile and laugh (and occasionally cringe). It's all just a little too "I was there when ... and I was there when ... " without putting the reader in the moment. Instead, I walked away thinking "man, I wish I was there when."
Which is, to reiterate, a fun way to hear a great story, but not quite the best. Knowing how much he improved his writing from this book to his second, I can't wait to hear the tales of New Order in "Substance: Inside New Order".