Book Review

Me by Elton John

Elton John Candidly Dazzles with One and Only Autobiography, ‘Me’

Maria Chance
Jun 30th, 2020 7:33 pm

Few artists can boast a repertoire quite like Sir Elton John’s, one that fills his prolific autobiography from cover to cover, one that would leave hardly any room for breath if it were verbally narrated. Me is replete with anecdotes spanning a career that started with his love for blues and rock and roll at a young age.

True to Elton John’s character, he gets candid and talks about every event in his life, the good and the bad, with equal abandon. Never one to mince words, Elton John takes us through his struggles seeking validation from his parents; being a late bloomer; discovering his attraction to men; his addiction to cocaine; his many failed relationships; his throat cancer scare and subsequent throat surgery; the tragic death of close friends such as Freddy Mercury, Gianni Versaci and Princess Diana; to his founding and continuing work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and so much more.

He’ll also let you in on little secrets and inside jokes, like how he, Rod Stewart and Freddy Mercury came up with drag names for each other which they used regularly when addressing each other. Like a friend sharing gossip, he tells us about the almost fight between Sylvester Stalone and Richard Gere for Princess Diana’s attention during a dinner party he threw at his house. He also reminisces about his brotherly connection to John Lennon which led to him becoming godfather to John’s son, Sean Lennon.

Every page is filled with so much colorful information that even if you’re familiar with Elton’s story, there’s no skimming his latest work. Every sentence, like everything Elton puts his imagination to, reels you in. He’s able to use witty sarcasm and solid sincerity to relay stories that under anyone else’s hand (anyone with less creative bones in their body) would’ve been just another rich rock star’s typical drug struggle story.

The thing that sets Elton John’s rock-star trajectory aside from other rock-star memoir novels is how he, even after all this time, can almost not believe that this is his life. Never taking anything that happens to him too seriously, Elton John makes it easy to relate to him. He really makes us believe that he’s really just a dorky boy from Pinner Hill Rd, England to whom something extraordinary happened one day.

His optimism and curiosity for life leap off every page. You can tell, without him ever saying so himself, that this had more to do with his success having a job in music than anything else. He’s enjoyed everything he’s done from playing at a local pub in England to selling out entire arenas around the world; all he’s ever wanted was to spend his life doing what he loved and he’s achieved that dream over and over a million times through.

Me is a wonderful tie-in to his 2019 film, Rocketman. While the film takes some artistic liberties, Me will take you step-by-step through every stage of Elton John’s life, as he refuses to hold any details back.

Elton John is truly an inspirational icon, not just for his talent, but in his honesty and his ability to care so much about the things that matter. Even after reaching the peaks of fame and falling to the lowest pits of rock bottom, he still finds so much enthusiasm to keep moving forward and keep creating. This is most prominently reflected in his one and only autobiography, Me.

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About the reviewer

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Maria Chance
  • Freelance Developmental Editor
  • Book Reviewer & Editor

A self-proclaimed hermit and potential cat hoarder, Maria lives in Virginia where she writes, proofreads and copy edits as a freelancer. Her longstanding love affair with books began when her mother would fall asleep reading bedtime stories to her. (Don't worry; she was sure to wake her up so she could finish.) Now, as an adult, Maria struggles with a reading vice that has often threatened the hygiene of her home. On the few occasions that her nose isn't buried in a book, she enjoys exploring new cities, having margaritas with her sister, and curling up with a book--wait, what?