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Extended Audio Sample Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, by Peter Hook Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (323 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Hook Narrator: Peter Hook Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound—dark, hypnotic, and intense—that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: in 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on the eve of their first US tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles—including the iconic anthem “Love Will Tear Us Apart”—that continue to have a powerful resonance.

Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. In Unknown Pleasures, founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation. Peter talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis; the band’s friendships and fallouts; the evolution of their sound and image; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend, including Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have awaited for decades.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Hook tells a raffishly charming and, in the end, heartbreaking story, full of the burning ambition and abject blundering that accompany any band’s road to glory.... As Unknown Pleasures shows, hindsight truly can be great. It is also heart-rending, ruthless, and redemptive.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An immense account of Joy Division’s rise, cataloging the group’s struggle for recognition, their rapidly gained superiority on the Manchester scene, and the epic numbness following Ian Curtis’ shock suicide. Having read Hook’s book, you’ll feel like you were he fifth member of the band.”

    GQ (UK)

  • “It’s a window like no other into the reality of life in this most aloof of bands.”

    Metro London

  • “A bittersweet, profanity-filled recollection of their brief existence...recalled with Hook’s winning Manc gallows humor...If you like Joy Division you really have to read it.”

    Q magazine

  • “Vivid, funny, and unexpectedly touching, Peter Hook’s memoir strips away the shroud of myth surrounding Joy Division to offer a refreshingly gritty perspective on the story of four ordinary young men who together made extraordinary music.”

    Simon Reynolds, author of Rip It Up

  • “Unflinchingly honest...Hook peels away the romantic sheen colored by its dark history and gives unfettered insight into the band’s origins and inspirations...this is required reading for anyone who ever felt moved by Joy Division’s cold, dark music.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title” for Nonfiction, January 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brian Gruidl | 2/13/2014

    " Great and fun read. Definitely focuses just on Peter Hook's experience, which is great considering the fighting between he and Bernard. Fun to read about one member's perspective without throwing knives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chris | 1/23/2014

    " The US edition is one of the most beautiful books I have seen in a long while, reading it on a long journey whilst listening to JD was an absolute pleasure. Written in a straight forward and engaging style (with a number of typos) its worth picking up.....judge this book by its cover! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer | 1/23/2014

    " He seems to have written something quite true to the person he is. Come across as an honest and in places moving account of his life in the band. He talks honestly about the deification of Curtis and how alien that is to his memories of the person. His experience of losing his friend to suicide was well expressed. This is a remarkable book in many ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Vi Khong | 1/14/2014

    " A wonderful read - it was full of funny stories as well as sad ones. It was really too bad that Joy Division was only around for a short time. They were truly a great band - look at how many wonderful songs they wrote in such a short time together. "

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About the Author

Peter Hook was born in 1956 in Salford, England. A founding member of Joy Division and New Order, he is an international DJ and tours Joy Division’s music with his new band, the Light. He lives in Cheshire.