Straight by Boy George with Paul Gorman

Once famous for his incredible singing voice and the hits of his band Culture Club, Boy George is now a walking one-liner ready to give good, bitchy comment on request.

His life as he describes it in Straight -“ his second autobiography -“ is like that too; he seems to float from one funny situation to another, with an appropriately acidic aside.

On George Michael’s famous toilet indiscretion: Who knew that George was a thoroughly modern girl with an open relationship and everything! I’m afraid that’s not something I would tolerate. I don’t share my men or my chips.

On Prince: The Artist Formerly Known As Get A Personality? He has written some of my favourite songs but can’t hold a simple conversation. I don’t buy into his shy personality. Shy is for librarians.

It’s a strange idea, the second autobiography. His first, 1995’s Take it Like A Man, covered some of the same territory, but 10 years is a long time in a larger-than-life life.

The story of Taboo, the Boy George musical that saw huge success in London and huge failure on Broadway, takes up several chapters.

Taboo was famously produced by Rosie O’Donnell, who had, he wrote, become public enemy number one in the lead-up to opening night. It received bad reviews and struggled to make money, closing after less than three months (and five months earlier than expected).

George does not shy from detailing the problems surrounding the New York production, but predictably saves his bitterest darts for those who knocked the show.

Straight is not a chronological telling of Boy George’s life, but it doesn’t mean or need to be. It’s the snide little off-shoots, the stories within stories and the veering from one subject to another that make this such a fun read.

Review: Stacy Farrar

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