Me: Elton John Official Autobiography – Summary and Book Reviews

Elton John is not an artist known for being shy about his personal life. Even so, the frankness with which he speaks in his first – and apparently only – autobiography, Me: Elton John Official Autobiography, is remarkable. 

From the start, he plunges into accounts of depression (with multiple recollections of suicide attempts), break-ups, drug addiction, and his prostate cancer diagnosis, but he never appeals to the reader for sympathy. His voice, assisted by music critic Alexis Petridis who worked on the book with John for three-and-a-half-years is genial and warm. 

John is remarkably diffident about his addictive personality, temper, and the admitted ‘dreadful behavior’ with boyfriends whom he had expected to drop everything to come with him on out. His reflection on how, regardless of the fame or success he was enjoying at the time, underneath the sparkling costumes he was still Reg Dwight from Middlesex – insecure, body-conscious, full of self-loathing and self-doubt – is very moving. 

Further, in between countless anecdotes from stars from across the decades, John’s passion for music continues to shine through, even when he explains why he knew he was never cut out to be a classical pianist, “My fingers are too short for a piano player. If you see a photo of a concert pianist, they’ve all got hands like tarantulas.” Or when he muses that it was likely is parents – however unwillingly – who instilled in him a sense of rebellion that makes him the groundbreaking artist he continues to be to this day. 

Towards the end of the book, you get a sense of John’s craving for what he perceives to be a ‘normal life’ – family dinners and staying at home with his family. 

“The great thing about rock and roll,” John writes, “is that someone like me can be a star.”

Official Book Summary

In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from his rollercoaster lifestyle as shown in the film Rocketman, to becoming a living legend.

Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt, and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.

His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway with Aida, The Lion King, and Billy Elliot the Musical. All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.

In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography Book Reviews

Below are some reviews from readers.

“Loved every minute of it!!! I absolutely loved how he didn’t hold back anything… told it like it is. And who knew he was so funny?!?! The perfect read for all Elton John fans!” – Jill McGill

I rarely give 5 stars to books, but in this case I kinda had to because it was just really damn good. I’m fond of autobiographies in general, even though you always have to be wary of the subject putting themselves in an exclusively good light. Fortunately, not something you really have to worry about with Elton John, as one of the strongest parts of the book was his self-aware humor. Very often he makes fun of himself and acknowledges when he acted horribly, which just makes the book feel more honest. It’s definitely entertaining and funny as hell, making me laugh out loud several times, no easy feat. But it definitely hits hard at certain points, especially when he describes the end of his relationship with John Reid, his early childhood, the friends he’s lost over the decades and the 16 years of addiction he went through. For people who know quite a bit about Elton there won’t be that many revelations (although there are probably some), but it still gives you a more comprehensive look at who he is and how his life has unfolded. There were points in the book that definitely hit me as I could connect the feelings and thoughts he’s had to the same feelings and thoughts I’ve had before, which left a personal note for me. Overall, I really loved this book and will probably read it again at some point. I can also recommend the audiobook with Taron Egerton, as he does a great job with it and making the book even more engrossing than it already is.” – Shirin 

“This is Elton John’s only first hand autobiography, and it is astounding. Elton pulls no punches throughout, delving into accounts of depression and suicide attempts, drug addiction, break-ups and even his cancer diagnosis, but the book does not look to the audience for sympathy. It’s just Elton, straight up. His voice is warm and genial, but he makes clear that he is an imperfect person on so many levels, but that he has persevered regardless. An absolute must for any fan of Elton, or anyone who loves rock biographies.” – Outwest 

“If you’re an Elton John fan this is a must read!!!! I loved every minute of it! What makes this book so interesting is that Elton John is completely real and raw. You’ll find yourself laughing, and then near tears as you read about his life from a young boy through today. He delves into his use of cocaine, the AIDS epidemic, and Princess Diana. You also learn why he believes he never contracted AIDS, and having nearly died (not from drugs either). He also talks about John Lennon, Gianni Versace, George Michael, and of course Freddie Mercury. So many stories about his famous friends who made them human. I especially loved the stories about Rod Stewart peppered throughout the book. Go buy & read this book now!” – Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos 

“I love reading memoirs in general so I found this book quite entertaining. I didn’t really know too much about him previously, except for his songs. He lived the pretty stereotypical kind of life that you would expect of a rock star and at least half of the book is just name dropping. That said, I did still find it very interesting to hear all of the things that he has experienced in his life. It is always interesting to see the world through the eyes of someone else, especially when they see the world in such a completely different way than you do. It is basically entertaining, but exactly what you think it is going to be.” – Candie

“I love Elton John as an entertainer and musician. The one thing that I love the most is that his songs are so completely original. Some musicians often have all their songs sounding the same but with different words. That isn’t so with Elton John. He is a master at music. That talent of his shined in this autobiography. I enjoyed hearing about his coming of age in England and how he ended up in the music world. In this book, Elton John is open and honest about his life….even with the things that lurk in the shadows. There is a lot of detail about his drug use, sex and his different relationships. I appreciated his honesty and tact when talking about these things. I wish there had been more about his music life and those who were around him, but even without all of that, I still enjoyed it. There were two disappointments though. This did feel long at times, especially towards the end….that is never good, and I was disappointed that he didn’t do his own audio narration for this. But still…..4 star worthy for me.” – Donna 

“Wonderful biography and great narration. It was sometimes over-the-top and sometimes gossipy, but there was also humility. He never shied away from his flaws and mistakes, the difficulties he had with his mother and father, or his problems with drug and alcohol addiction. It has been a whirlwind life, but he seems grateful for both the highs and the lows.” – Jerrie

“I’m not a particular fan of Elton John however a friend recommended Me, and having enjoyed the Rocketman film, I thought I’d give it a go. Elton John has certainly got one heck of a story to tell and it’s clear why this book has been very well received. Some of his stories whilst in the throes of alcohol and cocaine addiction are extraordinary. He is extremely honest about his mistakes, and his less attractive personality traits. He also has the happy knack of making friends with a wonderfully diverse group of people, from members of the Royal family to AIDS sufferers and refugees, and is happy to be quite forthright with his disclosures. I preferred the sections about his wild years, to the later period of settled domestic bliss, however the whole thing is important to understanding Elton’s incredible and unlikely life. I also raced through it in a couple of days which says a lot about its compelling readability.” – Nigeyb

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography

Elton John

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
  • Hardcover Book
  • John, Elton (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 10/15/2019 (Publication Date) – Henry Holt and Co. (Publisher)

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