Book Review: Face It by Debbie Harry

Had high expectations for this memoir, but after reading it, suspect it will be used most frequently to decorate rooms.

Note: As an educator, nothing bothers me more than a rating system or rubric that is not clearly explained. Fair and well-crafted assessments are important. Justify your grades, fam. I use a scale of fifteen points, which are evenly divided between the following categories: quality of writing, quality of content/information, and general aesthetics.

Harry’s memoir, which reads like a bumpy assemblage of interviews edited together by her collaborator, Sylvie Simmons, replete with redundancies and the general disorganization of a person telling their life story out loud, scored low for quality of writing: 2/5.

I gave the book a 5/5 aesthetically, as it is a very beautiful object to have in your hands or on your shelf: hard-bound, black and white with some shiny gold and silver embossment, high quality paper, and full of compelling old photographs by legendary photographers combined with a lot of fan art you probably won’t see anywhere else.

I continued to read this book for information, despite my irritation at the writing style, and while I have acquired a few anecdotes that may be useful for my own writing on her and found it interesting enough to finish, I did not find the inside information particularly impressive–3/5.

The aggregate score for Face It by Debbie Harry is a D+, which pleases me, because I think that is by far the funniest grade. It is a beautiful object with some interesting art and anecdotes, but if you read for writing, I would borrow this one from the library, as you will most likely not want to revisit it. Plus, the library rules, and the planet has finite resources–something Debbie Harry certainly gives a fuck about, even if she doesn’t give a fuck about Joan Jett being a rape denier. Let’s keep the libraries open and the bees alive and shit.


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