We are all overly familiar with my-drug-hell stories touted by celebrities seeking redemption and a pay cheque, however reduced it may be. Moby’s memoirs are a little different: peopled by everyone you have ever heard of (Bono! Madonna! Hillary Clinton!), they are often squawk-out-loud funny and unexpectedly lyrical in places...There is often something a little naive about Moby’s writing style that lends itself to comedic ends, a kind of blinking, innocent abroad reportage that endears you to him through these strange encounters with colourful figures – Russian mafiosi, Patty Hearst’s daughter, Holly Woodlawn from Walk on the Wild Side.
He writes particularly well about episodes of joy, with the surprising result that a memoir about ruinous excess might still inspire envy in some readers. Perhaps you would savour the glittering parties and celebrity encounters without going too far. Perhaps you would be wise and resilient enough to say no more often than Moby did. Maybe so, says this arresting account of a success more toxic than failure — but don’t be so sure.
The second volume of his memoirs – the follow-up to 2016’s Porcelain, which focused on his life from 1989-1999 – differs significantly in that he writes just as truthfully about his upbringing... With chapters alternating between childhood and post-Play fame, a dynamic is maintained from start to end... In late 2007, advice from an unnamed “old, well-known musician” finally hit home, and so Moby concludes the book with a stoic, weary admission: he needs help, not just with alcohol and drugs but also with facing his anxieties, dysfunctions and startlingly low self-esteem issues that made him an alcoholic/addict in the first place. In the hands of a less engaging writer, such travails might have turned into a litany of failures that disconnected a reader’s full attention. Moby, however, peppers the details with skyscraper height name-dropping [...] and droll anecdotes [...] that regularly turns a desperately unhappy memoir into a pick-me-up holiday read.
Dried blood, excrement, suicide attempts... Then It Fell Apart is so relentless in its depiction of his endless debauch that readers might need their own mental detox. It is, however, elevated by Moby’s impressively vivid turn of phrase (“My post-orgy bedsheets look like they belonged in a badly run Victorian hospital”) and his post-recovery willingness to show himself in the harshest of lights as he slides from life and soul to black hole. The voice of a degeneration, this book is compelling testimony from someone who, finally, knows exactly who he is.