Life by Keith Richards

Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin

Why bother with Johnny Depp's party-trick impression of the great man when – at length, in detail, and with a laid-back eloquence that Cap'n Sparrow could only dream of – we can experience the real thing? Rock chronicles almost always undershoot rock-bottom expectations; uniquely, this endlessly captivating memoir by the soul of the Stones surpassed the highest hopes. From postwar Dartford childhood through the London blues scene to the band's hell-raising heyday and the creatively dysfunctional stand-offs with Jagger, Life rolls and tumbles with tall tales and high jinks (take a bow, co-author James Fox). It also gives voice to a keen and restless musical intelligence. Once you begin this, wild, wild horses couldn't drag you away.