What is left to say about Joy Division, the influential post-punk band from Manchester, whose story has been exhaustively mythologised, eulogised and documented?
Peter Hook manages to shed fresh light on Joy Division's rise to prominence in Unknown Pleasures. Ian Curtis, the band's singer, committed suicide in 1980 just as the group tottered on the precipice of greatness.
Hook, formerly Joy Division's bassist, is also the author of How Not to Run A Club, a jokey, blokey and bitter book about being the hapless co-owner of The Haçienda nightclub. His new memoir is substantially better written than his previous work.
Curtis emerges here as the archetypal tortured genius, battered by epilepsy, bruised by an unhappy marriage and driven to despair by the band's frenetic schedule. When he has a seizure not long before his death, the band pick him up, dust him off and continue as if nothing is awry. Sometimes though, carrying on regardless isn't the most appropriate thing to do. Hindsight is rarely less than pin sharp either.