Back in June, an imprint of Random House UK published guitarist and singer Bernard Sumner's memoir Chapter and Verse. Now, in time for the crazy shopping madness of the holiday season, Chapter and Verse is finally seeing a stateside release from US publisher St. Martin's Press.
The 352-page book takes the reader from Sumner's childhood, through the formation of Joy Division, Sumner's grief over the loss of Ian Curtis and tentative assumption of the role of frontman for New Order, and the act's enormous success before in-fighting splintered the group.
Sumner's memoir comes during a tumultuous period in New Order's history. The band is being sued by former bassist and founding member Peter Hook for unpaid royalties. Hook, who published a well-received tell-all a couple of years prior, has already taken to bashing Sumner's memoir, claiming a great deal of Sumner's attention goes toward "vitriol" to the bassist.
Reffing the fued, Rob Sheffield writing for the New York Times Book Review summarized Chapter and Verse as not being able to match the "wildly entertaining…loutish zest" of Hook's book. Instead, he says it "has the mild-mannered charms of Sumner's vocals — clumsy, earnest, endearingly tongue-tied."
As of this writing, Amazon suggests buying "both books together" in time for the holidays.