The temptation for most memoirists is to beef up, at times even to make up, life; for Keith Richards, who has lived one of the most eventful and excessive lives ever, the point is to tamp it down. His is an odd book for many reasons, among them its refusal to impute any meaning to the structure of experience, beyond its basic contingency. The book tells no “story,” presents no overwrought “themes,” proposes no shape to life beyond the amorphous ooze of passing time. Thus the hilariously nonchalant title, Life, which, shorn of the expected first-person possessive, would suggest that Richards’s life is more or less the one we all experience.
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