BOOK REVIEWS

And Then It Fell Apart Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-09-07 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 3 user ratings
ISBN:0571339409
LANGUAGE:English

"In the same vein as Porcelain, Moby has once again done an admirable job of relaying life's learnings, experiences, and failures to us in a very relatable and tangible form. I was unaware of his struggles with substance abuse prior to this book, although I believe they may have been inferred in the last one.

Struggling to acquire fame and its trappings, Moby describes his personal descent into debauchery and excess around the turn of the millennium. The book jumps back and forth between between the 2000's and 1980's, and the book has this parallel thing going of telling stories about Moby growing up and then roughly 20 years later as he was growing successful. Like so many others, Moby was not left untouched by the limelight; his way of describing the effect it had on him (and his decisions during the time) was surprisingly relatable. I found his story and the way he told it to be very understandable and genuine.

I suspect (or "hope," I suppose) we'll get a third autobiographical text to nicely wrap up Moby's story. I'll buy it in a heartbeat, having enjoyed the first two.
" said.

"Moby goes on and on with self-flagellating self-reflection about how self-destructive of a person he is. This 99:1 weighting of despair to redemption (on the last couple of pages), with the odd back and forth of the narrative from the aughts to the 80s, made this part of Moby's biography less readable than the first. But still good and most importantly very real and honest.

A fun element not typical of most books I've read (but probably of musicians' biographies) is the musically beautiful journey: you can queue up tracks as you read through and let them form part of the story. If I had recognized I'd have created a spotify playlist and maybe gained a few followers.

Lastly, Porcelain was a rare window in to 80s-90s NYC life for someone who wasn't there. The window has shifted to another rare but similar window, in to '99-2008 NYC rich celebrity life. I appreciated and related (all very disproportionately) to Moby's anchor of not belonging due to a relatively disadvantaged youth, despite his having a paid for apartment on Central Park West.
" said.

"Ahhhh, this book...

Moby's first memoir was a page turner. It reminded me of what the 90s felt like. And it reminded me of how much I love music that makes me move. Or moves me. Porcelain does that for me. Because Moby makes such beautiful music I just assumed that he was beautiful too. This book has definitely made me question that assumption, though.

What Moby describes in this book shocked, disgusted and disappointed me. His post 1999 content was page after page of self destruction. It's amazing how much some people can put themselves through. But, he did do something really interesting by giving us insight into how and why he came to be this way, with the inclusion of chapters that describe significant incidents from infancy to adolescence.

This is a raw and incredibly honest book that takes a lot of self awareness and reflection to write. This is Moby's perspective of a significant time in his life and his experiences with heaps of name dropping. I wondered while I was reading it if he had informed certain people of their inclusion in this book, because the contexts were not flattering! So, as it turns out... he doesn't seem to have informed them. Which is really bizarre. Did the the publisher at least not say something?

Anyway, I think it's well written, extremely interesting and sad. He's copping it now, but good on you Moby.
" said.

"I did not read the whole book, skipping much of the childhood stuff after a few vignettes and most of the drugs and self hate of the middle book. Frankly both are depressing and unfortunately commonplace.
With that said there are some bits that are truly fascinating and insightful. I love both Play and Hotel. They are fantastic albums. I like much of his other work and really dig the ambient works. After reading this book, I realize that the sweet/sad mood from much of his music does not come from a tranquil Zen outlook (bald and vegetarian so I assumed, I know, my mistake), but from being really screwed up - can't find love and becoming a "glowing demon" levels of screwed up.
A really good lesson for me on the difference between artist intent and listener interpretation. This book also showcases in so many ways, the power and futility of drugs. There are signs everywhere that he is in trouble and plenty of people tell him he needs help and show him by example how to get clean. But not until he truly recognizes it and wants accepts the need to change does he have a chance. Which of course where the book ends. I hope he has been able to deal with the anxiety that seems was triggered by LSD and the lifelong belief that he is unlovable. Very, very sad.
Another of the many books I have read that make me so grateful for the incredible privilege of being just a standard complex free, family man.
" said.

"Oh baby... did it fall apart indeed. This book needs some major content warnings: Themes of suicide, addiction and sex discussed in disturbing detail.

I’ve loved Moby since Wait For Me and a video of him making vegan blueberry pancakes and was really looking forward to reading this second part of his life story. All I ever wanted to know from his memoirs was:
1. How and why he decided to become a vegan
2. When and why he decided to move to LA
3. What’s the story of him not doing live concerts and giving all his proceeds to charity
4. How Little Pine happened
5. How and why he became sober and how is he doing now

This book answered few of these questions. And I was left feeling somewhat gross and disappointed.



*Spoilers below*
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It was certainly brave and vulnerable of him to paint such a realistic picture of all the degenerate debauchery that he got up to during the height of his fame. But man, it was not an easy read, finding out what your sweet “little idiot” hero was REALLY like.

And the book ends on the day that he finally admitted to himself and to an AA group that he was an alcoholic. Wait a minute!! How could it end there!?? After describing in vivid detail his suicide attempt and all the gory drug fueled scenes of sex, blood, shit and vomit... we don’t get any semblance of redemption?? No reflections about his quiet, peaceful sober life. No comparisons between his New York and LA lifestyle. Just nothing!?

Like at the end of Porcelain I am left wondering: is there another book coming? Surely the story can’t be over! Surely the most interesting parts of his life are the most recent ones. About making music independently of labels and giving it away for free. About getting into photography and opening a vegan restaurant...

Please tell me this memoir is a trilogy Moby because it can’t end like this!!
" said.

"Worse than the initial memoir, Porcelain, which I liked quite a lot. Better than some other memoirs, specifically because Moby has a pretty decent ear for good writing. It's not as polished or literary as this sort of story would be coming from a novelist, but then, it's not coming from a novelist, nor is it fiction. This story is interesting largely because, if Moby is to be believed, it's all true. Ttrue or not, this book probably needed some serious fact checking -- Camus wasn't a suicide, for starts, and I'm sure Natalie Portman's already made her view on this book's factual basis pretty clear. I try to keep in mind that these stories are all from Moby's point of view, and all two decades (or more) old -- meaning, he probably remembered a few things the way they didn't happen, and a few things that may never have happened at all. A particular story involving Donald Trump and Moby's genitals seems, at best, like something he made up because the book was written in a politically charged era, aimed at a very worthy target. I also think that, even if Moby's "reformed" or "repented" of the things he did, it sometimes feels almost like he's glamorizing some of the nasty stuff just by writing about it. Maybe he's just trying to be as truthful as he can. Who knows.

Whatever the case, I again found the story of Moby's life a worthwhile and often funny read. I liked the chapters about his childhood more than the ones about his adult life -- a good half of the chapters could have been cut and we still would get the same sense of how many drugs he did, how many drinks he had, how many women he slept with, etc. -- and I wish only that there'd have been more of those. If Moby ever gets around to a third volume, I'm like to hear more about young new-wave high school Moby, and less of forty-something sleazy Moby. I understand that he's trying to bare his soul with this memoir, that he feels some sense of catharsis from the experience, and I respect it. And I'll gladly read whatever he commits to the page. If only he has the foresight to edit a little more, fact check a little more, name drop a little less, I think his writing could go from good to great.

As is, I can recommend it, but not to just anybody. If you're a Moby fan, it's worth reading. If you're interested in a vivid look at just how grimy and degenerate celebrity life is, Moby paints a pretty clear picture here (even if only half of what he describes is true, celeb life is pretty shocking). But if you're looking for something happy or gripping or fun, look elsewhere. This book is painful and difficult and dirty, but also hopeful, relatable, and ultimately a little beautiful.
" said.

"A REVIEW OF MOBY (DICK)

Moby, that DJ guy that did that song(s) featured in the Adidas, Maxwell House, Volkswagen, Apple, Nokia, ad (ad nauseum) commercials back in the early 2000s. Remember that Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Island"? You don't? Well YouTube the trailer and that's Moby too. Every song on his multi-million selling, career exploding, life creating/destroying 1999 album "Play" was licensed for additional profit, be it a movie, television show or commercial. Elevator "ambient" music for the new millennium, paired with some well placed pop ditties. It was a music licensing, money reaping juggernaut. The sounds became a veneer that made whatever was trying to be sold more palatable and somehow...cool? I personally only owned his far less successful 1995 album "Everything Is Wrong" and remember reading the liner notes about how the world was dying and basically everyone was responsible (except for him) and remember feeling guilty that I ate meat, drove a car in LA traffic, and didn't actively protest against pollution. He was a more enlightened, better person that me...obviously. That said, the only song that I would consistently "burn" to a playlist was "Every Time You Touch Me" because it reminded of Black Box and other early 1990s club hits that made you feel a Club MTV dancer. Who was that amazing black, female voice singing on the track? It's not that little white dude on the cover but I guess he put it all together or something.

This is Moby's second autobiography at the tender age of 53. Is his life worthy of 2 autobiographies and suggestion of a 3rd? Why should we care? The Natalie Portman incident is what brought my attention to it and that was likely not a mistake on the part of the writer or the publisher. The truth is most people likely wouldn't care but Portman decided to speak out against the stories told about her in this book and took the scribe to task. After hearing about the controversy I was intrigued enough to check the book out at the library (no legal tender exchanged) and see what was going on. The blatantly misogynist, narcissistic, stories of rich, rock star nihilism that he shares is achingly desperate, mean, and sad, even when he's trying to sound cool (which is the majority of the time). The infamous Led Zeppelin mud shark groupie hotel incident seems like a quaint 4-H campfire tale compared to the despicable debauchery Moby spends the large majority of this memoir recounting.

But why? In the last sentence of the book (spoiler alert) he states, with hushed profundity that he is "an alcoholic." For any reader who stuck it out to the end, this is a really dull ending. I'm not EVEN going to go in to the uncountable tales of sexual conquest he entails in this book, it's irrelevant. What was interesting to me was that he made a point of calling out by name the majority of the women he had sex with, or did copious amounts of drugs with but when it came to the men that may have somehow been involved in his downward spiral, he largely kept them anonymous; the male model mysteriously named "D" who Jaguar the stripper ditched him for after doing 4 lines of special K, the 20 year sober unnamed rock star guy who made him see the light about his addiction. He rarely goes in to detail about anything unsavory with the male figures in this book, but makes sure to meticulously detail his disturbing late night exploits with women, rarely holding back names. For example, "Mobes" recounts a lovely discussion at 3am with Bono, Michael Stipe and Salman Rushdie at the hip downtown club Sway where we assume no drugs were done at all, even as the morning light was peaking through the blackout curtains of the club. The reader is left to believe Bono was suavely sipping a glass of $300 champage as he complimented Moby on on his "Animal Rights" album, before departing in to the early morning as fresh as a daisy. We learn a lot more about the chick the writer had sex with later that morning though...after meeting with the brilliant male minds.

Natalie Portman, Lizzy (he spelled her name wrong) Grant (aka Lana Del Rey), Kelly from teany, a myriad of girls who worked for him, they all get called out by name for either allegedly dating him, doing with or procuring drugs for him or starring in a meticulously detailed sexual romp. How one can remember anything after 20 drinks, multiple hits of E, coke, etc, and then write about it accurately is up to the reader to decide. I love memoirs, but this felt like a work of pure fiction. A fiction he desperately believes, even in his sobriety, to be true. For Faber & Faber to publish this manuscript without first fact checking seems unprofessional at best and libelist an worst.

One of the most illuminating examples of Moby's narcissistic disregard for reality is how he describes his feud with the rapper Eminem. By the time we get to this part, we have already read countless tales of Moby's sexual exploits and complete lack of respect for women, yet he seemingly was able to gloss over this in his mind as he describes how misogynistic Eminem's lyrics are. Without a morsel of contriteness, he completely justifies his attack on the rapper when he was widely quoted in the press suggesting Eminem wanted to date him. Knowing what we know now about Moby, the taunt against Eminem's admittedly sexist rap lyrics seem like a way to justify or erase his own disgusting behavior in his private life. At least Eminem is honest about his misogyny.

In a nutshell, when his parents decided to give him the nickname "Moby" as a nod to his great, great, great, grand uncle Herman Melville (author of Moby Dick), reading "Then It Fell Apart" makes it clear they should have opted for "Dick" instead.
" said.

"Moby's first autobiography, "Porcelain", covered his life in New York City from 1989 to 1999. This book carries on from 1999, slightly onwards until 2008.

Most autobiographies by pop musicians capture glib, filtered-out moments in a musician's life, for example, Neil Strauss' book on Mötley Crüe, and others plod along while losing the plot to what a ghostwriter hoped would be glimmers that would carry a book over any obstacles, e.g. that very same book.

Moby circumvents this slightly. First, I believe that this book is better than the first one; this is not due to the fact that this book is far more sensationalistic than the formerly released one, but this one shows how alcoholism and other types of addiction lead to the same result, despite his hanging around celebrities and making millions of monies.

I was a lonely alcoholic, and I desperately wanted to love someone and be loved in return. But every time I tried to get close to another human being I had crippling panic attacks that kept me isolated and alone.


At times, I almost felt his paragraphs of rich-boy-weeping-over-fame-and-money style felt nearly jeering, but as they bulked up and went on and on—in a good way—one can easily see that yes, money does not buy you love. It buys you expensive drugs and drink, yes.

I’d had a few successful years of making music, and sold tens of millions of records, but now my career was sputtering. I couldn’t find love or success, so I tried to buy happiness. Three years earlier I had spent $6 million in cash on a luxury penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It had been my dream home: five stories on the top of an iconic limestone building overlooking Central Park. Having grown up on food stamps and welfare, I’d assumed that moving to a castle in the sky would bring me happiness. But as soon as I moved into my Upper West Side penthouse I was as sad and anxious as I’d been in my small loft on Mott Street.


One of the boons throughout this book, is Moby's ability to jump between timeslots throughout his life, for example between his starting his first punk band in 1984, intertwined with his inability to stay straight when attending a David Lynch retreat.

Also, Moby digs a bit deeper into his childhood in this book.

My father drove into a wall and killed himself. He and my mother had been living in a basement apartment in Harlem with Jamie, their dog, Charlotte, their cat, three rescued lab rats, and me. One night after a bad fight with my mom, my dad got drunk and drove into the base of a bridge on the New Jersey Turnpike at a hundred miles an hour.


There are tautly kept paragraphs that seemingly contain oodles of after-the-fact-attained wisdom, so easily packed in-between notes of sex and drink, that sleepy readers might miss them.

For all my life I’d wanted nothing more than to love and be loved. But whenever I found someone to love the panic intervened, screaming at me until I retreated to my solitary world. Some very deep part of my brain was protecting me vigilantly and wanted me to be alone. As soon as I did the panic’s bidding and ended whatever relationship I was in, the panic abated. This tautology of panic had been going on for years now. I held onto the increasingly naive hope that someday I’d meet a perfect, kind woman, and with her I’d finally break the cycle.


Some short lines stay in my memory due to the fact of how they stick out from the rest of the text, for example "I filled a glass with Coke and small slices of ice that came from the front of the refrigerator. I took a sip. The bubbles hit my nose and smelled like roses and fruit."

What does not, however, make this book truly spring into the annals of music literature, is that Moby is seemingly still an animal who is trapped by his own nerddom, needily namedropping at any moment's notice, such as with this vapid paragraph:

After the show I drank champagne and vodka in my dressing room with Ewan McGregor. After a few drinks I decided that he and I should go out and drink more, but that I should be naked. Sandy, my tour manager, urged me, “Moby, at least put on a towel.”

So I went out in downtown Melbourne wearing a towel. No shoes. No clothes. Just a towel. Ewan and I stumbled from bar to bar, getting drunker and drunker. At the end of the night we ended up in a subterranean bar filled with Australian celebrities. I’d had ten or fifteen drinks, so I went to the bathroom to pee, and found myself standing at a urinal next to Russell Crowe.

He zipped up his pants, and then pushed me against the wall of the bathroom and started screaming at me. “Uh, we’ve never met,” I tried to say. “Why are you yelling at me?” He never told me, but he kept me pinned against the wall while he shouted and screamed. After a minute he lost interest, cursed a few times, and stumbled out of the bathroom.

I went back to the bar and told Ewan, “Russell Crowe just yelled at me.” “Fuck, mate,” he said. “I wouldn’t worry about it. He yells at everyone.”


Despite those moments, it's obviously sublime to Moby, that he has managed to play "New Dawn Fades" live together with New Order.

The book continuously picks up momentum through paragraphs like the following one, making me think of Emperor Nero as Rome was burning to the ground:

While the last samples were slowly loading, I walked down the hall to the bathroom. My hallway was filling up with framed gold and platinum records. Before Play I’d never received a single one. And now Play had gone gold or platinum in twenty-five different countries, so more framed awards were arriving every week. I didn’t know what to do with them, so they were stacked on top of each other and leaning against the wall in my long hallway.


The book does suffer from the many namedrops, the oodles of times spent drinking, having sex, and doing drugs, plus all of the downfalls from that; I wish it had gone on as it begun, but still, I will gladly read a third autobiography from Moby. There is surely one in his head, and hopefully in the works." said.

November 2019 New Book:

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