Face the Music: A Life Exposed
By Paul Stanley
My Rating: 4 Stars
Have I ever mentioned how much I like memoirs? I do. They are, perhaps, my favorite type of nonfiction writing in existence. They are honest, gritty, moving, traumatic and insightful all at the same time. They can lift you up, break your heart, and make you see yourself in a different light all through someone else’s story. What is it I love so much about memoirs so much? I suppose it’s the honesty in them. The way the author is able to reveal more of themselves by telling their own story. Only we can tell our story and only we will tell it best. While I don’t kid myself by assuming that all these authors wrote the stories without assistance since not everyone is a writer, I know they have a huge influence in how the story is told. It’s their story from their perspective. In contract, a biography is written entirely from someone else’s point of view, it’s the authors interpretation. How honest is that? They certainly aren’t personal and they don’t come from the heart. I see biographies like a text book. Memoirs however, are the heart of the subject, not just a retelling of events. Sure events could be skewed and inaccurate, but they reflect the author who lived the events being described. That’s probably what I loved so much about this book.
Face the Music is about Paul Stanley of Kiss also knows as “Starchild”. The frontman for the band has put together a gritty retelling of the Kiss story from his perspective. He recounts how his traumatic childhood and his disability made him strive harder to make the band and himself successful. Having devoted over 40 years of his life to making Kiss a success, Stanley recounts and reflects upon the trials, tribulations, successes and failures of both Kiss and it’s members over the course of their lives. This is the story of a man who despite his childhood, sought to make something great, not of himself but for the world. This ordinary man, who became something extraordinary. It’s an inspirational tale of how one can follow their dreams, find everything they ever wanted and nothing at the same time. And in the end, through all the trials and tribulations, you can find peace, harmony and love. Stanley expertly weaves his tale from awkward to over-the-top with the appearance of having it all, but failing to achieve the greatest thing of all, and then finally finding it in the most unexpected place.
I selected this book on a whim. It’s not the typical type of memoir that I reach for but I’m glad I did. Stanley’s voice is honest, personal, humorous and heartbreaking. Despite his fame, he is an average man who has done extraordinary things and because of all the storms he has weathered and overcome, he is a true inspiration. I listened to the audiobook which I highly recommend because it’s narrated by Stanley himself, which was a major bonus for the audio since it gives the feeling of sitting around someones living room listening to someone recount their life. I used the print book to write this blog and to also see the pictures that I knew would accompany the print version. Voted one of the best books for 2014 on Amazon in Humor and Entertainment, it’s going to keep you hooked until the very last page. Even if you aren’t a big Kiss fan, or don’t typically read about rockstars, I highly recommend this gem. You’ll most certainly find inspiration in all that Stanley has achieved and accomplished in his life.