My Life as a Pretender

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From Chrissie Hynde, one of rock's most iconic, alluring, kick-ass, and (let's face it) sexy women, a brilliant, no-holds barred memoir of a rock life lived to the hilt.

Chrissie Hynde, the songwriter and frontwoman of The Pretenders in its various incarnations, has for 35 years been one of the most admired and adored and imitated figures in rock. This long-awaited memoir tells her life story in full and utterly fascinating detail, from her fifties childhood in Akron, Ohio, to her classic baby boomer seduction by the rock of the sixties to her sojourn in the crucible of punk that was seventies London to her instant emergence with her band The Pretenders in 1980 into stardom as a frontwoman and songwriter. She brings a fantastic eye for detail, a withering and sardonic sense of humor and a fearless and sometimes naked emotional honesty to her memoir, and every line, every word of it, is unmistakably hers. It is sure to be recognized as a classic of rock literature--and man, is it fun to read.


“She may be a Pretender, but Hynde's witty telling of her life story—an Ohio childhood that led to a trailblazing rock career—is definitely not make-believe." —Entertainment Weekly
“A superior rock memoir.” —Peter Simpson, Ottawa Citizen
“[B]rimming with insider yarns to endlessly delight Pretenders acolytes and students of rock ’n’ roll lore. . . . [Reckless is] an enthusiastic love letter to the artists and the music that shaped [Hynde’s] existence.” —Ben Rayner, Toronto Star
Reckless certainly gives an accurate sense of what it’s like to sit down with Chrissie Hynde—she’s acerbic, clever, confrontational. . . . [H]onest and distinctive. . . . Reckless remains first and foremost a love letter to rock ’n’ roll, to the one calling Chrissie ­Hynde never doubted she was stumbling toward.” —Alan Light, The New York Times
“[B]eautifully written.” —The Telegraph

“[B]rash and brassy.” —Slate
Reckless is impressively enjoyable, ego-less and pretention free; what makes this bio stand out from so many other rock star memoirs that clutter the shelves is Hynde’s unflagging honesty and frankness. . . . Compelling, revealing and entertaining, Hynde’s memoir is easily one of the best musician bios to come out in years.” —Neufutur Magazine
“An engaging and frank read. . . . [A] fun rock ’n’ roll memoir. Hynde is not a needy narrator seeking approval. . . . [Reckless] gives a vivid sense of a time and place where kids from backgrounds that shouldn’t have dared to dream sought their own destiny—and often got burnt in the process.” —Patricia Nicol, The Independent

“[G]utsy. . . . She serves up the story of her life . . . boldly, nonchalantly, take it or leave it. . . . Reckless contains one of the freshest, most vivid and engaging accounts of a rock and roll–besotted American falling in love with London and all things British you’ll ever read.” —Stuart Mitchner, Town Topics
“[Reckless] is full of engaging stories, dry wit and revelations. . . . [T]he most captivating aspects of Reckless are Hynde’s unplumbed feelings about gender, sex and being a woman in rock ’n’ roll.” —Meghan O’Rourke, The Guardian
“[Hynde is] an engaging storyteller and here Reckless hits its stride.” —Paul Rees, Daily Express
“[C]ompelling.” —Jude Rogers, The Guardian
“[A] gritty, visceral work that is as much a chronicle of cultural change as it is an account of [Hynde’s] slow rise to fame. . . . Hynde writes much like she speaks: with sharpness, a dry wit and her bullshit-ometer set to high.” —Fiona Sturges, The Independent
“[Reckless] out-rocks them all” —Sibbie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post

“Hynde’s voice leaps off the page, slangy, rapid-fire.” —Rich Heldendfels, Akron Beacon Journal