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Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to…

Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit

by Richard Coles

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343329,500 (3.88)5
  1. 00
    Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (charl08)
    charl08: Richard Coles is (possibly) the basis for Bridget's friend, the one-hit wonder. Both the novel and biography are laugh out loud funny.

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In many ways this resembles a confession, a story of his life without glossing over the moments where he has not been good to his fellow humans, including himself.

I remember the Communards and there were periods reading this that I was humming "Don't leave me this way" almost continuously, and there was a moment where I checked that Jimmy Somerville was still alive and not one of the many victims of Aids. This was an interesting look at Richard Coles life and his experiences after the Communards broke up and his subsequent career, ending with his ordination into the Anglican church.

I had heard this was coming out from Richard's twitter account, where every day he starts with a Saint, sometimes obscure, always entertaining, often poking light fun at some of the more outrageous claims but always showing compassion. A man I would like to sit down and talk to about saints and life.

This doesn't spare himself, he is not rosy about his own faults and he can see where he stumbled but on the whole I enjoyed it wholeheartedly. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 23, 2015 |
Such a moving book in so many different aspects. An compelling, honest and real account of life and faith. Absolutely terrified me with flashbacks to Mirfield, but pointed to a much more gracious and healthy way to deal with it than I ever managed. ( )
  pamjw | Jan 22, 2015 |
To appreciate this book, you firstly need to know who The Communards were, so perhaps this is a book that appeals more to European readers.

I firstly came along this book as being number 1 in Anglican Books on Amazon, and having read it I remain amazed that it is classified in such a way. If you read this expecting a journey on faith, I guess you'll get a snippet of that along the way, but really this is more of an insight into the out of control world of gay pop stars in the 1980s.

Yes, a good third of the book centres on Richard finding religion, and eventually his way to the pulpit, but I can see there would be many devout Christian readers out there who would have a serious issue with reading about a man in training for the clergy using cocaine to stay awake during the final hours of an esteemed colleague in hospital.

I think what Richard wanted to achieve through this autobiography was both a published chronicle of his own life, and a sense of an open door to Jesus for lapsed Christians or atheists.

If you are of the modern world, not homophobic or shocked by gay revelations, have not necessarily always treaded a righteous path, and have nagging desire in your heart to find your faith again, then yes - I think there is religious relevance to be found in this book.

It's well written and incredible interesting - that one person can have led such polar existences in a single lifetime is enthralling in itself, and Richard's recognition of his own vanities during those heydays of pop makes for an honest read. Bizarrely, there is a sense of growing conceitedness in the period of the book focusing on his new life as a man of the cloth - evidence I guess that this is the part of his life that he's most proud of. ( )
2 vote AlisonY | Jan 19, 2015 |
Showing 3 of 3
The most important thing about an autobiography is that it should be honest (although many aren't). This is that, almost to a fault. Coles lets us see him in the depths of depression as a young man, and in a hell of drug-related self-absorption in his post-Communards confusion. He dislikes many aspects of his body and his personality. He shows himself as vain and irritable. He admits that some of the best Communards anecdotes may have been invented for the PR agency; and he tells stories against himself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0297870300, Hardcover)

The Reverend Richard Coles is a parish priest in Northamptonshire and a regular host of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live. He is also the only vicar in Britain to have had a number 1 hit single: the Communards' 'Don't Leave Me This Way' topped the charts for four weeks and was the biggest-selling single of its year. Fathomless Riches is his remarkable memoir in which he divulges with searing honesty and intimacy his pilgrimage from a rock-and-roll life of sex and drugs to a life devoted to God and Christianity. Music is where it began. Richard Coles was head chorister at school, and later discovered a love of saxophone together with the magic of Jimmy Somerville's voice. Against a backdrop of intense sexual and political awakening, the Communards were formed, and Richard Coles's life as a rock star began. Fathomless Riches - a phrase characteristic of St Paul and his followers - is a deeply personal and illuminating account of a transformation from hedonistic self-abandonment to 'the moment that changed everything'. Funny, warm, witty and wise, it is a memoir which has the power to shock as well as to console. It will be hailed as one of the most unusual and readable life stories of recent times.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

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