Autobiography · Books · Non-Fiction · Reviews

What Does This Button Do? ~ Book Review


What Does This Button Do? An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson34091173

Illustrated by: n/a

Translated by: n/a

Series: n/a

Published: October 19th 2017, HarperCollins

Edition: Hardback

Length: 384 pages

Narrated By: N/A

Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography

Where Did I Get It? I pre-ordered a copy as soon as I saw it was going to be a thing because Bruce Dickinson is made of awesome. Plus that meant I got one of the special first print run editions with black sprayed edges – soooo pretty!

Blurb: A long-awaited memoir from the larger-than-life, multifaceted lead vocalist of Iron Maiden, one of the most successful, influential and enduring rock bands ever.

Pioneers of Britain’s nascent Rock & Metal scene back in the late 1970s, Iron Maiden smashed its way to the top, thanks in no small part to the high-octane performances, operatic singing style, and stage presence of its second, but twice-longest-serving, lead singer, Bruce Dickinson. As Iron Maiden’s front man – first from 1981 to 1993, and then from 1999 to the present – Dickinson has been, and remains, a man of legend.

But OTT front man is just one of the many hats Bruce wears. In addition to being one of the world’s most storied and well-respected singers and songwriters, he is an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, and film scriptwriter. He has also competed as a world-class level fencer. Often credited as a genuine polymath Bruce, in his own words (and handwritten script in the first instance!), sets forth many personal observations guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.

Dickinson turns his unbridled creativity, passion, and anarchic humour to reveal some fascinating stories from his life, including his thirty years with Maiden, his solo career, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, his early bands, fatherhood and family, and his recent battle with cancer.

Bold, honest, intelligent and very funny, WHAT DOES THIS BUTTON DO? is an up-close look inside the life, heart, and mind of one of the most unique and interesting men in the world; a true icon of rock.

Opening Line(s):

I had been circling for two hours over Murmansk, but the Russians would not let us land.


My Review: As a rule, I don’t read autobiographies. I don’t like them.

I loved this one.

Bruce Dickinson is a big personality and that is what’s got him to where he is today, but he is also very self-aware and is brutally honest throughout this book. I love that. I love that he admits to making mistakes, to being preciocious and a bit of an idiot at times. He is utterly confident in himself without being full of himself and that is very refreshing to read.

He is also very funny in a dry, sarcastic, British way that tickles me in all the right places – I was regularly chuckling to myself whilst reading (and once almost snorted Pepsi out of my nose because he made a funny at an inopportune moment, I know, I’m so attractive…)

Dickinson is a clever man, and the fact that instead of finding a vice in drugs or drink in the midst of his rock and roll life, he found one in flying probably says more about him than anything else.

When he had free time on the road, he went off and learned to fly. He didn’t make a big thing about it, he just went and did it. It’s really quite impressive and the tales from his flying adventures (and the process of becoming a qualified airline pilot) were probably my favourite sections of the book.

Even if you don’t like Iron Maiden or have never heard of Bruce Dickinson, this is worth picking up. It is witty, easy to read and really interesting – he has done a lot of things with his life and it is fascinating to go along on the journey with him.

It made me go back and relisten to all the Maiden albums I loved to death as a teen and I may have also bought one of his solo albums for Caius for Christmas too…

My Rating: 5/5*


Sound like your kind of read?

Buy a copy of What Does This Button Do?: Paperback £7.99/Kindle £4.99/Audio CD £17.35

2 thoughts on “What Does This Button Do? ~ Book Review

  1. This sounds really good! I do like to read autobiographies from time to time and it’s not really important to me whether it’s someone I’m a big fan of, it’s far more important that they are someone who has led an interesting life – and it sounds like he has led a very interesting life!

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