Books

Karma by Boy George review – Culture Club singer settles scores

The third volume of the former Culture Club singer's memoirs talks of forgiveness while cataloguing his grievances

Karma: My Autobiography by Boy George is out now (Blink Publishing, £22)

Madonna turns up in Britney Spears’ new autobiography, The Woman in Me, as a sort of fairy godmother full of sound advice. In Karma, Boy George’s third volume of memoirs, Madge cameos as an egomaniac with no sense of humour.

George isn’t remotely bothered by that cool reception. Not at all. He goes out of his way in Karma to insist at length that he no longer cares if people dislike him. He feels nothing but love towards everyone he’s ever fallen out with. “I’m not a hateful person” is the abiding mantra.

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People grow, learn and change. That’s true. George’s mea culpa sincerity is convincing at times – he’s aware of his contradictions – but he also spends page after astrology-obsessed page wanging on about personal feuds so tedious they’d test the patience of a Buddhist monk.

He doesn’t hold back, however, when it comes to Audun Carlsen, or “The Human Cauldron” – George never refers to Carlsen by name – who accused him of assault and false imprisonment. George was found guilty and served time in prison, but steadfastly disputes Carlsen’s account.

Was George wronged? Possibly. Who knows? Only George and his accuser do. No matter what you choose to believe, George will magnanimously forgive you.

Paul Whitelaw is a book, TV and music critic.

Karma: My Autobiography by Boy George is out now (Blink Publishing, £22). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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