Review: Threepenny Memoir by Carl Barat

Title: Threepenny Memoir

Author: Carl Barat

Pages: 227 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

‘Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.’ 

In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Albion; a decade later, Carl would emerge from his second band, the Dirty Pretty Things, after one of the most significant — and turbulent — rock ‘n’ roll trajectories of recent times. Threepenny Memoir navigates the choppy waters of memory, and gives an inside look at life in the eye of the storm, chronicling how a pair of romantics armed with little more than poetry and a punk attitude inspired adoration in millions worldwide — and proceeded to tear apart everything they had. 

With unflinching honesty but real warmth, Carl — who has recently performed with The Libertines for the first time since 2004, and released a solo album — looks back at the creative highs and the drug-addled lows of life with both bands, as well as giving an intimate account of the people and places that have informed his songwriting. From Camden bedsits, impromptu gigs and minesweeping drinks in the Dublin Castle to Japanese groupies, benders in Moscow and chatting to Slash, Threepenny Memoir charts a fantastic course through recent musical history. And, in the aftermath, Carl reflects on the pressures — both external and self-inflicted — that led to each band’s demise, and on the challenges and rewards that life as a solo artist now holds. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

None who know The Libertines can ever accuse Carl Barat of living a boring life. In Threepenny Memoir we see the inception, the excitement and indeed the demise of the the most important bands of the noughties.

What is wonderful about Threepenny Memoir is seeing the love affair (because although it was a platonic thing it has to be called a love affair) between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty from the perspective of an actual Libertine and not from someone at the sidelines of musical history.

What this memoir has managed to do is to remind me just how much I love the music of this era and how much I miss the person I was back then.

Threepenny Memoir by Carl Barat is available now.

For more information regarding Carl Barat (@carlbaratmusic) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.