Irish Book Awards

My Crazy World

Sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain, Christy Dignam has been a national figure in Ireland for more than three decades. In the 1980s, as the charismatic singer with Aslan, Christy seemed poised to follow U2 into the stratosphere of Planet Pop. Sensationally, it was not to be. Stardom was snatched away from his grasp. Instead came heroin addiction, the terror of being stalked by a murderous debt-collector, and the disintegration of his marriage.

Christy’s story is much more than a rock autobiography. With sparkling wit and humour, he brings to life an Ireland already fading into folk memory. He vividly recalls an idyllic Dublin childhood brought to a jarring end by the sexual abuse of two neighbours. He recounts his first gig, an IRA fund-raiser where dangerous men demanded he sing the national anthem which he didn’t know. He recalls how Aslan were trampled in the stampede to sign ‘the next U2’ and how, finally granted their wish, they embraced a life of sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll.

A pivotal early meeting with Bono left Christy feeling bruised and resentful, but the two boyhood neighbours would become firm friends. Near to death, Christy entered a Tibetan monastery for a gruelling month of tough love. Within hours of completing a painful detox, he was trawling Bangkok for heroin. Christy found the strength to get clean. He found a new joy in his family and in sobriety, only to be stricken with a cancer that he knows will end his life. Christy Dignam’s story is a truly uplifting and deeply funny account of a thousand lifetimes packed into one single extraordinary life.

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