Random House (Australia), 2013
St Martin’s Press (USA/Canada), 2014
Paidós (Argentina), 2014
“The best book I’ve ever read about AC/DC.”
– Mark Evans (bass player of AC/DC, 1975–’77)
“The best book you’ll read about AC/DC.”
– Sarah Burke (DJ, FM96, London, Ontario, Canada)
“I loved it.” – Jerry Greenberg (president of Atlantic Records, 1974–’80)
“A great job.” – Tony Platt (engineer of Back In Black and Highway To Hell)
“I loved it. A great, gritty read.” – Rob Riley (guitarist of Rose Tattoo)
“The Youngs reveals the truth about who broke AC/DC in America.”
– Bill Bartlett (WPDQ/WAIV Jacksonville DJ, Florida)
“An incredible amount of background… really a scholarly approach within a genre that is traditionally hagiography.”
– Anthony O’Grady (former editor of RAM, Australia)
“A brilliant and fascinating book. From ‘inside the van’ to saving the world. There’s a saying: ‘You couldn’t write this.’ But Fink certainly did.”
– Terry Slesser (Paul Kossoff’s ex-bandmate who auditioned against Brian Johnson to replace Bon Scott in AC/DC)
“I’ve read nearly every book written about AC/DC but Fink’s book is the first that takes a different route and approach to all the others, telling the AC/DC story from a different perspective, with the Young brothers and family as its centre point. Tracking down many of the key people and players in the Young story and history, it unveils new information and unturns many stones that previously remained unturned. The picture one forms of the Youngs and the band itself is more complete than previous books while at the same time leaving much food for thought for any fan. It’s a book that once read, can be read again, a page-turner in every sense of the word. You come out having a more balanced picture of the Youngs and a little more understanding of their workings and why AC/DC are truly Australia’s greatest band ever. Period. Highly recommended and my top pick of 2013.”
– Joe Matera (Australian guitarist and guitar journalist)
“I personally consider The Youngs to be the best book ever written on AC/DC. The research efforts and responses are excellent. The story is very well documented. Anyone who has been reasonably closely associated with the Young brothers will instantly understand the stories and the revelations. If you admire/respect/envy/despise AC/DC, read this.”
– Grahame ‘Yogi’ Harrison (Rose Tattoo sound engineer and legendary Australian roadie)
“Excellent book and a great read. As someone who worked as a roadie and trucked AC/DC in and out of Countdown and across Melbourne and Victoria when they first came to Melbourne from Sydney, [Fink’s] insight and storylines make fantastic reading.”
– Rodd Craig, former AC/DC roadie
“Recent books [about AC/DC]… didn’t offer much to change our perception of the band. Jesse Fink’s study of the Young brothers takes a different approach… giving us a different version of many stories, especially when it comes to the wheeling and dealing behind the rock. Fink is clearly in love with AC/DC, but he knows the old bird has some warts under her make-up, and doesn’t shy away from revelations that cast the Youngs in a less than flattering light.”
– Matt Coyte, Rolling Stone ★ ★ ★ ★ (four stars)
“A savvy new book… Fink, quite properly, can’t stand the kind of music critic who feels pleasing a crowd is a suspect achievement, somehow antithetical to the spirit of rock. In the end, [he] seems to be in two minds about AC/DC. That seems the right number of minds for an adult to be in about them, especially an adult who encountered their best albums during the sweet spot of his youth.
“In preparation for this review, I played my old copy of Back in Black. A week later, I still can’t get the closing track out of my head: ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’. Admittedly, I no longer find that slogan as profoundly persuasive as I did when I was 10. But the tune remains as insidious as ever. Like all great popular art, it slips past the higher faculties. It makes you forget, for three minutes or so, that there’s anything else you’d rather hear.”
– David Free, The Australian
“A superb book. When I initially grabbed The Youngs I referenced what was written about the adventures of my good mate Tony Currenti. Having been in the Alberts studio with George Young was a huge thrill for me, as I had always been an Easybeats tragic, but I can confirm that Tony was doing a lot of work with George away from our band.
“I literally could not put the book down until I had finished it. I was totally engrossed by the story on so many levels. It is the best music bio I have read, not only about the Australian music scene in late ’60s/early ’70s, but just generally about the complex and ruthless business of getting music product onto the world market.
“I found the book down to earth and even-handed, but to keep it brief my personal highlights were: Tony’s incredible story; the absolute humility and courage of Mark Evans (a reminder to us all to accept what life throws at us and to keep moving forward); Mark Opitz’s relentless search for the ‘gold’ Marshall; the Mutt Lange/Tony Platt era; the assistance AC/DC received along the way from an extraordinarily diverse group of people, simply because they loved the music; comments from Radio Birdman members; and, of course, the beautiful one-liners from the incredible Rob Riley.
“I have always believed that George is a musical genius and I, along with many people, question whether the boys in AC/DC would have been the worldwide phenomenon they are without him and his experience and the Alberts connection. This is not to denigrate them, but at the time there were thousands of other good bands that worked hard and invested heavily in themselves but could not catch a break. I also fall into the category of thinking that post Bon Scott the band was never quite as good.
“Fink has succeeded in raising issues that only the major players involved could answer, but with his investigative ability his conclusions stand up well. Fink has captured the intrigue, the blood, the sweat and the stunning ruthlessness required to become the huge enterprise that AC/DC has succeeded in becoming. Their music is part of the soundtrack of millions of people’s lives, including mine. As for the Young brothers, George is a legend; Malcolm and Angus remain enigmas. Fink has written a classic.”
– Phil Doherty, guitarist, Jackie Christian & Flight (1970s Albert Productions band)
“Using 11 classic tracks as his starting point, Jesse Fink delivers a fresh biographical take on AC/DC. The accomplished journalist balances a serious appreciation for the music with a driving desire to cut through the mystery and misinformation shrouding this seminal rock and roll band. Fink’s book should satisfy both diehard fans and those who love reading good biographies.”
– iTunes “Editors’ Notes”
“Being an all-round nice guy is no prerequisite to getting rich. Jaw-dropping reinforcement of this point is about to hit your local bookstore in the form of The Youngs by Jesse Fink… this version of the George, Malcolm and Angus saga includes testimony to the power of the music – Fink is a huge AC/DC fan and credits their songs with getting him through a divorce – but of most interest is the sheer business bloody-mindedness of the trio.
“Fink tracks down former bandmates, managers and associates who feel they were cut adrift by the Youngs once their financial usefulness had past. He also details a web of tax shelters and savvy merchandising deals that belie the brothers’ yob-rock image. One casualty along the Youngs’ road to the top was the guy who designed their iconic logo in 1977, Gerard Huerta. A Rosetta Stone of rock, the logo has undoubtedly made many of the Youngs’ millions by itself, but Huerta has never received royalties.”
– Michael Bailey, BRW (Sydney)
“For dedicated fans, or those with a keen interest in the machinations of the music industry, this is a thoroughly researched, critical appreciation of what it takes to create a successful rock band that doubles as a family business. The superficial impression of AC/DC might revolve around the onstage skylarking of Angus Young in his famous school uniform costume, or the mania the band can engender in their legions of head-banging fans, but behind the scenes there’s a history of very serious enterprise… I salute [Fink] for his passion… [his] intriguing tribute to their accomplishments certainly lends gravity and substance to our understanding of their musical significance.”
– Lara Cain Gray, This Charming Mum (blog)
“Exploring the reasons why AC/DC shot to fame, why their music remains popular, what makes AC/DC unique, is at the heart of this book. Seeking the opinions of industry experts and insiders, Fink reveals some of the behind-the-scenes secrets and little known facts about the band’s development and management, exposing the crises, the arguments, the betrayals and the controversies. Fink also spends some time tracing AC/DC’s relationship with Atlantic Records and their entry into the US music scene.
“An accessible read, offering plenty of well researched details, The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is a book for ardent fans and music aficionados, and the head-banging ‘bogan’ that still lurks beneath the present-day, middle-class veneer.”
– Shelleyrae Cusbert, Book’d Out (blog)
– Mornings with Steve Austin, 612 ABC Brisbane (Australia)
“A great read.”
– Leila McKinnon, Weekend Today, Channel Nine (Australia)
“The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC promises to be… essential AC/DC history.”
– Loudwire (New York)
“Three brothers, 40 years and some 200 million albums – this is the story of George, Malcolm and Angus Young, the boys behind AC/DC. While a lot’s been written about them over the years, this provides a definitive history of the trio, with accounts from rockers Guns N’ Roses, among others.”
– GQ Australia’s “Essential Summer Reading”
“Sometimes it seems as if all the shocking rock and roll stories have been told, but [in The Youngs] there was a revelation that has genuinely raised eyebrows and opened mouths… Mark Evans, bassist in AC/DC until 1977, confirmed that Bon Scott overdosed on heroin in 1975 and was almost sacked from the band, a moment which would have changed the course of rock history. With this taster, Jesse Fink’s book sounds like essential reading.”
– MetalTalk.net (London)
“Jesse Fink has taken a fresh approach in his latest book, The Youngs, looking at the Young dynasty through a clutch of their best songs, complete with brutally honest critical analysis along the way… the deeper Fink goes down the rabbit hole to unearth the truth behind the Young Brothers… the more it becomes clear that many ‘truths’ exist and since the principals aren’t saying a word to anyone, what develops is a Rashomon-like tale… it’s an approach that pays dividends.”
– Shane Pinnegar, 100PerCentRock.com (Australia)
Find out what the readers said at Goodreads.
Hachette Australia, 2012
“If you’ve had your heart broken/been on the dating scene/had sex, read Laid Bare. Unputdownable.”
– Kerri Sackville, author of The Little Book of Anxiety
“Laid Bare is promoted as a man’s search for love and Fink sure chooses the long and winding road. The messiness that plays out is an insightful peek at the side of internet dating the sparkly TV ads would prefer stayed in the shadows.
“The sex is lewd, frighteningly plentiful and, as Fink discovered, utterly empty. This stripped-back account of what men are really looking for in online dating reveals it to be a place of predators and prey, games and lies.
“Fink, an awarded sports journalist, is an excellent writer and storyteller and his book is compelling reading. His honesty is admirable, his story bittersweet and his experiences will make the reader squirm.”
– Jane Fynes-Clinton, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) and The Courier-Mail (Brisbane)
“Laid Bare is an insightful exploration of male sexuality. Fink’s torrid tale invites readers to consider the ways in which our consumer-driven society, focused on social media, has changed human sexual endeavours and relationships. His deeply honest and authentic narrative allows us to journey with him, through the bedrooms of beautiful women around the world, as he struggles to find peace and comfort through intimacy. Laid Bare is an extraordinary depiction of how sex, even too much sex, can be a normal and healthy part of coping and grief in the life of a man.”
– Dr David Ley, author of The Myth of Sex Addiction and Insatiable Wives
“One notable exception [to the string of unsatisfying books and articles about sex in the digital age] was sports journalist Jesse Fink’s harrowing 2012 memoir, Laid Bare, in which he chronicled his sex-addled online dating adventures as a newly single father. The difference was Fink readily admitted he behaved as a ruthless cad towards the women he met and his self-loathing gave his book an authenticity sorely lacking in similar works.”
– Bettina Arndt, The Sydney Morning Herald
“One hell of a writer.”
– Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was A Liar
“The life of a newly single father has not been much explored in Australian literature. In many ways the separated man loses his old identity and needs to carve a new one. This man’s voice is not often heard, possibly because men aren’t good at talking about this, let alone writing about it.
“Laid Bare is shocking in many ways, notably the graphic descriptions of the sleazy, objectifying and superficial world of online dating… Fink brings us a gruesome and telling portrait.
“The book is about a lost soul trying to find himself, trying to curb the anger he felt about what had happened to his life, trying to work out who he used to be and who he is now.”
– Peter Wilmoth, The Herald Sun (Melbourne)
“The eye-popping truth about internet dating from one man’s sex-addled perspective. X-rated, honest and compelling, this is a must-read for any man dating online.”
– Men’s Health
“Extremely honest stuff. Four stars.”
“This is a balls-and-all account of a bloke using extreme physical activity to try to mend a broken heart. Fink opens his deep wounds for inspection, his engaging style pitch perfect to document both his foolhardy actions and his extreme vulnerability.”
– The Townsville Bulletin
“Fink’s brutally honest, tell-all memoir about his adventures in online dating is worth reading as much for his personal journey from committed family man to ruthless cad to devoted dad as for the missives it issues from the frontlines of modern love.
“He shares these war stories with the cynicism of a veteran, telling of marriages of quiet desperation and the difficulty of monogamy – though Fink is living proof of the utter devastation of divorce. He’s also something of a hopeless romantic who takes to casual hook-ups with abandon. Later, when relationship is the end goal, he strings along two women unable to choose which one he wants, only to find out that the one he chooses drops him for a better offer. Such is the nature of love online, where men and women play and get played in turn.
“Laid Bare doesn’t just chronicle Fink’s post-divorce ‘festival of sexual bounty’, but also offers some incisive commentary on modern life – including the observation that there are serious pitfalls to having too much choice.”
– Justine Toh, The Drum, ABC
“What a ride… it’s well worth reading.”
– Natasha Mitchell, Life Matters, Radio National, ABC
“A brilliant book… [an] invaluable insight into the enigma that is the male heart.”
– Anjali Rao, Dateline, SBS-TV
“Jesse Fink offers up his life on an operating table, dissecting his divorce from his wife of 10 years and cataloguing the anatomy of his attempts to find love in the turbulent, murky waters of online dating…
“While there’s no happy ending for Jesse, there is peace and perhaps that’s the more important thing.
“But the scariest part of this tell-all account was when I saw chunks of myself as a single, over-hormonal man in it.
“It might be a story of the apocalypse of and after divorce, but it’s still applicable to the broader male experience, especially as modern man sinks further into the Internet Age.”
– Rob Farquhar, The Cairns Post
– Julia Morris, Mornings, Channel Nine
“A great read. Go out there and get it, especially if you are a newly single dad as well. It might teach you a thing or two about what to do and what not to do.”
– David Campbell, Mornings, Channel Nine
“Fascinating… I read it in one sitting.”
– Barry Nicholls, WA Regional Drive, ABC
“A great book.”
– Australian Penthouse
“It is easy to be seduced by Jesse Fink’s style. A former editor at Inside Sport and contributor at Golf Magazine, Fink has been one of Australia’s must-read sportswriters for over a decade. Here, however, he diverts a long way from the sporting spectrum – delivering a memoir on a cataclysmic period in his life that takes place directly after being blindsided by divorce… Fink’s thought-provoking prose weaves around Fifty Shades of Grey comparisons in his signature style.”
– Luke Dodemaide, Golf Magazine Australia
“Harrowing reading… [but with] valuable insights into the seedier side of the modern dating market and the feelings of loneliness and disconnection out there.”
– Kate Cox, Sunday Life (The Sunday Age, Melbourne, and The Sun Herald, Sydney)
“Not for the faint-hearted… confronting… raw, honest and compelling.”
– Bonita Mersiades, Motherpedia
“Laid Bare did a number of things for me. Firstly, it made me feel like I was not alone. That the deepest insecurities I had in my life were to be embraced and challenged not buried in the notes of a psychiatrist’s file. Fink’s prose spoke to me. And I felt that I was there in the moment with him. Written by a man for a man.
“Men will love this book, not all, but many. Certainly those who’ve dared to risk it all for love. Fink’s graphic descriptive fucking, boundless pursuit of female attention and perfection, unavoidable self-loathing, and rock ’n’ roll soundtrack make reading enjoyable even for the most blokey of blokes. This book could easily be turned into a TV drama series, perhaps for Showcase.”
– Anthony Siokos, Snafued (blog)
“I congratulate Fink on his upfront storytelling. As a woman I found what he had to say extremely confronting.”
– Hermes Witch (blog)
“Ladies, if you want to give the online dating a whirl do yourself a favour and read a book called Laid Bare by Jesse Fink.”
– AussieMumNetwork (blog)
“An eye-opening, fascinating read.”
– Lori Dwyer, The Modern Woman’s Survival Guide (blog)
“This isn’t just another sappy love story. Laid Bare is exactly what it is: laid bare. It is full of sex, passion and other crazy things that will keep you at the edge of your seat… from page one I was taken aback with his upfront details and the sexual scenes, although it only pulled me in more. I didn’t put the book down for hours. It’s absolutely a must read.”
– Justine Yusi, Motherdriven.com.au (blog)
“Amazing international sportswriter and thought leader turns into amazing author.”
– ChangeFIFA (Washington, DC)
“It’s been a really long time since I read a book that I couldn’t put down until I finished it. Laid Bare is such a book and it cuts to the heart of what men go through when relationships end. Powerful, raw and real… I think both men and women will get a lot out of it.”
– Victoria Kasunic, psychologist
Find out what the readers said here.
Hardie Grant Books, 2007
“Fink certainly knows how to cover a major sporting event… the end result is a series of narratives culminating in the goals now seared into the memories of most Australians… Fink can take it moment and turn it into a vivid experience.”
– Fred Pawle, The Australian
“Colourful, critical… [Fink] opens up the body of Australian soccer in an at times brutal live post-mortem. Chapter by chapter, entire organs are removed and held up, still pulsing, for observation – coaches (brain), junior development (reproductive system), management (heart), elements within the FFA (butthole). Strong stuff.”
– Inside Sport
“Like Tim Cahill in Kaiserslautern a year ago, Jesse Fink has come to the rescue for Australia.”
“Fink’s game analysis is superb, revealing his years of experience as a sports journalist… there is a subtle blend of reportage and opinion, and time and again, I found myself recalling the action nodding in agreement. [It’s] a fascinating amalgam of on-the-ground experience, meticulous research and considered opinion.”
– Tony Wilson, Das Libero