Alas, Poor Richard: Fandom, Personal Identity and Ben Myer’s Novelization of Richey Edwards’ Life Story

Mark Duffett, Paula Hearsum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 1995 the Manic Street Preachers played their last show as a four piece before their rhythm guitarist and “minister for propaganda” Richey Edwards disappeared on the advent of a US tour. Although his body was never found, his car was discovered at the Severn bridge so it was assumed Edwards had committed suicide. Fifteen years later, in a novelization called Richard, music journalist Ben Myers wrote a fictionalized first-person account of Richey’s life story in order to explore the troubled guitarist’s mysterious last days. This article uses academic research on fandom to contextualize a range of responses to the publication of Richard. Comparing readings based around parasocial relationships and textual poaching, it shows that fans’ understandings of literary impersonation go well beyond issues of personal intimacy to reflect a broad understanding of the inter-textual fabrication of celebrity images.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2017



  • popular music fans
  • parasocial interaction
  • textual poaching
  • psychological autopsy

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