It is now 17 years since Philip Norman first published The Stones. But while his Beatles biography is justifiably regarded as definitive, you're either a Beatles fan or a Stones fan, never quite both. His Stones book was never the final word. Meanwhile the Stones have never stopped playing. In 2002, therefore - already more than ten years since Bill Wyman left the band - it is certainly time for a new book. And what better author than Stephen Davis, whose Hammer of the Gods is one of the rock books of all time? Now he has written unquestionably the definitive book about the Stones' extraordinary 40-year career. Old Gods Almost Dead, therefore, follows the Stones from their beginnings on London's sixties rhythm and blues scene through to their huge pyrotechnic stadium tours of the nineties; from the tortured self-destruction of Brian Jones to the indestructible 'human riff' that is Keith Richards, and the tabloid gossip surrounding Mick Jagger the modern aristocrat.;It is a dark, often eerie portrait, above all, of a band who have consistently attracted danger, and frequently had something bad around them, whether it be the homicidal mayhem of their disastrous Altamont concert to the chaotically drug-fuelled recording sessions at Keith Richards' French chateau that somehow produced their finest album, Exile on Main Street. And above all it is an unparalleled study of a band at work - stitching together deals, making records, putting on dynamic shows even late into their fifties. It is a saga as raunchily entertaining as the Stones themselves.