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More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  274 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
A love song to an American icon: the first full-length biography of Carly Simon, from an acclaimed music journalist who has known her for decades

Carly Simon has won two Grammys and an Academy Award, and her albums have sold more than forty million copies. She has touched countless lives and is considered an icon in 1970s music, yet her own life story has remained a mystery
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ebook, 432 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Gotham Books
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Carly Thompson
I began reading this biography and gave up and skimmed most of it. My problem is that the author is a very poor stylist. He writes of Carly Simon's birth, "World War II began for America in late 1941, and a third daughter, Carly Elizabeth Simon, was born toward its conclusion." What type of biographer leaves the birth date of his subject vague? That sentence made me think Carly Simon was born in December 1941, when she was born in June of 1945. Much of the book is written as then this happened, ...more
Ken
Jul 29, 2012 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this over the weekend, and although I am not a fan of this type of music (Lite Rock/Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary), the story of Carly Simon's life made for an entertaining and gossipy read. She is no doubt a child of wealth and privilege, and has led a remarkable 'storybook life'. Her father was the co-founder of Simon and Schuster, she is the friend and lover to numerous super famous men, the ex-wife of James Taylor, and she has written and sung songs that are undeniably part of America' ...more
Robin
Dec 25, 2015 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio-rock
The reviews are all over the map and I'm unsure how much of what the author relates is the truth (he states he is a "friend" of the family but others say he's not and had no business writing this biography) but I found some of it quite interesting. I've been a fan since Carly burst on the scene with "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" and liked learning more about the inspiration behind her songs. And yes, I freely admit it, the gossip about her various marriages and mental health we ...more
Jim Nemeth
Aug 19, 2016 Jim Nemeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DO NOT buy this book thinking that it is a true biography or has Carly's approval in any way or form.

Please be aware that this is NOT a authorized biography of Carly Simon. Carly had NO input to this book and is furious and upset with the untrue picture Davis paints of her within.

The book is a collection of uncredited quotes from other sources. The author did little original research of his own - what is the author's own actual contributions are fabrications. He additionally "borrowed" freely fr
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Al
Sep 29, 2012 Al rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“Unauthorized biography”—two words that conjure both good and bad with readers. For some it means a juicy biography with incidents that the subject would prefer suppressed. For others it likely leads to a poorly written “clip job” by a writer with little or no access to the subject, so he has to rely on public sources. This “unauthorized biography” of Carly Simon tends towards the latter, unfortunately. Simon’s life has been a veritable open book with years of candid interviews and revealing son ...more
Angie
Sep 13, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this was an unauthorized biography, Carly Simon stated that the author was a friend of the family and she had known him very well during her lifetime. Much of it is music oriented, i.e. when she wrote, what she wrote and what she sang, and is easily depicted in chronological form. The parts that were really interesting to me was her shyness, the fact that she stuttered and suffered from stage fright her entire adult life and, of course, the story of her relationship and marriage to J ...more
Debra
May 13, 2012 Debra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Carly's music since the beginning of her solo career, and hoped this might provide more than gossipy info. It doesn't, really. Some things I'd read elsewhere, and that, along with sloppy errors (dates mostly) make this a less than compelling read. But I DID read it all and in one weekend, so obviously it was enough to keep me turning the pages.

I wish Carly would offer her own story, but based on the knowledge I do have of her, her background and history would seem to preclude that p
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Robin
Jun 13, 2012 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I didn't expect great writing, just a readable "popular" biography. However, I did expect someone to fact-check the manuscript. George Gershwin died of a heart attack? Duke Snider was black? Record executive Mo "Austin?" Hall & Oates's big hit "Every Time She Goes Away?" Mia Farrow is Woody Allen's ex-wife? These are inexcusable errors. And who knows how many I missed?? Pathetic.
This is the first Goodreads review I have written...because I'm just so disgusted by the state of pu
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Louise
There is a huge gap between what this is and what a biography of this amazing singer songwriter should be. On the positive side, author Steven Davis has created a chronology of Simon's life. The merely reportorial parts of the book are good, but an attitude, like that expressed in the title continues to surface.

Carly Simon is singular in her work, style and achievements. She made full voiced melodic (almost operatic) recordings and was successful in competition with hard rock, the Beatles, folk
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Steve
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in the day, (before people actually said, “Back in the day”), when this reviewer was playing Carly Simon music on the radio, I had no concept of her personal life. Absolutely no clue. I didn’t read the trade publications much. With the possible exception of Billboard magazine occasionally. But now, thanks to her biographer, Stephen Davis, boy, do I know now!

As Davis so graphically illustrates in this unauthorized biography, it’s interesting to note that both Simon and her first husband, Jam
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Roo
Apr 23, 2014 Roo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the many references in this book to my old haunts on the East Coast - The Bitter End and The Village in NYC in the early 1970's.
Although author Stephen Davis claims the book is approved by Simon, the writing felt a bit voyeuristic to me.
Davis wrote about Buzzy Linhart, whom I saw back in the day at Central Park, 1972. And he mentions Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and especially, Mick Jagger. I didn't know about James Taylor's addictions - almost in a way I wish I didn't have
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Laren
I prefer memoirs to biographies, and this book reminded me why. I picked it up mistakenly thinking it was the autobiography of Carly Simon, but it makes a very big point of stating that it is an unauthorized biography. I read it anyway. The biographer had apparently met his subject numerous times because he was friends with her brother. He inserts a few too many biased statements making it clear that he is a huge fan, and therefore felt that her story should be told even though he admits that Ms ...more
Leah
May 22, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love reading about the songwriters of this era. This book is fascinating if you love Carly Simon and know a little bit about her history, otherwise, I would say it's a long read if you're just looking to find out a little bit about her. Every album, every song, and the stories behind them are mentioned. One thing I did not realize was how heavily James Taylor's drug addition played into the downfall of their marriage. After living on Martha's Vineyard for a while, people used to talk ab ...more
Jim Nemeth
Aug 11, 2016 Jim Nemeth rated it did not like it
DO NOT buy this book thinking that it is a true biography or has Carly's approval in any way or form.

Please be aware that this is NOT a authorized biography of Carly Simon. Carly had NO input to this book and is furious and upset with the untrue picture Davis paints of her within.

The book is a collection of uncredited quotes from other sources. The author did little original research of his own - what is the author's own actual contributions are fabrications. He additionally "borrowed" freely fr
...more
Elizabeth Periale
http://xoxoxoe.blogspot.com/2013/09/t...

"If you hoped that this (or any) book would give an insight into the real story behind her top hit "You're So Vain" this is not the case. As many errors or missteps as this book may take, there are a few underlying suggestions, that if they are true, are quite interesting. That Carly's interest in working with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger led to a long-term friendship (and possible affair). That her success may have fueled jealousy with husband Taylor. That s
...more
Sheryl


This book held my attention and the discussions about her music were interesting enough, but overall not a very indepth biography. The author portrays Carly as always carrying a torch for James Taylor, yet Taylor refusses to even speak to her. I really didn't get a strong sense of why he cut off communciation with her. There is also mention that her daughter Sally didn't speak to Carly for awhile over a dispute with Sally's husband about land. Huh? It seems there are many casual mentions of Carl
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Joy
Jul 22, 2012 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a rather long, but interesting book on tape. I must say that I really like Carly Simon's
'Mockingbird" song, but I didn't know much about her other than her father was the Simon is Simon and Schuster Publishers. The book told in detail (a bit too much for me) of how every record was written and recorded, including all the musicians on each song. What was amazing was her many, many love affairs. I thought they might be as extensive as Wilt Chamberlain's for awhile. She comes from a very m
...more
Ursula Shelton
Aug 05, 2015 Ursula Shelton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Carly Simon fan...I really enjoy her music. I never knew that she came from such a distinguished family and that she experienced so many heartaches in life. She had a wonderful career and had relationships with so many famous folks. I would certainly recommend this book to both family and friends. This book is about a wonderful person who never gives up on life; she loves her children, siblings and at one time her ex-husbands. She had a wonderful career and worked with many artists. She i ...more
PennsyLady (Bev)
More Room In A Broken Heart by Carly Simon

I just mentioned the other day that I didn't care to read unauthorized bios
This turned out to be unauthorized.
But, it did involve true stories and portrayals.

Carly Simon: "I know the author (Stephen Davis), so there's some integrity.
He's interviewed me over the years; he knows my family.
He's a good guy.
He's written many books about rock and rollers."

For me:
3.25
..all the anxiety experienced made me anxious but there was a well defined time line.
A treat fo
...more
Robyn Obermeyer
I found this book at salvation army, I found the cover and photos to be beautiful!I quickly realized it was not Carly writing ,it was some guy,and how can he get away with this kind of book? Yes there was a lot of information about the albums and the songs and a lot to much imformation about stuff that is none of his business.The book had a lot of James Taylor in it and I did read it all,but in some way it feels wrong to go on about someone elses life and feelings......I think Carly Simon is a b ...more
Brian E. Spivey
Apr 17, 2014 Brian E. Spivey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lifelong Carly Simon fans, I found this book fascinating. I realize it is not an authorized biography, but it is an entertaining read, even if not totally factual.

I can remember the people, and many of the songs mentioned in the book and I was captured by the narrative story telling, and thrilled to get a small peak into the personal life and person that is Carly Simon.

Love you, Carly. Keep on singing.
Lynn Shurden
May 07, 2012 Lynn Shurden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe since I'm such a Carly Simon fan, I really enjoyed this book. It was enlightening regarding the many drug abuse problems of James Taylor too. The author's background history of her family proved to be interesting to me also. Never connected the Simon and Schuster to her family! It was an easy read since I checked it out on a Thursday from MY public library and finished it Sunday night.
Richard
Dec 08, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up in the Seventies and you were a fan of Carly Simon and her contemporaries, you will enjoy this unauthorized biography. Despite her musical accomplishments, she seems to have experienced a lot of unhappiness and disappointment in her life. Of course, it seems much of it might have been of her own making.
Janet
Feb 14, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other reviews of the book were not positive, but I thought the book was pretty good. Even though it was an unauthorized bio, I think the author knew the Simon family and tried to be fair. If Carly Simon ever writes her autobiography I will read it, but since that has not happened, this book satisfies my curiosity about a singer/songwriter who I have listened to for many years.
Pat Lampe
I enjoyed this book. Carly Simon is one of a kind and has worked hard for her life and family. I especially liked learning more about her music and the music of the day. Just because she was from a prominent and wealthy family did not guarantee a carefree childhood but she worked hard to overcome the sadness and fears. I admire her.
Raymonds009
Jan 17, 2016 Raymonds009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is warts and all. Her passion for her music and her performances is paramount. This is not an authorized bio but it is by someone whom she thinks highly of which is obvious from the writing style and sure hand on the problems in her life. There is also a wonderful recreation of what was going on in her life during the composing. I suspect you will like it too. I hope so.
Susan Beals
After reading this book my thought was, sometimes the less you know about a person the better off you are. After reading other reviews of this book maybe I should suspend an opinion of Carly Simon until I have read something about her from another source. I have loved Carly's music, but wow, I hope her life hasn't been as miserable and ugly as this book portrays it.
Steven
Dec 21, 2012 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how factual all of the information in this book is, based on other reviews from others whom have read it. But since the subject matter dealt with two of my favorite musicians, Carly Simon and James Taylor, I thought I'd give it a read. It wasn't bad but some of the information provided didn't seem to add up.
Lee Ann
As a long time Carly Simon fan, I really did not know much about her personal background, just loved her sound and music. This was a very interesting and fun read and I felt like an insider with her stories. Well done and direct in dealing with faults, flaws and successes of this amazing and talented woman.
Brenda Osborne
I did learn a lot about Carly Simon that I didn't know. For example, she is a stutterer, which is why you don't see her often in concerts or tours. However, I did find the writing kind of dry. But if you enjoy Carly Simon's music, you will probably want to read this book just to learn more about this amazing song writer.
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Full of fabrications; not authorized or approved by Carly 1 18 Jan 09, 2012 12:20PM  
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American music journalist and historian
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