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The Man Called Cash

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  640 ratings  ·  80 reviews
This is a biography of the country music singer-songwriter whose battles with drink, drugs and God is the stuff of legend, with a foreword by Kris Kristofferson.
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Published January 1st 2006 by Bloomsbury UK (first published September 23rd 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,086)
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Ken Garrett
Just finished my second time through this (this time, listened to it on Audiobook), and was again fascinated with masterful telling of Johnny Cash's life story. This book is really more of a spiritual biography than a recounting of days, dates, times, events, and such. It travels along the rocky, dangerous road of addiction, relapse, failure, restoration and forgiveness, often followed by....relapse, failure, restoration, forgiveness, etc. The author made a great attempt at explaining the life o ...more
F.R.
Given the remarkable nature of Johnny Cash's life, it would be immensely difficult to write a dull biography of the man - and Turner does a good job in taking the reader through the highs and lows of this great twentieth centry life. I just wish that:

a. he had a more exciting prose style.
b. he'd taken a more thorough approach.

Two hundred and fifty pages just feels like a skate through what is a big life and a big story. I would have liked Turner to stop occasionally and fully describe the world
...more
Paul
Unsurprisingly, given the length of his career and extensive body of work, there are number of biographies (auto or otherwise) about Johnny Cash. "The Man Called Cash" was intended as another autobiography, told from the twilight of his career but, sadly, Cash passed away mere weeks before writing was to begin. That said, given the timing, it still allows for the most chronologically complete look at the man and his music.

Those looking for a lot of details about studio sessions and collaboration
...more
Nick Quinn
I absolutely love this book. It was truly amazing to read about the life of one of my favorite music artist. It has given me a deeper appreciation of his music and a new admiration of who he was as a man. I was first introduced to the music of Johnny Cash by my Grandpa when we made a long voyage from Florida to Michigan. Grandpa had a lot of old country music cassettes and I was becoming hopeless of being entertained by his music collection until we came across Johnny Cash. During those two days ...more
Joshua D.
I listened to the abridged Audio Book with the reading done by Johnny Cash's close friend, Kris Kristofferson. I loved everything about the audiobook experience, all the way down to the part where I cried in the car when Kristofferson would get choked up over June's death, or some great act of love Johnny had shown him. I really recommend this way of interacting with Steve Turner's great biography of Cash.

Since my experience is limited to the audio book, I copy my friend Ray Cannata's review of
...more
Carlie
I like biographies and this one was good. I thought Turner did a great job of condensing a man's life, through all kinds of eras and stages into one cohesive and interesting story. I liked Johnny Cash already so didn't need to be convinced that he was a meaningful figure in American musical history. Truth be told, I didn't know the half of it. Cash was far more influential and important than I ever imagined. The man was the living link between folk, country and rock...not to mention gospel.

I lo
...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Sometimes the more broken we are, the more God has to break us to set us right. Johnny Cash was broken by his brother's death and his father's failures. He broke himself more through his own sin. And finally, his health broke from multiple maladies and his heart broke from the loss of June. But behind all of this breaking was the God whose ultimate goal is to set right. He made Johnny what he was by the end of his life -- a humble, grateful, repentant man. And He made Johnny what he is now and w ...more
J
I read recently that i am a 'Digital Immigrant". Not having been born among the generation that has never known a world without computers, smart phones and the universe that is the internet at my finger tips is a concept that I cannot fathom having witnessed its emergence never really touched me until I underwent the experience of reading this book while listening to Kris Kristofferson read the book in audio format.

I found myself reading, pausing, and researching what was being described, or ma
...more
Ray
Johnny Cash was a man of baffling contradictions. Turner relays an event that is illustrative: Cash goes shooting and wounds a crow. He is so moved with compassion for the bird that he goes to great lengths to nurse it back to health. Turner writes, "...it encapsulated Cash's contradictions. Here was a man, though capable of destruction, who became overwhlemed with the desire to repair what he had destroyed; a nonviolent man who had a love affair with guns; an artist who could cause suffering an ...more
gina
An interesting read. I enjoy reading biographies and always held Cash in high regard so it was easy to enjoy this book. But I will say I was surprised to find out how often Cash had lied about his life. The biographer makes it a point to show several examples of how cash would tell his story quite different to several different people. I lost some respect for him, especially given how he seemed to portray himself to the public as an honest god fearing man. His lies seemed pointless and careless. ...more
Chapronrin
There's a ton of history that is to be learned and appreciated from the country and rock musicians of the 50s and 60s. The movies "Walk the Line" and "Ray" were entertaining, insightful, yet tragic in many when you think about it as many of the artists of this period lives were destroyed while trying to make it to the top. Cash was a survivor and if you read this book, it becomes clear why. Cash, though kind of a spiritual black sheep wildcard, had a Rock in his faith in Christ to help bring him ...more
Jason
This "authorized" biography is a quick but informative snapshot of Cash's life. For someone like me, who's main source of information about Johnny Cash comes from the film "Walk the Line", it provides insight and dispells many of the myths and misconceptions about the man you may have garnered from the movie or on your own.

And yet I felt there was something missing from it as well, though what I find it hard to put my finger on. Part of it may be because it isn't that long and does move quickly
...more
Gabriel
Unlike his own "memories" and autobiography, this biography of Johnny Cash tells the true story of his life, warts and all. Cash doesn't suffer from the honesty; instead, he comes across as a deeply textured, sometimes religiously silly, but fascinating individual. As a Brit, Turner's perspective escapes some of the mindless adulation tossed Johnny Cash's way; he provides a brilliant analysis of the many foibles and successes of Johnny's career. And of the music: I emerged from the read with a d ...more
Victor Muthoka
This was one very important read for me. Growing up in the 90s, I'd never listened to any of his music but I'd always heard of the legend that is Johnny Cash.

Steve Turner has done a VERY commendable job of painting Cash as he properly is: a human being. We see Johnny's birth, family history, the beginnings of his music carrier down through the years to the high highs & the low lows in his drug addiction phases. Through it all, Steve Turner doesn't embellish nor diminish anything about Cash.
...more
Matt Randall
Johnny Cash was not quite the hell raiser that I thought he was. This is not to say he didnt do drugs or break stuff...he did plenty of that. What I never realized is his deep religious feelings. I knew that he was a man that overcame some adversity but i didnt know that he wrestled with those demons and used his faith in God to cope.
He was a singer, writer, strong man of God, husband (better the second time around), father, poet, champion of Indian rights, rebel, trendsetter, ordained minister,
...more
Dave Martin
"Real" is one of the best words I can find to describe Johnny Cash. Love, unfaithfulness, talent, ego, faith, loyalty, addiction, humility--all these contradictory qualities and many more came together in this larger-than-life personality. He could easily have succumbed to the self-destructive impulses that claimed so many other brilliant artists, but throughout all the ups and downs (there were many) he and God held on to each other. Because he refused to compromise the truth about Christ as he ...more
Jennifer Jones
a must read for most Johnny Cash fans out there, Ive always loved the man and his music, the only reason I didnt give this 5 stars is because the biography kinda went off on a few tangents, then getting back to Johnny Cash. I did especially like the collaboration between Cash and U2,provindong more opporotunities for crossovers.
Myrtle Engram
I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a Spring Dinner and Fund Raiser on March 27, 2014 in Fairfax, VA. An evening with Steve Turner ~ from seminal interviews with rock 'n roll's greats to reflective commentary in the intersection of faith and art, Turner's stirring call to cultural engagement prompted me to read this book.


Matt Thomas
For my generation, Johnny Cash's career seems to be framed almost entirely by his American recordings; they are good recordings, no doubt about that, but their impact misses their full potential without the context of Cash's whole work. My biggest problem with the book is it seems to hack out, without much love, all the events leading up to the American recordings and only seems interested in its subject from the point that Rick Rubin enters the room. Maybe I'm being hyper sensitive on this poin ...more
Nick
Oct 30, 2008 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Rachel
Shelves: history
Wow, talk about a roller coaster of a life.

I am not into "preachy" books, but the author makes a solid effort to make you realize just how important faith was in Johnny Cash's life, as it saved him on more than one occasion.

Through this book, my opinion went from high, to low, to high in terms of respect for Cash. He was a tortured man, who relied on the strength of his family, friends, fans, and religion to get through all of his tough times.

If you enjoy rock and roll, country, blues, gospel, a
...more
Clare
Interesting biography about Johnny Cash. It filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge and includes a good discography.

Respectful without being sickly, which is always a relief for a biog.
Aomame*
"What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt"

Hurt, Johnny Cash
Barnabas Piper
The writing itself was really only about a 3 star rating, but the man, Cash, earns 5. What a remarkable person from early life to his very end. What high heights and deep depths. I've rarely encountered a more compelling person.
Modus Operandi
Having never really listened or very much cared about his music, it was a pleasant surprise how much I enjoyed this book.
Renee Yesso
I enjoyed learning about Cash's life, but found the writing style to occasionally be jumpy or incomplete.
Corinne
This book had a rhythm and flow to it that worked. It covered a lot of information without giving too many details. I think the authors goal was to capture the spirit of Johnny Cash, and it did. I listened to The Man Called Cash on audiobook, and the reader was perfect. He had a slight southern drawl which helped pull me into Johnny's world.

Recommended for Cash fans. I think the author assumes the reader has a certain understanding of Cash's influence or presence, of which most Americans should
...more
Greg Western
An interesting biography of a fascinating man.
Jason Gregg
It was a good book, it seemed like a brief snap shot of such a deep life. I might want to read one of his auto biographies to get a better idea of his journey. It started and finished focusing on his rendition of "Hurt" and how it reflected his own life. It spoke a lot about his deep Christian values and faith after a life of hard living. It gives some interesting history of him being held hostage in Jamaica with his family and being attacked by an ostrich. Most of the information was stuff I co ...more
Maureen
I listened to this on cd while driving to/from work. I really didn't like this biography. It was too heavily weighted toward his spirituality. I never felt like I knew anything about June Carter or the rest of the family. It was repetitive and dull.
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Steve Turner is an English music journalist, biographer and poet, who grew up in Northamptonshire, England. His first published article was in the Beatles Monthly in 1969. His career as a journalist began as features editor of Beat Instrumental where he interviewed many of the prominent rock musicians of the 1970s. He subsequently freelanced for music papers including NME, Melody Maker and Rolling ...more
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