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Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  2,847 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
As an artist and persona, Jim Morrison epitomized the late 1960s, bridging a burgeoning counterculture and popular culture, while acting out the iconoclastic rage, rampant libido, and spectacular flameout of a tumultuous era. The music he created with The Doors has sold over 50 million records worldwide?with over 13 million in the last decade alone, as their songs have bee ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Gotham (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Ana {The Good Gif Fairy}
Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.

I have a problem. Every now and then I become obsessed with something, and then I have to know everything about it. My latest obsession? Jim Morrison.

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Poet, rock star, and one of music's most controversial stars.

His work endures to this day. It is amazing how even forty years after his mysterious death, the Lizard King still fascinates us. There are many things that could be said about Jim. He was a highly intelligent, over-sensitive man who ha
Clark Hallman
Sep 03, 2012 Clark Hallman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Jim Morrison, Life, Death, Legend, by Stephen Davis, is without a doubt the most researched and most informative one of the six books I have read about Jim Morrison. Although it does not solve all the mysteries about his life and death, it presents a very detailed and believable description of a young man, who really just wanted to be a poet, but simply could not deal with the stress and pressures caused by his revolutionary rock star image. It includes details of extreme and self-destructive be ...more
May 22, 2015 Estelle rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this one.
As a biography, it does its job right retracing the life of Jim Morrison in great details and it was especially interesting to learn about his childhood and relationship (or lack of) with his family as well as his very last days in Paris.

That said, it's a very long book and because it was writen in such a chronologically linear way, it often felt repetitive. But I guess it is to be expected when you want a thorough history of the man and of the band.

My real
Jim Cherry
Jan 16, 2009 Jim Cherry rated it did not like it
The program for this evening is not new, you’ve seen this entertainment through and through.
-Jim Morrison.

Stephen Davis is the author of the acclaimed Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, so it was probably a no-brainer for someone to think he would write the definitive biography of Doors singer Jim Morrison. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Jim Morrison is a derivative biography relying on the interviews and research of previous biographies. It was the Morrison biography No One H
Jun 18, 2008 J.P. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Doors fans, biography fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Thompson
Jun 13, 2016 Dave Thompson rated it it was amazing
I will readily admit I've been a disciple of Jim Morrison since I was in middle school, so I can call myself both an expert and an admitted fan boy. I've read all of Morrison's work (in fact, I own first editions of much of his poetry). I've also read all of the biographies, from "No One Here Gets Out Alive" through the various faked death theories, and now this latest tome. In fact, I read "Life, Death, Legend" twice.

I think Davis tries a little too hard at times to be objective, as if the only
Apr 14, 2014 Troy rated it did not like it
Shelves: music
I've read practically every biography on Jim Morrison (The Doors are my all-time favorite band), from the original -- albeit suspect pulp -- "No One Here Gets Out Alive," to Stephen Davis' addition to the funeral pyre, "Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend." In the latter, Davis' factual errors makes Jerry Hopkins' "Lizard King" seem exhaustively researched in comparison. Not only that, the author wastes the first 302 pages on rehashed information contained in nearly every book published up until J ...more
Paul Gleason
Jan 12, 2013 Paul Gleason rated it liked it
Davis' biography of Morrison tries to be many things. It succeeds in some cases and fails in others.

The book functions well as an attempt to see Morrison in the historical and cultural milieu in which he lived and produced his work. In this regard, it's a terrific reference book for readers interested in approaching Morrison from a historicist perspective.

But there's a problem inherent to Davis' method. First, it sets up an impossible task. Let's face it: it's impossible to touch on all the hist
Jun 04, 2015 Donna rated it it was amazing

This is my first book on The Doors. I thought it quite comprehensive and appreciated the chronologic format and the bit of surrounding history of the time. Kind of gritty and raw at times. I found myself getting sad and depressed. I forgot how much was going on in the world. Not sure if things changed that much.

I did note that the musicians of that time were generous with each other and told others to make sure they see other bands, etc. Certainly isn’t done these days.

The way this book was pr
Jul 21, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it
I recently watched the Tom DeCillo film "When Your Strange" about the Doors, and discussed my impressions with a neighbor who also happened to catch the broadcast on PBS's American Masters series. He lent me a copy of this book, and whereas I thought the documentary was kind of weak, I felt that this biography of Morrison was truly engaging. Jim Morrison was such a complex individual, full of contradictions. He could be sensitive, caring, and was no doubt extremely charismatic, but at the same t ...more
Jul 03, 2007 OCNY rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Awaited over 6 months for this book to be published and was let down almost immediately. Almost all but 2 pictures have been published before and the story itself has already been covered by previous bios. Still, it's an ok read for the uninitiated, but for those who have read other Morrison bios, there is nothing new covered here--except maybe that the surviving Doors were not the best friends with Morrison that they now make themselves out to be. One glaring error was the author has Morrison a ...more
Dec 09, 2012 Tyrone rated it really liked it
This is hands down the best biography of Jim Morrison that I have read so far. It tracks his life, from childhood, growing up in various different towns in the US (moving as his father was posted to different naval bases) to his meteoric rise and fall as The Electric Poet.
The tone of the book is great, and was quite depressing as Jim drowns himself in the bottom of various bottles, all leading up to that fateful night in Paris, 1971.

Waiting on "Light My Fire" by Ray Manzarek to arrive so I can
Samuel Saldana
Dec 11, 2014 Samuel Saldana rated it it was amazing
I just read the book called Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis. This book was enjoyable and interesting because it gave me a better understanding of one of the most greatest singers of all time, Jim Morrison. I liked it because it talks about his actual story and what he actually wanted to be known as instead of a rockstar or sex appeal at his time. His childhood when he was raised by his dad who was really strict with him and who was in the navy and wanted him to follow his foo ...more
Scott Finlayson
Jan 07, 2015 Scott Finlayson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L,D,L is a pretty decent collection of the known and unknown. There's some good childhood research here, followed more or less by mostly known Doors-era stuff and closed off with a detailed account of the Paris days compiled from research and interviews with those known to be there with Jim during the final days. Davis does his best to sort through the hearsay/myths to deliver an account of what is most likely to have happened in France.

There are extensive accounts of many live performances that
Dec 07, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it
As a fan of The Doors, this was a really interesting book for me. Stephen Davis really captures the life of Jim Morrison in a way which evokes at times great shock, and at times real sympathy. On reading this one can recognise the rare talent and intelligence that this man had, and leads one to wonder what more he could've given had he not died so young.
Carter Risley
Mar 09, 2014 Carter Risley rated it really liked it
I enjoy the story of Morrison's life. I must commend the author's efforts to ensure the authenticity of the fact's by using the opinions and memories. He does not hold back on the raw language and demeanor of Morrison. It is crawling with the culture and style of the era.
With that said, I don't usually enjoy the genre of biographies. I usually feel they are mostly reassurance that my initial idea of, whomever the person may be, is correct. It is usual that each one includes some stories that are
Ahmed Xahabi
Sep 21, 2016 Ahmed Xahabi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
"before you slip into, unconsciousness, I..

Like to have a, another kiss.."

Jim, forever and always will be the most pure front man ever
Apr 30, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing
The best Morrison biography I have ever read - bar none! And I loves me some Jimmy.
Courtney Brink
Oct 31, 2008 Courtney Brink rated it really liked it
Dude was crazy!
Indubbiamente un lavoro approfondito, ma mi è sembrato che l'autore cercasse a tutti i costi il sensazionalismo, la voglia di descrivere Morrison come il personaggio che tutti si aspettano che fosse. Su alcuni episodi, avendo consultato le fonti cui Davis spesso ha attinto, posso inoltre affermare che ha aggiunto, inventando, cose a suo piacimento, giusto per rendere il tutto più appetibile a fini commerciali. Mi spiace che, essendo recente e molto diffuso, sia un libro che molti hanno letto per ...more
Rajiv Bhattacharya
I was always in awe of the personality of Jim Morrison. So when I got this book as a gift I was delighted. I read this book very attentively. The charisma of Morrison is something very rare and not found in all the musicians. Even after 40+ years of his death people still groove on to the music of The Doors. This book provides a detailed narration of Jim Morrison’s life. From childhood till death. I always thought that Morrison lived life king size and his life was an example of complete freedom ...more
A very well researched and very well written. Davis' description of various events (concerts, recording, etc) are so brilliant that it almost recreates the scenario before your eyes. He narrates almost every significant event that one would like to know, and simply mentions the less significant ones. It covers content from many interviews as well. This book is an anytime read for the "Jim Morrison/The Doors" fans. Loaded with a lot of info which you'll like to lap up greedily.
Well, sometimes the
Sep 03, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing
This book was almost as consuming and compelling as Morrison was. Extremely well written and researched.
I have so much to say about Jim.
But I won't.
Only that I've always found this guy's life fascinating. This book doesn't disappoint.
Marc Ballon
Jul 24, 2015 Marc Ballon rated it really liked it
A great read. I never knew the depths of Jim Morrison's self-destruction, nacrissism and emotinoal pain. Stephen Davis might occasionally get a fact wrong, but I believe his has captured the essence of the "Lizard King" as well as anybody.
Oct 16, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This was interesting as a history of the times and the prodigious consumption of drugs, but also as the short but already concluded life of a rock star. The writing style was occasionally too loose for my taste and he used terms which were not is use at that time, to describe events. He does not pass judgement on Morrison, although he strongly attacks some of the leaches who hung around him. I am not so sure about the staus as a poet-there is some of the Morrison poetry quoted, but not enough fo ...more
B. R. Reed
Jul 22, 2015 B. R. Reed rated it really liked it
James Douglas Morrison (Mr Mojo Risin) was my favorite "rock star" of the 1960s. Sad that he died so young. Jim had some very serious alcohol and drug issues. Jim, at his core, was a poet. He was a serious reader of literature and philosophy. He had a very high IQ but as he famously said, he had the "soul of a clown." This book is well done and a good portrait of his life and his death. Gone at the age of 27. I think it is possible that he would have written some good poetry and perhaps involved ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Preston rated it it was amazing
"Baby, you never know when you're doing your last set."

This dude was crazy, but--as it is written on his grave--he "stayed true to his own soul."

We need more people like this man, who asked the questions most people are so afraid to ask today. Jim is one of my mentors, not because of his outlandish behavior, but rather for his courage to stand up for what he believed in, to "scream into the world what all of them are whispering more softly in their hearts," and for his "uncontrollable rage agai
Susan Krich
Sep 09, 2016 Susan Krich rated it it was amazing
It was refreshing to read a book about a rock legend that doesn't try to idolize him. It gives his life story with all the bad as well as good he's done.
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