Small Change: A Life of Tom Waits
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Small Change: A Life of Tom Waits

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  9 reviews
For more than twenty years, Tom Waits has been the rag and bone man of contemporary music, a singer with a heart of gold and a voice of gravel. His ragged voice and haunting lyrics have enraptured fans worldwide, capturing the tattered hopes and boozy dreams of hard-luck cases everywhere. Small Change, the first biography of this unique performer, tracks Waits from his ear...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published September 15th 1990 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 1989)
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Was Patrick Humphries high when he wrote this? Was he channeling a particularly abstract Tom Waits song? It just didn't make any sense; and I don't think it's intended to be a post-modern non-fiction piece. Needs a good edit!
Tiah Keever
I really liked it when I read it years ago because I think Tom Waits is awesome. I want to be him when I grow up, or have a dad like him, or have a cup of coffee with him that is not as uncomfortable as the one he and Iggy Pop have in Coffee and Cigarettes, or just sigh dreamily when I think about him. When I stop and reflect I guess one of my past boyfriends had qualities not unlike Mr.Waits, which surely played a role in myself being highly interested in him. The quirkiness, the charisma, the...more
When I read this book very little was written about Waits so a whole book about our hero was a bit of an event. In hindsight it could be seen as a bit underwhelming but you had to get what you could in the olden days!
What this book has which, Barney Hoskyns biography of Waits Lowside of the Road lacks: Humphries litters Small Change with the best Waits lines from interviews and song to indicate the mindset and writing style for different stages of Waits' career.

Besides that, as far as being a biography proper, it pales in comparison to Lowside of the Road, for instance lacking any depth when it comes to notable figures in Waits' life such as Chuck E. Weiss, Rickie Lee Jones, or Waits' family.

As far as biogr...more
I'm a huge Tom Waits fan and I was totally disappointed in this biography. It reads more like a puff-piece than a biography and there's very little insight into the man and his music. The only merits it has going for it is a few interesting anecdotes and an amusing collection of Waits quotes at the end of the book. If you're looking for a substantive book on Tom Waits, you won't find here.

Any book about Tom Waits is amazing. I heart heart heart him! It reminds me of my senior year of highschool in Hawaii, missing Japan, and discovering Tom Waits!
Leo Jacobowitz
Small Change, small words, small ideas. Reads like an extended Rolling Stone article. Don't bother.
Jennifer Richardson
short and sweet. The pics are worth 3 stars alone.
Jun 15, 2008 Evelyn added it
What can I say, I'm a fan.
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