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The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love, and Faith of an American Legend

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  885 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
The Master of Lifes been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where others saw oblivion....Life and love go on. Let the music play.Johnny Cash One of the most influential figures in American music and pop culture, Johnny Cash is an icon to people of all ages. In Cashs first-ever authori ...more
Published January 1st 2010 by Findaway World (first published September 23rd 2004)
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Una Tiers
This book presented the religious, fanatical side of Cash. It was informative but seemed to skip over the relationship with June and his son.
Ken Garrett
Jun 01, 2013 Ken Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2009 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2016 Sonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good overview of Cash's life.
Jan 07, 2011 Carlie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joshua D.
Jan 14, 2013 Joshua D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2011 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nick Quinn
Jul 18, 2010 Nick Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although is took me nearly a month to finish this book, I enjoyed reading about Cash. A man who struggled with drug addition and infidelity, he offered no excuses for his wrong doings nor did he turn himself into a victim. What he did instead was use has faith to help him become a better human being. He was never self-righteous and so full of judgement that he could not identify with anyone. On the contrary, his faults made him approachable because he was honest about them. His marriage to June ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Jan 24, 2015 Valerie Kyriosity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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
Mar 23, 2017 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even if you are not a Cash fan, it is still a great story about faith, hope, love, addiction, unfaithfulness, the cutthroat music industry and finally, personal redemption.

I confess, I was never a fan, but I enjoyed this book immensely. I occasionally stopped to listen to songs mentioned in the text. His collaboration with dozens of other musicians had me checking out their history too.
Hank Pharis
I've never really been a Johnny Cash fan. But I certainly respect his musical contributions. I was only mildly interested in him. However I found this to be a very enjoyable read. It was encouraging to hear how deep his faith was at the end of his life after a lifetime of swinging back and forth between addiction and faith.
Too respectful.
Feb 04, 2014 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 05, 2012 Chapronrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 17, 2008 Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, " 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
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
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
Aug 06, 2007 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt Randall
Mar 24, 2012 Matt Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Victor Muthoka
Sep 12, 2013 Victor Muthoka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rena Sherwood
WOW!!! I found this on my Mom's bookshelf in 2005 and we still have our well-read paperback copy. Should be required reading for anyone wanting to write a biography. Highly recommended. Also recommended for Johnny Cash fans or fans of music in particular. Cash was always in the background somewhere when I was growing up (my Dad is a fan.) Mom bought the book after seeing the movie "Walk the Line." Hell, when I lived in the UK I was even asked if I ever met the man. (No, sorry.)

I can't get away f
Dave Martin
Jun 17, 2013 Dave Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
Oct 30, 2008 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  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
Tom Schulte
Dec 26, 2016 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is an abridged version of the authorized biography of Cash, it has this to recommend it: It is narrated in its entirety by Kris Kristofferson himself. (Kris Kristofferson writes the forward the print edition and Rex Linn narrates all other audio versions I know of.)

The abridged version (3 hrs and 21 mins) gets the highlights of Cash's career from humble beginnings, to dizzying heights, to prison concerts, to obscurity, to the Rick Rubin resurrection, to his ultimate demise.
Dec 17, 2009 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 28, 2010 Corinne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
Patrick O'Mahony
Sep 15, 2011 Patrick O'Mahony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this, having see the movie "Walk the Line" a few years back I was familiar with the outline of the story. But some interesting details in here, especially regarding the drug use (abuse) and some of the antics on tour. Probably too much focus on the Christian aspect of Cashs life, it certainly was a large part of his life, but the book is dominated by it. Still a very good read, next up for me is "Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock".
Susan Thompson
Apr 12, 2014 Susan Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second biography of the year and one I had my eye on for awhile. I'm not what one would call a country music fan or really even someone who is particularly fond of Johnny Cash but I was nonetheless still interested in his story. All in, this was a really well told story about a man who lived quite an unconventional life. If you have any interest in his life you'd probably really enjoy this book.
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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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