I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book.I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book. The blurb informed me that he had a very famous TED talk, and has worked extensively with To Write Love on Her Arms - which makes sense given the subject of this book. Boy Meets Depression is a wry examination of his own life, told with a self-deprecating honesty that at times had me laughing out loud. The humor present in the book did little to soften the blow of the darkness to come, but was a welcome reprieve from the usual tone of these sorts of memoirs. Kevin Breel ultimately handled the subject of depression, and living with it, deftly and with a soft touch. This made for an interesting memoir, and an honest look at a difficult subject that I think would benefit a lot of YA readers.
The advice given at the end of each chapter often got a grin out of me, though it also did make me reflect on the changes I've made in my own life and how much little things really can help someone going through a tough time. Boy Meets Depression was a good read, and a valuable book for anyone who's lived with depression, or knows someone going through it. I think it would help others understand what people are going through, and how to best help a friend in a difficult place. ...more
I received this book for free from the publisher through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Michelangelo: A Life in SI received this book for free from the publisher through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces is at once more than an art history and more than a biography. In this book Miles J. Unger effortlessly weaves together the life of one of history's most compelling and outspoken artist with the political strife of the world he worked in and the dynamic art he created. Unger paints a vibrant portrait of the mercurial man, amply citing the arist's own writings in the process. I went into the text knowing very little about Michelangelo, and I came out of it feeling nearly as if I knew the man personally.
Unger's writing is at times dry, but it never commits the sin of being boring. I feel that my own response to the text at times was borne far more out of me being entirely foreign to the history itself than due to poor writing. Unger cited so heavily actual accounts of the day, poems, and letters that for a moment I found myself curious to read more about Italy during that period. I found myself nostalgic for the world that was destroyed within Michelangelo's own lifetime, broken and violent though it was.
Unger's descriptions of the art itself is where his text truly thrives. He had a fine eye for detail, and singles out several small sections of paintings and sculpture that I would never have noticed on my own. He is adept at explaining why certain choices were made, and bringing to life the turmoil of the art and artist alike with each composition.
All in all, this is a book that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone with a curiosity about Michelangelo. Should one wish to know more, the bibliography at the back is extensive. Likewise, there is an appendix that covers where one can best see Michelangelo's artwork and where each important piece is housed....more
Right from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever gratRight from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever grateful for having had that opportunity. Doug is a brilliant storyteller, a very sweet man, and indeed the sort of person who not only you can imagine sitting in a pub with while he tells he stories... but a great many of people get just that opportunity. The fame that Doug has only served to define what a wonderful person he is. He's remained as humble as ever, though he's quite open about how he regrets leaving the band to this day.
The book holds within it many stories not heard before, and actually does a far better job of showing what The Who was like at that time than any previous Who biography. Doug captures the exhilaration that was felt as they became more famous, how they dealt with that rise in different ways, and the subtleties of the personalities that soon would go on to a massive stardom. He captures the camaraderie in a way that other biographies tend to glance over in favor of emphasizing the spats - which yes, there were - but the violence was never there from the start.
For fans of The Who? This is a indispensable book. It's right up there with Dougal Butler's recent revision of Full Moon, I'd argue, in terms of capturing The Who from those who were here with the band.
Get it, cherish it. If you've a chance to see the man himself, do so. He's a truly wonderful fellow....more
Can't get enough of that textual criticism and early Christian history. Yeah, I know how that sounds. Nope, I don't care. I'll continue to litter everCan't get enough of that textual criticism and early Christian history. Yeah, I know how that sounds. Nope, I don't care. I'll continue to litter everyone's update feeds with my occasional forays into these topics.
Zealot by Reza Aslan got ridiculously popular in a short period of time. I was reading arguments on the internet about its history and sources, hearing occasionally it being touted on popular television shows. It changed lives, or people claimed it did. They used it as an argument for the oft-repeated centurion hypothesis of paternity and other such poorly researched finds. It was inevitable I eventually read it, and lo and behold, the library just happened to have a copy sitting right there.
All in all, I actually enjoyed Zealot. I didn't find it as well researched as much of Bart D. Ehrman's works, nor as in depth. I nearly stopped reading when he argued that authorship wasn't necessarily worth questioning as people often wrote under other's names to imply they were further espousing their ideas (false) and that there was no definitive concept of history at the time (also false.) The idea that a lot of what was written would be known to be historically inaccurate and was meant as metaphor - that could gain better ground. The other two points though... we really need to excise them from our minds. They are patently untrue, and history just doesn't work that way.
Zealot shines not in its early bits, but far far later when his arguments come in about Jesus, his relation to Rome and Paul and James and their arguments for what early Christendom should mean. The book truly shone in the Pauline arguments and James refutation of them. The book would be good reading for anyone interested in Christianity, or simply Christian's themselves. It offers at once a more literal and metaphorical view of what was done, and a more concise view of what Jesus said and meant at the time in which he lived. Bart D. Ehrman's works are a better source of textual criticism, but Zealot was a better way to get a true feel for the history of the times and just how much the Jews went through during the Roman occupation.
The two authors, and their respective works, complement one another wonderfully and together offer a more comprehensive understanding of a vast and heated topic....more
I first read this book in high school, having been looking for a good biography of Syd Barrett and seeing this as being the most accurate out there atI first read this book in high school, having been looking for a good biography of Syd Barrett and seeing this as being the most accurate out there at the time. I'd be interested in finding a revised copy, if one was ever released after the poor man's death. It would be interesting to hear what others, in particular Breen, had to say about him then and whether or not his life in the end was a contended one.
This biography is short, easy to read, and fascinating. It dispels some of the more harmful myths about Syd, and unfortunately confirms some of the worse aspects of his character. It's a humbling read for those who idolize Syd, and a sad reminder of just how damaging drugs can be to an already troubled personality.
I'll always wonder what Syd could have achieved had he not been destroyed as he was, but shall take some solace in the fact that at least for even a little while he was happy in his solitude.
I was intrigued by this book originally when reading some criticism and praise of it. As a satire, the book sounded like an interesting attack on justI was intrigued by this book originally when reading some criticism and praise of it. As a satire, the book sounded like an interesting attack on just about all of the Shakespeare arguments as well as our tendency as a culture to try to overanalyze things. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, the book didn't quite come off like that to me.
Is Shakespeare Dead didn't just come off as a misinformed argument in favor of Baconian authorship, but it also came off as just... a rushed and jumbled essay that never found its footing. By the time Mark Twain began to employ his comedic touch the exhaustive arguments and analyses had already soured me to the piece itself. It was just confusing and strange from beginning to end. I feel like I missed something somewhere along the line, but if I did, then a great many readers did over the years as well.
I'm open to arguments, though I am a Stratford supporter overall. This just wasn't even an argument as much as it was a flailing Mark Twain who couldn't make up his mind as to what narrative voice would best support the piece going forward....more
I previously reviewed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy and found both books interesting and informative. I thought the style was somewhat simplistic, but overall they were interesting and decent starting grounds for people who want to look deeper into history. This book, however? It didn't even really serve that purpose. It was just... very, very strange.
Being George Washington wanted to be a biography while also wanting to be a legitimate history book, political history, and a self-help book. It wanted to prove that Washington was religious while also wanting to show how Washington bettered himself by simply being civil and persistent. Essentially? It wanted to be way too many things.
I think an editor needs to go at this book with a machete, restructure it, and find out where the book wants to live. I think the purpose of the book would overall be better served if it simply rested comfortably in the arms of a dramatic narrative such as Killing Lincoln did. I think the book would be better served by relying on primary documents without editorial asides trying to emphasize Christianity over Deism or any other religious point of view.
Just... it was a bit like reading through someone's scribbled notes in a textbook this way....more
Other reviewers complained about the lack of information given concerning the conspiracy theories that surround KenI actually quite enjoyed this book.
Other reviewers complained about the lack of information given concerning the conspiracy theories that surround Kennedy's death, and while I agree that that is a fault with this book, from the outset the authors say that they aren't going to head down that path.
This book is told in the same popular style as Killing Lincoln, comprised primarily of short anecdotes surrounding Kennedy's life to give a sketch of it. The information was rather basic, but as a newcomer to this history, that suited me fine.
I would recommend this book as an introduction to Kennedy's life and legacy. It isn't for people who know a great deal about him, it would too simplistic for that, but as a quick read that will give you historical information... it's perfectly fine. For conspiracy theorists, or people interested in such, this gives a broad stroke of why so many exist. The guy sure had a lot of enemies....more
I'm a bit torn between how many stars to give this book.
I read it in just a small handful of days, and indeed did find it interesting. I feel the titlI'm a bit torn between how many stars to give this book.
I read it in just a small handful of days, and indeed did find it interesting. I feel the title was a bit of a misnomer, as only a handful of chapters actually described Don Piper's experience in heaven. The bulk of the book was focused upon the injuries sustained during the accident that killed him, and how it affected the rest of his life. So, as I said, the title was a bit of a misnomer. Nevertheless, the time he spent dead and in heaven did severely affect how his life went from then on.
This book was pleasant, and indeed inspirational. Regardless of how one feels about the religious aspects of it Don Piper is an inspirational man, someone who truly practices what he preached. While he acknowledges his faults, the time he spent talking to those who had the same treatments he did (to regrow the missing bones in their legs. Seriously, did you know we can do that?) was huge. It means a lot, to have a mentor who has been through what you have.
All in all, I'd look at this as a book similar to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a short, inspirational read that would be well suited for holiday or time at the beach. Not a great book, but certainly a good one. Also, by no means a bad read at all. Gives you something to think about, and another small reminder to do what good you can each and every day....more
As other reviewers have said, Anne Lamott does come off as annoyingly insecure here. Her insecurity, while an accurate reI liked this book in general.
As other reviewers have said, Anne Lamott does come off as annoyingly insecure here. Her insecurity, while an accurate reflection on the way a lot of writers feel and... well, are is still a bit much at times. Likewise, sometimes she gets a bit carried away talking about her own life and it goes past the point of being merely an example.
All the same, this book did prove helpful. It's a good wake up call to people who think writing is easy, and it's a good wake up call to writers that are struggling that... well, you need to actually sit down and /write/.
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to write, whether professionally or merely as a hobby....more
Well, it certainly did take me a while to read this book.
I'd been interested in reading this book for many, many years. Originally this book was releaWell, it certainly did take me a while to read this book.
I'd been interested in reading this book for many, many years. Originally this book was released around 1980, and only went through a single printing if I'm not mistaken. Being how it was around '05 or '06 that I first heard of this book it was already long out of print, copies of it for sale were startlingly rare, and it was a lucky day when you could find a copy for sale for $80. On an unlucky day it could go up to $300 easy.
The ebook that I ended up purchasing was released in June of this year, and was considerably cheaper. The interview with Mr. Butler at the beginning was well worth getting the 2012 copy of the book, let alone all the stories contained therein. This chronicle of Keith Moon's life was fascinating, bittersweet, and all in all one of the best portraits I've ever seen as to the extremes by which Keith Moon lived his short life.
Dougal Butler conveys the generosity of Moon, along with his madness. On the subject of Moon's treatment of Kim he is both blunt and apologetic. At the book's end I found myself feeling the compassion and frustration that I imagine Butler felt. Nothing much happened, yeah, and then Moon died. There could have been more in Moon's life - there could have been a lot, but that just wasn't the way the fellow was cracked up to be.
There was a lot of trivia in the book that a Who fan would find interesting - from how Dougal got the nickname by which he is not commonly called, to how Moon and Ringo ended up as close as they were. All in all, however, I shudder to think at what the Moon fangirls I've known in my life would think of these stories. Dougal Butler put a very, very human face on Moon. I'm thinking that the people who were unable to finish reading Tony Fletcher's biography on Moon will be equally unhappy with the stark reality Full Moon shows.
Keith Moon was a tragic figure for sure, and his legend only grows as the years without him roll by....more
I picked it up out of mix of necessity and curiosity. Seeing how Clapton was contemporary to the fellow II have rather mixed feelings about this book.
I picked it up out of mix of necessity and curiosity. Seeing how Clapton was contemporary to the fellow I'm writing about, I thought the book might offer some insight into the rock star life throughout the sixties and beyond. In this book, I did get what I came for. Clapton did a good job of explaining what it was like growing up poor in post-war Britain and what sort of life was lead. Similarly, Clapton did a good job of explaining just how extravagant the rockstar lifestyle could be.
Unfortunately, I'm not entirely certain the book ever flowed. The prose was wooden, hints of personality coming through rather scathing insight. The book came off feeling more like part of the twelve-step programs Clapton went through than an actual reminiscence about life itself. Only at the very beginning and the ending prior to the epilogue did I feel I got insight into his personality.
Personally, I would view the autobiography as more of a primer than a true biography. While it was from the horse's mouth, I feel it wasn't the most engaging or informative read possible. Use it for the bullet points, but to get the true image of Clapton, seek elsewhere.
And if you want a view of post-war Britain, just read the first chapter....more
I won this book from the GoodReads First Reads program.
Normally I enjoy reading biographies, even if the person I am reading about is one that doesn'tI won this book from the GoodReads First Reads program.
Normally I enjoy reading biographies, even if the person I am reading about is one that doesn't terribly interest me. I've seen several Michael Douglas films, but generally am not enamored with his acting. I do, however, enjoy reading about Hollywood politics and what goes into the creating of different films. Likewise, I enjoy biographies in general and find it interesting how different people structure them and go about writing them. Unfortunately, this was not a book I enjoyed.
A good biographer takes a backseat to the subject of the story, just like a good ghostwriter is absent from the writing itself and instead mimics the voice of the one who's story they're telling. In Michael DouglasMarc Eliot injected a bit too much of himself and his admiration of the actor therein described. Likewise, he glossed over rather a lot of the biographical information, instead assuming that the reader had been keeping up with tabloid gossip and/or interviews that had been given around the times that various films and/or relationships were being had.
The book would have been better served if the writer had definitively chosen some aspect of the subject's character and how it developed over time, rather than bemoaning the fate of those famous people with famous father's attempting to emerge from their shadow. A son's suicide was only a paragraph of the book, forgotten in the next chapter in favor of a relationship. Movie synopses made up the bulk of the book, along with ample complaints about trying to overcome a father's shadow. No one focus (fatherhood, responsibility, becoming one's own self, etc.) made up the story, but rather they all fought for dominance as it went on.
Biographies need a focus, even though life often fails to have just one......more
I received this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
Unlike most of the reviewers on this page I knew nothing about Beth Ditto prior to pickI received this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
Unlike most of the reviewers on this page I knew nothing about Beth Ditto prior to picking up this slim volume. As far as first introductions go, I have to say that this was a startling one! This memoir, while short and easy to read, held back no punches. Beth Ditto talked about the insular world of the south, the way that a small town can both help and hurt those who live there, and how one can overcome their beginnings without really leaving them behind.
This book was both touching and inspirational, fascinating and humble. As far as memoirs go I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a good way to pass a summer's day, and I'm sure for fans of Gossip this book will be, well, awesome. I'm happy to know that even for people who had never heard of the band it's still a great read!...more
This was a very accessible volume. The book is divided into short stories, chronologically for the most part, about the characters that make history.This was a very accessible volume. The book is divided into short stories, chronologically for the most part, about the characters that make history. Legend is treated firmly, but sympathetically, and everywhere that primary sources can be quoted they certainly are.
I found this book both entertaining and informative. The bibliography in the back was quite extensive, and I was rather happy to see that it included some of the books that I've been using for reference.
I'd recommend this to anyone with even an inkling of historical curiosity, as I do believe that it would be a good "gateway" book to get people in a scholarly mind. I've the next two books in the series as well, so here's looking to more history....more
I was looking for an in-depth history of London, and I certainly found it between this book's covers. Peter AckroydThis book was truly extraordinary.
I was looking for an in-depth history of London, and I certainly found it between this book's covers. Peter Ackroyd truly did write a biography of London, from its sprawling streets to its strange citizens. His writing is fluid, and fascinating to read; his use of primary sources is utterly astounding, and somewhat maddening, as the cockney can be a bit hard on the eyes.
Peter Ackroyd's book is told in a very loose chronology. While the 'story' begins with prehistory, and ends in the 80s, not much in this book is linear. He makes London timeless, and turns the city into the icon that it is today. The emphasis of the text is upon how little things have changed, even while London is destroyed and rebuilt cyclically. The essence of the city can be found in the hospitals raised upon the sites of druidic wells, the very wells that the Victorians later claimed had healing capabilities.
The triumph of this text is not in the traditional dates and names of rulers, battles, and the like... rather, the triumph is in the fact that it focuses upon the citizens of the empire. Reading this book, you will learn about the conditions of the jails, what Londoner's favorite pasttimes were, how the role of women changed, and how London assimilates the immigrants. You'll read about how little Cockney has changed from the 1500s, and how London's taste for the theatrical existed before Shakespeare came on the scene.
After reading this book, I feel that I have learned more about London than I have from the World History courses I've taken. Peter Ackroyd has an eye for what's importance, and brings this city of commerce, violence, and theater to life in a way that no one else has.
Yes, yes, this copy has the movie tie-in cover. Yes, I did see the film prior to picking up the book and all that. Nevertheless, this book - like theYes, yes, this copy has the movie tie-in cover. Yes, I did see the film prior to picking up the book and all that. Nevertheless, this book - like the film - was really quite good.
Seeing a film that is based on a book (or vice versa) is always an interesting experience. Things tend to be altered a bit, but in this case, not very much was. The film was a rather faithful adaptation of the truth, and the book served as a much more in-depth look at Logue's life and all that went into helping the future-King overcome his stammer.
The book went in-depth into the history of the time that the two men lived, and there was an extensive amount of information drawn from primary sources. Each person's biography was given loving attention, and the admiration that Mark Logue felt for his relatives was very easy to see. The book can be seen as more than simply a biography, as it deals extensively with the social structure of the time and how Logue's being Australian, a mere 'common colonial', and treating the King was viewed by both Logue and the press.
I would highly recommend this book both to anyone interested in history and to those who enjoyed the movie. It is a great snapshot of WWI and WWII in England....more
I knew very little about Julia Child prior to reading this book. I had heard rumor of her work in theI won this book through the first-reads program.
I knew very little about Julia Child prior to reading this book. I had heard rumor of her work in the secret service, and I had seen one or two of her cooking programs... beyond this, I knew nothing. The movie Julie and Julia didn't really offer much in the way of information about her life - but still, it piqued my curiosity enough to make me quite happy to win this book.
It is always a joy to read something written by a master of the craft, and Bob Spitz is certainly a master biographer. The Beatles biography that Bob Spitz wrote has gotten much praise, so it is natural that his biography on Julia Child should do the same. From the very outset one can see his love of the lady dripping off the pages, so it was no surprise when he admitted the crush he harbored on her at the end.
Still, the biography held nothing back. The traits that made Julia Child a national institution were also the ones that made her quite eccentric. Bob Spitz highlights her love of men, her love of eating, her distinctive sense of humor, and her tireless work ethic. He explains her liberal bias, and the many troubles that she encountered both while working on her television shows and in the writing of her many books. Bob Spitz summed up her life beautifully, the good, the bad, and the utterly delicious. What more could you ask?
I think that the true measure of this book is the fact that I am not only recommending it to those that I am close to, but actually lending my copy to them. Not only do I want to discuss Julia's life with them, but I also want to visit her kitchen in the Smithsonian Museum of American History to pay my own tribute to this cultural icon. What better a feeling could this book have possibly elicited?
This book gave a good general overview of The Rolling Stones career, and the short biographies of each of the people involved within tShort and sweet.
This book gave a good general overview of The Rolling Stones career, and the short biographies of each of the people involved within the band. I mainly read it to learn more about Bill Wyman, who was good friends with John Entwistle. For those very interested in the Stones, I would not recommend this book. For those interested in the Stones who don't know too much of the band? I would certainly recommend this book. Just bear in mind that it isn't comprehensive.
I'll be interested in reading Bill, Ronnie and Keith's books for more in depth look at their lives and careers....more
I won this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
At first I wasn't terribly invested in this book, but the longer it went on the more interesI won this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
At first I wasn't terribly invested in this book, but the longer it went on the more interested I became. This book is an inspiring look at how age can't be seen as too great a deterrent to following your dreams and achieving what you want. At the age of sixty Harriet Wrye traveled around the world - even to Petra and Indonesia! - climbed mountains, became ordained as a Buddhist monk, and did even more incredible things. How cool is that?
This book may be a bit too woo for some people, as she does go rather in depth into the importance of spirituality in her life, but the adventure itself is quite incredible. Also, I do have to say that I've begun thinking of AFGOs in my own life...
This is another book I feel quite lucky to have won through the first-reads program. I can honestly say (though I am loath to admit it) that I had noThis is another book I feel quite lucky to have won through the first-reads program. I can honestly say (though I am loath to admit it) that I had no idea who exactly Everett Ruess was when I began to read this book. Worse, I hadn't read Into Thin Air yet either, though it has been on my to-read shelf for ages. I went into this book with no expectations, and came out of it a bit bewildered.
Having been to some of the places Ruess explored in his lifetime, and having shared in some of his fascination with the land I have to admit I was converted into a bit of Ruess fan. While I found Ruess' diaries grating at times, who doesn't find a seventeen year old or a nineteen year old a bit immature? Who hasn't been an ignorant teenager at one point or another?
The narrative was fascinating, and the author's insights into both Ruess' life and the lives of those who later wrote about him extremely informative. I feel that Robert's gave each theory about Ruess' disappearance a fair hearing, and actually dispelled some of the more fantastic rumours about Ruess' life and orientation rather neatly. The book came off as a note of love, and a worthy one at that.
By the end of the book I was thoroughly swayed by this "vagabond for beauty" and I have to admit that I will not only be passing this book along to some of my relatives and friends, but I will also be keeping an ear open for any news on the Everett case. While I do agree that "he just doesn't want to be found" the disappearance is part of the allure.
Everett lives, indeed.. Or perhaps more appropriately, Nemo lives....more
I am entirely too excited to have finally had a chance to read this book.
I unabashedly adore Shirley Jackson and this book has only made me love her mI am entirely too excited to have finally had a chance to read this book.
I unabashedly adore Shirley Jackson and this book has only made me love her more. The hilarity of Laurie, Jannie, and Sally (Barry coming only later in this collection) truly needs to be read to be believed. A previous short story collection had given me a chance to read "Charlie" but rereading it here was a massive delight - the other stories I'd not read before.
Shirley Jackson is a massively talented horror writer, and her talent truly shines when humor is utilized as well. She walks the line rather often in her prose, and in this case, mixes the two to create something truly outrageous and wonderful. In this book she can court those who love the scarier aspects of life with those who thrive in the mundane. Here the scares come from the furnace downstairs (will it make the house explode?) the strange fantasies of her children (why does her daughter believe she lives in a river?) and the murderous urges brought to the fore when attempting to navigate a large department store (would anyone really care if she let the escalator eat her children?).
Shirley Jackson is genius, and her home life is hilarious. Treasure any book of hers you find, and buy every one you can lay your hands on. They are brilliant!...more
Pete Townshend's autobiography didn't suffer from the lack of focus that I felt Eric Clapton's did. WhiIt took me a while to finish reading this book.
Pete Townshend's autobiography didn't suffer from the lack of focus that I felt Eric Clapton's did. While at times it did feel as if the book was written as a way to deal with his addictions and traumatizing childhood by the end of the book I didn't quite feel this was the case. This was just Pete talking about what was important to him, and what were the largest forces within his life.
This book has been criticized by the press, and I can understand why. There is not a lot of new material brought to the table in terms of a 'behind the scenes' look at The Who and the songwriting process. Many of the stories told have been told elsewhere, and at times in a more accurate fashion. Still, this is the story through Townshend's eyes and one largely gets what one would expect from the fellow.
I'm curious as to what was cut from the book, as he said more than half of what was originally written was discarded in the end. I'm wondering whether or not there were more stories there, and a more in depth look at the developmental years than what was received. Whatever the case may be, this autobiography was well written, insightful, and all in all a very well done retrospective of a showbiz life. Nevertheless Pete Townshend is Pete Townshend and is a narrator one will either love or hate.
This book is certainly not for everyone, but for those who can take what is written with a grain of salt it is the life of one of the best rock musicians and lyricist of our time....more
Took me quite a while to get through this one... the page number (which is low) is rather misleading, as the book itself is enormous. The photos are qTook me quite a while to get through this one... the page number (which is low) is rather misleading, as the book itself is enormous. The photos are quite high quality, and rather beautiful, but the bulk of the pages are full of rather tiny type... and oddly, there are a large number of typos.
Richard Barnes was, and is, a good friend of Pete Townshend's. Naturally, the book focuses more upon Townshend's doings than the other members of The Who. Richard Barnes' experiences are related, and particularly insightful as he experienced the Cincinnati disaster firsthand. It's interesting to see an outsiders view, even if one feels at times that some of the bigger issues in the band are skimmed over. Unfortunately, John Entwistle's role was rather thoroughly glossed over in the book - they didn't even mention his marriage to Alison or the birth of his son!
While the book is well put together, and certainly insightful in terms of Chris Stamp, Kit Lambert, and Shel Talmy fiascos, I feel it didn't go into enough depth when it comes to the technical aspect (and personal lives) of those involved with the band. I'd consider it more of a supplementary text than anything truly in depth....more
Some have complained about the lack of facts when it comes to this book. There simply aren't a lot of hard facts about Billy - but there are a lot ofSome have complained about the lack of facts when it comes to this book. There simply aren't a lot of hard facts about Billy - but there are a lot of outright lies. The book addresses everything that it is capable of addressing, and puts to rest some of the worse rumors.
What I liked about this book was the thorough way it dealt with the time period in question. By the end I felt that I knew a fair deal about life in the 1860s and how that sort of environment bred outlaws such as Billy. The Wild West and the social stresses that created such an environment were quite clearly laid out.
Very readable, very informative, an all over quite a fascinating book. I'm very happy I picked it up....more
Yeah, three stars. In truth, I would give this one two stars, but for the way it was written. First off, this is not a hard history book. Many of theYeah, three stars. In truth, I would give this one two stars, but for the way it was written. First off, this is not a hard history book. Many of the claims (particularly in regards to Stanton) while intriguing, are not accepted by mainstream historians for reasons. Do not read this book if you are looking for an in-depth Lincoln biography or an in-depth look at Booth or the Civil War. If, however, you are a layperson and just want an introduction to the assassination history? Dive in.
The book is written like a thriller, and is certainly interesting. The writing could use some improvement, as could the facts, but overall it is a decent introduction to the time period. I feel all right about a lot of people reading it - it's a good way to introduce people to history and to lead them to better, more in-depth books in regards to that time....more
Lincoln's biography is interesting enough that it hardly needs vampires to hold one's attention - similarlSome men are just too interesting to kill...
Lincoln's biography is interesting enough that it hardly needs vampires to hold one's attention - similarly, the events that conspired after Lincoln's death are arresting. This alternate history biography retains all the facts of Lincoln's life, with the new addition of vampires and the true reason slavery was so rampant in the United States.
I picked this book up due to my interest in the movie and assumed that both would prove 'so bad they're good.' I was pleasantly - and wholly unexpectedly - surprised. This book was not only enjoyable as a horror/scifi piece, but also as a historical piece. While the photoshopped pictures were enough to make me giggle, the book overall was just plain good.
As a fan of Nightwatch, I eagerly anticipate the film and it living up to my newly heightened expectations....more
Outside of the work he's done writing for the better known superhero books ( Justice League of America, Batman and Robin, All-Star Superman, New X-Men, etc.) he's likely best known for The Invisibles - which was my first introduction to him. The best description I've heard of the plot of The Invisibles was to imagine what would happen if every conspiracy theory you've ever heard in your life was true - which should give you a general idea of what to expect in this book, Supergods. It's a history of comics, yes, but there's a lot more than just that going on in it.
Grant Morrison writes a partial autobiography, a partial history of comics through the ages and the context during which they were written, and a partial philosophical sociological treatise on what comics mean to people and why the exist. While this isn't as extensive as other books I've read on the subject, it still gets the job done and in a very entertaining way. The book could have benefited from color images within it, and more covers and pages in general, but by digging into my own collection and googling some of what was mentioned I was able to fill in some of the gaps. Still, it was a bad oversight on the part of the publisher.
Who would want to miss this?
Both of which were mentioned in detail but not actually shown in the book. For shame.
Morrison divides comics into four distinct phases. The origin of superheros in the Golden Age, the censorship that resulted in the Silver Age that slowly delved into cosmic and absurdities which the above two illustrations came from. The Dark Ages of the eighties and nineties wherein books like Watchmen deconstructed the superhero tropes and comics became fixated on realism, and then violent absurdity courtesy of Image Comics, and finally the Renaissance where the books are now - a revitalization of the genre itself characterized by the changing of the medium. That's a very brief summation, but it should get the ideas across.
Each section contains a focus on the books that were the hallmark of the era and best exemplify just what Morrison is talking about. Scattered throughout this are his own musings on the different books, his own experiences during these times, and how he believes comics are a direct reflection of the cultures in which they inhabit. In addition this he also delves rather deeply into theories of the fifth dimension, chaos magic, and the idea that every eleven years the focus of the world switches from hippie to punk and back again in an unending cycle that is reflected through pop culture. Think of it what you will.
Personally, I greatly enjoyed the book. I like Morrison's mind in general, even when I don't agree with him, and he attacks the history of superheros with a humor and enthusiasm that is difficult to match. I'd certainly recommend it, so long as you don't mind a bit of alien abductions thrown into the mix....more