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Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,302 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Thirty-five years after his death in Paris at age twenty-seven, Jim Morrison's iconic legend remains as powerful as ever, swathed in the mists of mystery. There have been numerous biographies about the self-proclaimed "Lizard King's" life and career. But none have examined his roots and childhood, the intellectual foundations of his music, his wild days with the Doors, and ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by It Books (first published June 1st 1991)
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Jim Cherry
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Break On Through is the definitive biography of Jim Morrison, so far. It doesn’t possess the shortcomings of the other Morrison biographies, such as the near idolatry and hero worship of No One Here Gets Out Alive which did serve its purpose in resurrecting The Doors for a new generation (of which I’m one), or the more derivative renditions of Morrison’s life in more recent biographies. Break On Through has the focus of objectivity in looking at Morrison and his work in The Doors, and the origin ...more
Lord Beardsley
Mar 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people looking for books to read whilst on the crapper
Shelves: read2008
This is currently the book I have deemed, "Book To Read On The Crapper." It definitely came in handy.

In the realm of Jim Morrison biographies, this is probably the least biased and the one that sticks mostly to the facts. The author (of course) idolizes him a bit too much for my liking (but that's virtually inescapable in any Jim Morrison biography); however, the author juxtaposes this by gently pointing out (without trying to pin-point or use supposition) that his subject was a particularly me
...more
Whitney
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I had a slight obsession with Jim Morrison and The Doors throughout high school. I can't even count how many biographies on Morrison that I've read, but this is the only one that really sticks out in my mind. If you want to know everything you can about the life and death of Jim Morrison this is your book.
Tracy
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't have said it better, so I am pasting someone eles's review, but I can say that this is the only 500+ page book I've read about 4 times over, ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT !:

Tortured visionary and bumbling drunk--two sides of ``The Lizard King'' that emerge from this lengthy but less-than-probing biography of the late rock star. Riordan (a Rolling Stone contributor) and Prochnicky (a self-professed veteran Morrison scholar) attempt to retrace Morrison's ``aural, visual, and psychological journey
...more
Nade
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
Break on Through by James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky is an extremely well-written biography of Jim Morrison. Having read other books on the subject, I can say that this book presents Morrison very objectively, presenting not only his pubic image or the myth, but also giving insights as to what he was off stage by providing interviews with people close to him. Because, indeed, Morrison the rock star and Jim the poet are two different people. The authors make the distinction between the two visi ...more
Joy
Apr 16, 2010 rated it liked it
The blurb calls this "the authoritative portrait of the man and his career." Having read through page 24, I look at that phrase a bit askance. Chapter One purports to give a stream of consciousness from Jim himself. On page 24 the authors refer to "the Dionysian principles of shamanism," which I would think is rather a clash of cultures.

On finishing: In spite of the purported stream of consciousness, I think this is an excellent and sympathetic analysis of ... the legend. Riordan and Prochnicky
...more
Molly chaucer
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing!

I am so glad that I read this book. It is wonderfully detailed - a photo of the mind. After digesting every word, I was saddened when the final page was turned. The group truly loved one another. There music was an outpouring of their souls. I didn`the know this until I read the book
Another point I learned is how each song came into being. They honed their craft like an intricate knitted sweater. The listening audience gained a quick glimpse into their lives. An unforgettable one at that
...more
Maureen
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I read this in 1991. I did not enjoy it as much as "No One Gets Out Alive" which is also about Jim Morrison. " Break On Through" has lots of good good of Morrison and friends. I keep trying to give these books up...maybe this time? Yep, I gave them up today: Jan 14, 2013.
Bill H.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book on Morrison. I've read damn near all of them and this one is top of my list.
Deia Skitalica
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is actually quite good, I wasn't sure what to expect. Riordan really gets deep into it, and explains both Morrison, his personality, the group dynamics, the music, the music industry, the sociopolitical situation in the US at the time that inspired (or provoked) them to write such music. It was an enjoyable read, and probably the first book on The Doors that I should have picked up (instead I went with Densmore's /Riders on the Storm/, which isn't bad, but leaves the reader short). Thi ...more
Leah Rubke
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best biographies I have read in awhile. Highly recommended!
Marcello
Il libro di per sé sarebbe bello ed interessante, tuttavia l'editore decise di mettere il manoscritto nelle mani di Frank Lisciandro ed accettare che Frank operasse delle riduzioni: questa versione tradotta, così come quella ripubblicata dalla Odoya nel 2012, è quindi mancante di alcuni pezzi rispetto a quella originale (che io possiedo). Scelte del genere non mi trovano per niente d'accordo: trovo seccante ed ingiustificato che qualcuno, che non sia uno degli autori, decida di censurare a piaci ...more
Jeff
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a fan of The Doors and biographies in general.
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.
My book has a similar cover as this one and the ISBN#: 0-668-11915-8 is shared with the 2006 copy of the book.

1st Read: July 15, 1995 - September 1, 1995 (**** Rating)
January 13, 1996 - January 22, 1996

In 1995, this would have been the fourth book I'd read about Jim Morrison and The Doors. With a move in late August of 1995, I put it down and didn't finish it all.

I found it quite refreshing to read about some new facts and things about Jim that we had not heard before. It was a welcome wealt
...more
Katie
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a lifelong Doors fan, I was anxious to get my hands on this book. Though it took me a long time to read, thanks to life, I found myself saddened when I finished. For me, it was as if Jim Morrison had died all over again. A beautiful insight to the man, this book gave me the opportunity to feel as though I knew him personally.
Larry
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Especially where he talks about Morison's influences and literary hereos. Also what I found interesting is that they were the top group in America much never made that much money when Jim was still alive. I bet if they would have signed a new contract with Electrka that would have all changed. In any case sad story about his girlfriend Patricia Courson....
Glenn
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
A definitive look into the life of Jim Morrison - starting in the very beginning all the way to the bitter end. The in-depth look breaks down every album, song and tour along the way - at times, in far too much depth - no stone is left unturned. Fanatics of The Doors will surely love it while it's also a good read for those just curious and trying to learn more.
Dana
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the best I've read of Jim Morrison and The Doors so far. This gives such wonderful insight into the poet, the struggle between what he was to the public and what he wanted them to see him as. There were times I felt Jim was here with me, being thankful that someone appreciates him for his philosophy and intellect, his poetry and his conflicted existence.
Brian H.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent look at Morrison's early years and behind the scenes of the band. Goes into great detail about his childhood, upbringing, and inspirations. Definitely worth the read if you are a Morrison or Doors fan.
Ana
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very comprehensive Morrison (and The Doors') biography, relying on the facts instead of the myths. Excellent coverage of their studio activity and work method. This and Manzarek's Light My Fire are probably my favourite Doors biographies.
Steven Palmer
Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison is a non-fiction book about the singer and his life and death. How he faces problems and solves them with drugs and alcohol. He was a film student at UCLA and then moved to Venice beach Los Angeles and started the band The Doors.
Deanna
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any Doors fan.
Absolutely LOVE this book. Great for any Doors fan.
Toni
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this book many years ago and enjoyed it. I remember liking it a lot. It's actually more of a 3.5 or a 3.75 stars. Great book in Jim Morrison if you're a fan.
Kei
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
a devoted and detailed biography of an underestimated poet James Douglas Morrison, a.k.a Jim Morrison of the Doors.
Alaska
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
break on through, to the other side!!!
Heather
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
great writing..all the details about jim's philosphical view of life and his dionysian lifestyle. If you love the Doors....its is a must read!
John Allen
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best, most lucid biography of Jim Morrison ever written--appropriately critical without going over the top and appropriately celebratory without gushing
Brian
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was never really a big fan of The Doors, however this book taught me to appreciate the band, especially Jim Morrison and how they effected society and culture and the history of rock 'n roll.
Jennifer
Marked this as "Want to Read" until I saw this alternate version of the cover and realized I'd already read it long ago ... always liked this one.
Richard
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good but looses momentum with slavish detail
Jillian
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Best Jim Morrison biography available.
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Riodan, Jeimuzu 1936-2012
Riordan, Dz.
Riordan, Dzejms.
Riordan, James
Riordan, James William 1936-2012
Riordan, Jim, 1936-2012

James Riordan (10 October 1936 – 10 February 2012) was an English novelist, broadcaster, sports historian, association football player and Russian scholar.

Well known for his work Sport in Soviet Society, the first academic look at sport in the Soviet Union, and for his children
...more
More about James Riordan