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27

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  58 reviews
When singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home in 2011, the press inducted her into what Kurt Cobain’s mother named the 27 Club. "Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club,” she said in 1994, after being told that her son, the front man of Nirvana, had committed suicide. "I told him not to….” Kurt’s mom was referring to the extraordinary roll call of iconic st ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 595)
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Jonathan
This is a highly selective look at the so-called "27 club," specifically about six prominent members. Sounes briefly tries to find some thematic connection between all of the members, but ultimately he just focuses on the six most self-destructive. He considers these six to be the most well-known of those musicians who died at the now infamous age of 27, but I'm not sure that most people would consider Brian Jones to be a more recognizable name than Robert Johnson or Otis Redding. Sounes was obv ...more
Belinda
I gave this book one star for teaching me the lesson of being less impulsive in what I choose to read. Utter crap. This book looked so promising-a subject that interests me, 3 of my favorite musicians (Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and Jim Morrison) and a fresh take on their lives and connections. Boy, was I fooled. This book is like falling downhill--it just gets worse and worse as it goes. It starts out promisingly (though as other reviewers have noted, it is more about Amy Winehouse than any of ...more
Mary
The author's basic premise is that dying at age 27 is a coincidence but then spends considerable time documentating even more absurd coincidences with nary an insight in sight. Cobain and Winehouse liked their grandmothers! Morrison and Winehouse thought children were fun!
Janine
I wanted to like this book.
Sadly I didn't really like it.

I won this book in the giveaways and I was very excited to get it in the mail. I even planned to read it regardless of if I won it or not, I already had it on my hold list at the library.

Going into this book I was expecting it to be mostly about Amy. I did understand there would be parts about the other big six, but I was not expecting the amount that there was. The author wrote just as much about the other big six individually as they did
...more
Tim Niland
It has become engraved in urban legend and folklore that many prominent entertainers, particularly musicians, die during the 27th year of their lives. The author of this book, Howard Sounes, examines this phenomena through the lens of six of the most prominent members of the "27 Club," musicians Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. What results is a mix of dogged journalism and TMZ-like gossip mongering. A sordid path of addiction runs through the ...more
Ardi
This book is an interesting read, I liked the idea of the epigraphs in each chapter. The individual chapter represents each artist mentioned, from birth to death. But, mainly it's about Amy Winehouse, which should not be so, in my opinion. Started with Amy and ended with Amy. It should merely focus equally to each artist because the premise of the book in itself is about the 27 Club. The book lacked credible information in my opinion, it's just a compilation of gossip. I doubt the author intervi ...more
Mike Walter
My biggest challenge with this book is that a few of the members of the 27 club (Morison, Jones, Hendrix) I'd already read full books about and so the cursory histories provided here were redundant for me. Others (Joplin and Cobain) I haven't and so these brief biographies felt insufficient. And the final member (Winehouse) I just didn't feel as if she belonged. In fact I felt at times that Sounes was basically writing a biography of Amy Winehouse yet didn't have enough material and so chose to ...more
Jamie Beckett
Feb 24, 2014 Jamie Beckett rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Baby boomers, music fans, young people who feel left out and lost.
It starts and ends with Amy Winehouse. Not because she's the most talented of the artists profiled, or the most prolific. Far from it. She's simply the most recent high-profile example of a chain of events that most closely resembles a slow-motion train wreck. Rooted in a prodigious talent, coupled with self-esteem issues, a penchant for substance abuse, in an industry where death often translates directly into dollars - 27 is an fascinating expose of the fragility of our heros, who are only peo ...more
Meg
May 20, 2014 Meg rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
The misplaced blame, placed rather angrily upon significant others and parents, for untimely deaths of music greats really left a bad taste in my mouth.
David Murguia
This should have been an Amy Winehouse Bio as she was the authors main focus and the book is predominantly about her. This comes off as 5 partially half assed bios and then one well researched AW bio that either must not have gotten Winehouse estate approval or the publisher didn't think would sell on its own.

Other books which only had chapters on the 27s went into much more depth in regards lore and theories about the group. Sounes doesn't even mention the origins of the "27 curse" with Robert
...more
Zach
(As seen on Sounds of Silva)

There is no other mystery in the music world more prominent than that of the 27 Club, referring to the collection of artists who have passed away at that relatively young age early in their careers. An usual spike at age 27 in the amount of deaths of musicians in the public eye has led to this look by author Howard Sounes into the lives of the six most prominent members of the club, starting with Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones and continuing with the recent passin
...more
Donna
27
By Howard Sounes; Da Capo Press, 2013

Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse all died at 27 years of age, as did many other musicians over the years. Over time, these stars, amongst others, have been dubbed as "members of the 27 club".

Howard Sounes, new book "27" is a fabulously researched and well written analysis of the lives and deaths of these stars, in order to determine if the "27 club" myth actually revealed any significant links between
...more
Brittany
Oct 17, 2013 Brittany rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in learning about the 27 club
How I Came To Read This Book: I received a free copy from the publisher to review for my blog.

The Plot: When Amy Winehouse passed away a couple of years ago, it caused many people to once again bring up the coincidental ’27 Club’, featuring a multitude of musicians that died at this young age. Howard Sounes takes a journalistic approach to looking at the ‘club’ as a whole, as well as the six biggest names to join it – Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Win
...more
Pat
I was very impressed by the author's thorough research and his sane and balanced viewpoint. He writes well and I found it quite compelling. The stories of the '27' Club's principal members are sobering (quite ironic given the role of alcohol in so many of the stories) and generally sad. Most of them were intelligent, nice people who went through a traumatic childhood and did not have the mental strength to cope with all that fame and fortune brings. Nor we're they served well by family, friends ...more
Deb
Amy,27 is a series of short biographies of 6 of the best know musical artists who died at the age of 27 - Amy Winehouse, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. I found it to be an easy and fast read as, at 300 pages, there is little room to go into much depth of each artist. Because of this, I found to title of "Amy, 27" to be a bit misleading, as she is the focus only insomuch as she is the latest artist on the list to have died. Given the amount amount of depth ...more
Tara
It was quite refreshing to read something about Amy Winehouse that isn't 'official', but isn't tabloid either. It's not a biography as such, but it's a lot better than some. I put it on a par with Nick Johnstone's Amy Amy Amy, which I liked, rather than Chas Newkey-Burden's book which is more popular, though not with me.

Sounes is quite critical of Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse, which some may not like. He implies that her mother wasn't strong enough to keep Amy out of trouble, and that Mitch was
...more
David Macpherson
What started promising, slowly blew it. This began as a look at the major music stars that died at 27. They were followed through sections of their career trajectories. But most of it was on Amy Winehouse and the author got rid of his theories on why they all died at 27 and why its just coincidence and focused more on his obvious loathing on Mitch Winehouse, AMy's father. The book ended not with a summing up of his theories but on one final jab at Father Winehouse. Poorly constructed book
JulieLaLa
4.5 Stars!
An excellent book, well-researched and well-presented. It deals with the sudden deaths of Amy Winehouse and the big 5 of the so-called "27 club" (Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain). Author Howard Sounes draws parallels between what these stars shared: their artistic sides, their troubled youths, their likely psychological issues (often caused by childhood upheavals), their ascent to fame and their difficulties in coping with the fame and the associat
...more
Allison
I'm an avid Joplin fan so this book grabbed my attention. The author does an okay job of working though the idea of the "27 Club," as he walks readers through each artist's personal life and path to fame. In my opinion, he spends a bit too much time on Amy Winehouse, but I learned a lot about Jones, Hendrix, and Morrison. I liked how he talked about the emergence of conspiracy theorists in most of the artists' deaths. I really enjoyed learning more about Janis and Kurt. All in all, an okay read.
Larissa Deyneka
Fun, fast read and interesting. I like that the author includes all the myths and legends but doesn't necessarily give them clout. I have been interested in the subject as a casual reader and didn't honestly know how many of some of the best bands out there have a member in the "club". I also didn't know much about Brian Jones before and would be interested to read more about his life.
Lori

This was an ok book about Amy Winehouse and the 5 other musical artists who all died at age 27. Jones, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and Cobain.
It didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know from reading biographies of each of the subjects...except for Amy. I didn't really know too much about her so that was interesting.

The book was a little jumpy, in my opinion. Each chapter, instead of focusing on each individual, consisted of bits and pieces related to each.

Also, I get fatigued at people
...more
Rose
The lives of the six principal members of the "27 club" (Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse) are told in a clear-eyed but still sympathetic way. He dispels a lot of the myths that have grown up. I don't believe his contention that there is any statistical justification for the 27 Club (fails to take into account the living musicians who have passed this mark). Nice illustrations, especially the now-poignant ones of the six as children.
Melinda
Good music; tragic, short lives.

This book is focused on the life and death of Amy Winehouse and uses the lives of five other musicians that died at 27 to show the similarities in their early lives, careers and deaths. Instead of straightforward biographies on each subject, Sounes tells about a part of life for each musician at a time, like childhood, teenage years, early careers, and so on. I enjoyed the book and am glad I read it, but it's depressing to read about all the addiction and mental
...more
Aprille
Ok..Sorry to be so honest..this book sux right from jump..I liked Amy Winehouse ..as the flawed person she was..I don't need anyone to explain away her death..she passed..she may finally be at peace..I should have taken the advice of others and not bothered..Ugh..
Jess
Originally titled Amy, 27 this book is a quick biography of Amy Winehouse's induction into the 27 Club. Sounes frames Amy's story with the lives and deaths of 5 of the club's most prominent members: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. A fast overview of six lives lived to hard and taken to short.
Sara
This was a lot better than I though it was going to be - I was expecting a fairly sensationalist, cash in on Winehouse's death tacking on the myth of the 27 club and some of its other members. Instead, Sounes begins by looking at whether the 'club' has credibility - finding yes there is a peak at age 27 of musicians dying - but expressing reservations that the myth has been inflated.

He gives equal time to exploring the rise, sometimes fall and reasons for the untimely demises of Brian Jones, Ji
...more
Jillian Tourangeau
Loved it. A lot of discussion about Amy Winehouse, which was interesting, but I wish there was an equal amount of information regarding everyone else. This book cuts through the fat and gives real fact and ignores the conspiracy theories which I liked.
Drew Athans
My full and detailed review is on my website: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2014/0...

An easy, fun read...not too much new information and there's way too much of a focus on Amy Winehouse, but it's still a good and (slightly) thought-provoking read for any rock fan.
Max
Entertaining read if you're a rock and roll fan. Wish there had been more analysis, but it was a comprehensive account of the lives and deaths of these musical behemoths.
Stacy
I had heard the author of this book on the radio and was intrigued. I thought it was interesting that he talked about the statistical work he said he did. The book does not touch on the statistical piece much, sadly. In fact, all of the research he brings in is sort of thrown in here and there. The book did have some interesting moments but overall it is a pretty sad indictment of fame at a young adult age and the exploitation that follows from business contacts, friends and family. The musician ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Typos 2 23 Feb 10, 2014 02:42PM  
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28398
I am the author of non-fiction books about a range of extraordinary people: the murderers Fred and Rosemary West (Fred & Rose), the writer Charles Bukowski (Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life) and the singer-songwriters Bob Dylan (Down the Highway) and Paul McCartney (Fab).

More about Howard Sounes...
Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life Fred & Rose Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney Bukowski in Pictures

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