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Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey
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Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,856 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Saucerful of Secrets is the first in-depth biography of this very private group. At the heart of the saga is Syd Barrett, the group's brilliant founder, whose public decline into shattered incoherence--attributable in part to his marathon use of LSD--is one of the tragedies of rock history. The making of Dark Side of the Moon and Floyd's other great albums is recounted in ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 1st 1992 by Delta (first published 1991)
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Glen Engel-Cox
The recent demise of Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright was my impetus for reading this well-researched biography of the rock group. I'm a fan of the Waters/Gilmour Floyd (as opposed to the Syd Barrett Floyd or the Waters-less Floyd), and Schaffner does a great job of distinguishing these different periods of the band, putting a nice perspective on the way the transitions occurred given the personalities involved. It's interesting to note that Floyd was unlike many other rock groups at the time, ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first half of this book, the part about Syd Barrett, haunted me long after he exited the narrative, long after I put the book down, long after I'd forgotten the details of Waters and Gilmore's petty feuds. Everything about him is so haunting and beautiful and enigmatic. After reading this book I discovered Syd's music, which alone earns this book 5 stars. It really should get 4, as the second half was about 3 star quality for me, but I was so fascinated and engrossed by Syd's story, and so f ...more
Doug DePew
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a fan of Pink Floyd
Every Pink Floyd fan should own "Saucerful of Secrets". It a fascinating book about this very private, secretive group. The writing is skillfully done, and it's a quick read. I used this book as the basis for an entire class I taught about Pink Floyd.

The book carries us through the history of the band from their births to the book's publication date in 1991. The early lives of the band members are interesting, but once the band is formed, it becomes fabulous. The book goes into great detail abo
Sep 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
This might be the world's most boring band. That is not to say that I don't like the Floyd, but jeez, for a band that was the soundtrack for so many psychedelic fueled bouts of bad poetry writing and other stoner pastimes, these dudes were duds. They were all pretty rich before becoming rock stars, Roger Waters is a complete megalomaniac, and the greatest disappointment was they really didn't even take that many drugs. It's a sad day to discover that a band regarded as visionary and legendary dr ...more
Olesya Razuvayevskaya
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?"

If you are more than just a casual fan, "Saucerful of Secrets" is a must-read. This is the first biography of the Floyd that trails its history from infancy through the golden years and Roger's conceptualism to the beginning of the 90's (Schaffner has never seen his book published as it was finished in 1991 right before his death). Writing about a band so ultimately private and largely mystified must b
Dec 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I thought this was an adequate book, certainly a decent history of Pink Floyd from the band's origins up to about the mid-80s, but I felt the whole thing was skewed by the fact that Schaffner clearly has an overdeveloped hero worship of Syd Barrett and writes the whole book as a sort of tribute to what might have been rather than the greatness that was. He tends to downplay David Gilmour's genius, a crime in my opinion, and subtly argues that Roger Waters was just a guy who had to soldier on aft ...more
Loyola University Chicago Libraries
The music of Pink Floyd gains much more meaning when placed in the context of the band’s history, and that is precisely what Schaffner does in Saucerful of Secrets. From the early days of Syd Barrett and the underground London scene to Dark Side of the Moon and straight on through the Gilmour and Waters solo albums, the book reveals the creative processes, internal conflicts, triumphs, and tragedies of this timeless band while progressing chronologically through Pink Floyd’s albums. Don’t expect ...more
Jul 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
This book hand-holds you through the Floyd chronology and every chapter has titles lifted from the band's discography (something that is often irritating in how far-reaching it is,) and the author is obviously deeply in love with the Floyd. However, it's a great tool for anyone wishing to make sense of the band's history, conflicts, tragedies, and album concepts. Read it cover to cover (or almost--you really don't need the last chapters about the post-Floyd stinker solo albums) and you will have ...more
Lukasz Pruski
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
"They weren't players - they were kind of concept artists, really."
(Pete Brown, British poet and lyricist, on Pink Floyd).

Nicholas Schaffner's Saucerful of Secrets. The Pink Floyd Odyssey (1991) is a well-told and insightful story of the famous British band, one of the brightest stars in the rock-music pantheon. They began playing together in 1965 and were active in recording studios or on tours until 1994. The group temporarily reunited for the Live 8 ("Live Aid") benefit concert in 2005. Mr. S
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
For a book written twenty-five-plus years ago, coincidentially about the same time my interest in PF waned, this as a fair and objective read. Smooth and easy going, yet well researched. No reissue or kindle editions exist at this time.
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