Revealing, charming, well-read
It is her story so hearing it in her voice means you move at her pace. If I read the written words I might put emphasis on parts that she did not and vice versa. It really was like sitting down and talking to an old friend.
Yes. Because it covered a time in history that I lived through and I enjoyed her relating to me over again.
Yes. To my children and younger friends who missed this troubled period in history and need to learn about the freedoms gained and the music culture that contributed to change. To my age cohort, I would also recommend as a mindful journey down memory lane.
In her verbal presentation a passion for independence and resilience.
I sided with her in her response to crowd reactions to her lyrics.
A good read (on Janice's part) accurately conveying the emotions and turmoil of a period of change that advanced the power of music as a social commentary, one that she contributed to significantly.
Yes, Janis has done a great job in a very revealing account of her life.
The scene when Janis was with Jimi Hendrix listening to BB King and the announcement of Martin Luther King's death. The scene connected so many threads of the Sixties into one paragraph.
Janis's life needed to be shared in this manner in order for people to know and understand the life of a famous individual. With Janis's life the pendulum has swung back and forth from stardom to the average Joe so many times. With these swings from fame to normal has blessed Janis with the chance to be a REAL individual. Thank you Janis for sharing.
Lisa M. Russell
Yes, so well written and narration is engaging
Want her to write another book and narrate it as well.
I have recommended this book-I didn't know who Janis Ian was and now I want to listen to her music!
A study in human development - fascinating, interesting and so honest....couldn't stop listening!!
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Celebrity autobiographies always seem better to me if they are narrated by the celebrity. In Society's Child, Janis Ian reads her own story. While she is not a practiced or dramatic narrator, hearing the book in her own voice increases the listener's personal experience of the events Ian has gone through. As an added bonus, each time the text refers to or discusses a particular song of hers (including at the beginning of each chapter) Ms Ian plays the guitar and sings at least a few bars of the song.
She has led an interesting, and not always very happy, life. Born in 1951 during the McCarthy Commie-hunting days, she had to move with her family from place to place in the New York/New Jersey area because her parents' left-leaning politics made them targets of the FBI and similar organizations, and her father had to keep changing teaching jobs. When she was 13, she wrote "Society's Child," and was touring with the song by the time she was 15. At many of those performances she was baited and threatened by people in the audience, accused of being a "n____-lover". Hard to take when you're 15.
Janis Ian went through a number of travails, many of which seem to have been the result of youth and a too-trusting nature. Several times in her adult life, she ended up close to penniless, and had to scramble to make a living. At the age of 27 she married a Portuguese man who turned out to be both emotionally and physically abusive. Getting out of that marriage while dealing with the IRS over taxes that were never paid by her tax accountant was slow and grueling. Eventually she found the woman who has been her partner for many years, and life has become brighter and fulfilling.
Of course not all of the book is dark. There are many interesting stories, including her meetings and friendships with Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and the legendary acting coach Stella Adler; and the background and writing of "At Seventeen." And she discusses the happy times in her life.
A number of times in this book, Ian says that she often did not ask for help or even discuss many of her problems because those matters were too personal and she was very uncomfortable discussing personal things. After a number of years in therapy, she was able in her autobiography to reveal and discuss highly personal matters, and she was able to read them in this recording. In the end, what you get from this book is the story of a strong, brave woman who has been through a lot and has managed to reach a balance in her life. Well worth a listen.
Shopper in BB
Her lack of self awareness is mind-boggling. Although her arrogance is off-putting, like any train wreck, I could not look away-or stop listening.
After hearing great reviews for her audiobook, I was truly disappointed to discover that the person who wrote "At Seventeen" was actually someone who continuously blamed others for every bad thing that happened in her life. Her lack of gratitude to the people who assisted her during her recovery from "CFS" - really? No one smart enough to play chess (I'd quote here but I can't bear to listen again for the exact wording) - was shameful.
I would love to find a rebuttal written by at least one of the people mentioned in her book. I bet their take on life with the brilliant Janis would be a little more enlightening, even if they were written by a dim-wit, without a thesaurus.
Next time Janis finds herself a victim, she ought to try taking a moral inventory, instead of being so quick to blame the other people in her life for her own shortcomings. Also, showing a little humility would have been refreshing.
I have always been a fan. Janis story was sad and amazing what a journey. Love her and her music more than ever
I really enjoyed this book. Hearing Janis tell her story is what made it work. I could hear her sadness and her joy in her words. She survived so many life experiences...I understand that each step one takes contributes to what one becomes, but I had no idea there had been so many ups and downs in this artist's life.