Yes, if only for the music.
This was a moving book, sometimes depressing but always hopeful. Her performance of her music at the beginning of every chapter provides a unique and moving framework for her life story. The frankness with which the story is told and the way she handles her abuse, her betrayals and her sexuality are revealing of the times and of her growth as a person. But always it is the music that drives her and heals her. Loved the book!
This is hands down the best audiobook I have heard -- and I have listened to many. I preface this by saying that I knew almost nothing about Janis Ian before listening to this book and certainly wasn't a fan of her iconic music. Even so, this audiobook is a work of art. Ian’s voice is seductive. Ian is heartbreakingly frank in describing her life. She's made many mistakes and doesn't try to gloss those over. When she discusses her music she plays a few bars which adds immensely to the listening experience. While listening to the book I explored Ian’s music and listened to a lot of it and understand her music more fully now because of her explanations. It is easy to see why this book won a Grammy award. It is a moving book that is beautifully performed. Ian has shown what a great audiobook can be. I am now a fan.
Having grown up in Janis' generation, being almost the same age, I was a huge fan. Her lyrics always resonated with me; but other than 17, I had forgotten about her music and about her as an artist. This book brought it all back to me vividly and, along with it, memories of myself at 17. Her narration was key to the enjoyment of the book. Beginning each chapter with a song was brilliant and sharing the story of her life was not only brave but made for an excellent read (listen). I always knew from her music that she was a complex individual but to hear first-hand how and what made her who she is helped to truly understand her music and life. This is an extremely a good book, even if you don't know Janis and he music, but being audible made it just that much better. After listening, I immediately went out and bought some of her music.
Yes. To refresh story and glean more understanding
Candid style. Human interest. Emotional connection. Understanding the life of an artist.
Herself. The songs at the start of each chapter. The feel
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.