Patti Smith sheds a non-judgemental light on an era of New York City when the art and music scenes seemed to be exploding. She crosses the paths of many luminaries (Harry Smith, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol) while slowly finding her own way and becoming the admired singer, poet and artist many adore. This book is very humble, it is not about name-dropping, she is not trying to make her or her friends seem like rock/art royalty. This book is the tale of her often beautiful and enduring friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe and their respective urges to create.
It is possible to both be an admirer of his music and not a fan of this book. This autobiography seems honest and well-meaning, it just isn't my cup of tea. Maybe if I was an old rock and roll guy I'd like it more.
The stories are a bit scattered, but I found that part charming. It's just that after an hour or so I started to feel like I was hanging out with an old man who's a bit out of touch. Young pays tribute to many of his friends and family, it's really sweet overall, it's just that it's surprisingly really sappy and the sentimentality directed towards cars, toy trains, guitars, houses, and other property of the sort is not that interesting to everyone.
I think that if the book had been read by the author it could have worked better. I saw Neil Young on the Daily Show and it made me want to get this book. The title itself was also super promising.
I was sadly disappointed.
When I listen to an Nevada Barr book, I usually know what to expect. I don't even care about the reviews, I am just glad to listen to an exciting detective story written by one of my favorites featuring the intrepid Anna Pigeon while I tend to other things.
I also usually know what to expect from Barbara Rosenblat, the narrator.
Not this time.
Did Rosenblat have a losange in her mouth the whole time she was reading? Or did she have no water in the studio to re-hydrate her mouth? Perhaps the engineer who produced this recording had never done this before or was not paying attention.
Needless to say, this is not a book for headphones. It felt like someone was chewing and swallowing in my ears, which is really too bad, because the story itself is classic Nevada Barr and Barbara Rosenblat is still a stellar narrator. Could somebody just bring her some water?
I didn't think there was any way on Earth the narration would be that bad, but it's practically surreal! It sounds like my computer reading it. It might as well be. I have no idea why the reader chose to use such unusual cadence for each and every sentence, it makes it really really hard to stay focused.
The book itself is a must READ. So interesting. It is such a shame to have it spoiled by this intensely irritating narration. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone who is just the slightest bit curious about North Korea. Definitely worth your time and energy. I would not recommend the audiobook to anyone.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't want something that felt like fifty years of "The Girls Next Door" or lengthy descriptions of Hefner's sexual exploits. I wanted something compelling, something that could explain what made Playboy what it has become, and that is what I got with this book.
Each decade from 1953 until now is described in great detail. The Playboy empire is at the forefront, but the social climate of America is the other main character. Playboy changed with the times, shapeshifting to keep up with the trends. It's a common business model. Reinventing yourself over and over to remain a classic.
My only complaint about this book is that I found it to be a little repetitive at times, there were definitely moments where I was having flashbacks of having heard the exact same sentences a couple times before. I think it just has to do with the style it was written in.
I was a fan of "In the Woods", an even bigger fan of "The Likeness". This one I could not get into and I am pretty convinced that I know who the culprit is. Unpleasant details about a dysfunctional family go on and on and ON... It's like a capsule of pure concentrated negativity. A total bummer. It really is a shame considering how much I like the other two books.
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