Audie Award, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013
Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2013
Booklist Top 10 Biography Audiobooks
Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. An intimate portrait of an interracial relationship, "Society's Child" climbed the charts despite the fact that many radio stations across the country refused to play it because of its controversial subject matter. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career.
In this fascinating memoir of her more than 40 years in the music business, Ian chronicles how she did drugs with Jimi Hendrix, went shopping for Grammy clothes with Janis Joplin, and sang with Mel Tormé, all the while never ceasing to create unforgettable music.
In 1975, Ian's legendary "At Seventeen" earned two Grammy awards and five nominations. Her next two albums brought her worldwide platinum hits. But after seven albums in as many years, she made a conscious decision to walk away from the often grueling music business. During this period, she struggled through a difficult marriage, which ended with her then husband's attempt to destroy her, and a sudden illness that very nearly cost her her life. The hiatus from music lasted for close to a decade until, in 1993, Ian returned with the release of the Grammy-nominated Breaking Silence. Now, as she moves gracefully into her fifth decade as a recording artist and writer, Ian continues to draw large audiences around the globe.
In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.
©2008 Janis Ian (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Each chapter in this mesmerizing memoir begins with an evocative lyric read and sung by Ian, who transports listeners back in time with both words and music." (Booklist)
I should like this as I like many music biographies, given the large number of excellent reviews. While the narration was fine, the story was marred for me by blaming anyone but herself for any setbacks. Maybe it's because, other than a couple songs, I'm not really a fan of her music. Don't regret trying the audiobook,but didn't finish.
A fantastic story- much more than another performer made-it. I had no idea her life was so incredible, so much to overcome, what a wonderful person!
Her first hit at 14, continued productivity into her 60's. And all that happened to her.
Each chapter began with her singing part of a song that worked with that chapter. And she read the book as if she wrote it... oh, yes, she did!!!
I bought the book on sale thinking it sounded "okay." Other than "At 17" I couldn't have named any of her songs before reading the book. What a delightful surprise! Her life is amazing; she is amazing! And because she read the book, it was even more alive. I loved the song clips sung at the beginning of the chapters. A must "read" (listen).
I was a fan of Janis Ian for many years without the knowledge of her trials and tribulations. Ms. Ian's autobiography is an eye opener for those of us who think a few hit records makes for a cozy life. Her voice made for easy listening and her music throughout was a wonderful touch. I am a big fan of this book and the author.
I'll be blunt. Ms. Ian's ego is huge. She spends an uncomfortable amount of time telling us how intelligent she is. Her narration is just painfully bad. Her story is downright boring. Sorry, I can't recommend this one.
What an amazing and unexpected life! The book is a slow starter but stick with it because what follows is a story worth hearing.
Impeccable performance of a moving story of an unusual life.
There's more to Janis Ian Tyan just your memories of "At Seventeen."" Highly recommended.
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.
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