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Society's Child Audiobook
Society's Child
Written by: 
Janis Ian
Narrated by: 
Janis Ian
Society's Child Audiobook

Society's Child: My Autobiography

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (695 )
5 star
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4.2 (640 )
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4.5 (640 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Author Abbie Johnson Taylor Sheridan, WY, United States 05-29-16
    Author Abbie Johnson Taylor Sheridan, WY, United States 05-29-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    7
    7
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    Story
    "Singer/Songwriter Tells It All"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I think Janis Ian has a meaningful story to tell, and I would recommend it to anyone.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way she began each chapter and punctuated explanations of her songwriting tactics with snatches of the song she was writing.


    What about Janis Ian’s performance did you like?

    I like the way she sang songs with guitar and sometimes piano accompaniment instead of just reading the lyrics.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had many reactions to this book. I laughed and was almost moved to gtears at times, and I was angry.


    Any additional comments?

    Like Janis, I wanted to be a singer, but I'm glad I'm not after reading her memoir and that of other singers. However, I enjoy living a performer's life vicariously through such books as Society's Child.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael S Morey 05-27-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "roller coaster ride of emotions"

    I had been a fan of Janis' music through my mother but I had no idea what suffering was behind it. a true gem of a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Snoreck andover, NY USA 05-19-16
    Marie Snoreck andover, NY USA 05-19-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    20
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    "I LOVED this book!"

    Janice Ian, as always, an inspiration! What a beautiful way to explore and share her many gifts and her message of hope, perseverance, joy, vulnerability and the gift that is life. At the same time the book shares her memories of the 60's and 70's and some nuggets of wisdom and integrity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr Who Chicago 04-12-16
    Dr Who Chicago 04-12-16 Member Since 2010

    Jimmy

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What could I have expected? I have admired this woman since high school."

    What I found was a delightful composition of moments that moved me emotionally, satisfied my intellect, and gave me a great deal with which I could identify. Suffice it to say that I have been for many decades an admirer. Knowing the woman through her writing and her own voice is deeply satisfying. She helped me learn the truth at seventeen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tawnya J. Luke Tx 03-11-16
    Tawnya J. Luke Tx 03-11-16 Member Since 2016

    tawnya

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Getting to know Janis Ian"

    It was such a pleasure! I wasn't born until 1970 and my mother was Janis Joplin not Janis Ian. After catching a performance of hers on a SNL rerun I ordered a CD as quick as I could. She was gorgeous and unique and it was love at first listen. Society's Child was an intimate portrait for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda M. Nelson 03-07-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    7
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    "Wonderful exploration of her life"

    I loved it. I had no idea Janis suffered so much especially as a young kid. It more than held my interest and I loved the songs she sang through out. The introduction was brilliant . It was a great explanation of the sixties and being born in the crack was a good analogy. Janis is a good writer of books too. Who knew!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 01-24-16
    Sara 01-24-16 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WONDERFUL experience"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Society's Child?

    Her first hit at 14, continued productivity into her 60's. And all that happened to her.


    What about Janis Ian’s performance did you like?

    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!!!


    Any additional comments?

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz 12-06-15
    Liz 12-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You never know."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Pack 12-01-15
    V. Pack 12-01-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    3
    3
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    0
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    "Good thing Janis didn't want to be an actor."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OttawaShopper11 11-09-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    86
    19
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    2
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    Story
    "Loved it"

    What an amazing and unexpected life! The book is a slow starter but stick with it because what follows is a story worth hearing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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