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 really didn't know much about Janis Ian or her music. I was familiar with a couple of her hits. I listened to this mainly because it got rave reviews from other listeners. This isn't the typical book I listen to on a regular basis. I am more the business book and self-help type but decided I wanted a break. Her story was extremely fascinating and provided a wonderful glimpse into what it is like to make it and not make it in the music world.
She tells her story, and its a life with wild ups and downs, in such an open and honest way. She is a fantastic story teller/narrator, which makes sense as she is a singer songwriter. This has been one of my favorite audiobooks. Love the fact that in the audiobook you get to hear her music all along the way.
Listening to Janis Ian narrate her autobiography punctuated with her singing her songsfelt like sitting in her living room while she told the story. As she sang, I was transported back to my own youth. If you are a fan, this is a absolute must book to listen to. If you are not yet a fan, listen to this book and you'll become one.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
Like a lot of people, I was a bit surprised to learn this had beaten out some really famous and important works - - but after an hour, I know why. This story is like having the world's best coffee and donuts with your absolute best friend who is finally letting you in on all the secrets of her life. She's an amazing writer - - no kidding, just listen to her music. But just like that music, this is deeply personal, stunningly honest, painful and uplifting. Hearing this one, with Janis singing pieces of the story, allows you to be not a just a witness to her life, but a participant. Love this one.
The minute I saw that Janis Ian had an autobiography out I bought it! Then I saw that she was also performing it, and that made me even more excited to start it. I've been a fan of hers for decades, even meeting her briefly after a concert at the Univ. of Arizona in 1977 or so. I've been learning a lot about her life before becoming famous with "Society's Child" and "At Seventeen", and she even sings snippets of her songs in this great audiobook.
With the world of digital downloads, I've been able to buy some of her older releases and found out that she is coming to town in March!
THIS is the way a great autobiography should be done--read and performed by the author.
Thanks, Janis, and Audible!
I loved her music as a teenager and love her music now. I was tickled to find this book here, and not even a bit disappointed. Loved every minute of it, and no one else could read it and do it justice. Brava!
I liked the personal touches in this autobiography, especially the guitar playing and the singing. It was very entertaining.
How can you possibly beat a well-read autobiography about a musician when that artist performs the songs as she tells the story. Well-read, naturally beautifully performed.
When she described how she came up with her hit "At Seventeen."
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
Yes: For one credit you get these pearks:
- A liberal history lesson
- Raw gig experience deliverd without polished crap
- Backstage inside
- Gay and female rights
- Drug stories
And you get to hang with Janis Joplin! This is not a book: It is an experience. If you have not heard about Janis Ian you will enjoy it if you like the 60's and 70's music scene. Ian's sexual oriontation does not take up too much space. You get the story bout the man wo attacted her. She is not advating gay rights: To her we who are hetrosexuals are the same. She does an amazing job when it comes to seeing PEOPLE rather than labels. It is worthy every award. This book I mean experience is perfect for a weekend night when you sta home but rather wish you had the bucks for a gig and yes: You will come back to this. T is a feel-good book unlike any other. When you are done you might wan to hear the music. On her website free tracks awaits.
The fact that she is honest
Well. It is not possible to read a show.
When she was being drugged by a stranger in N.Y.
This is not my favorite book it is my favorite audio experience. Hopefylly this will be included in "How should I use my first credit?" Section.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The best thing about this memoir is that we get to hear it in Janis's own voice exactly as she intended it to be heard. She even occasionally punctuates it by singing snippets of her songs. There doesn't seem to be much that she's not willing to share with her readers/listeners. I give her credit for that, especially for someone with so many trust issues. There was probably more than I wanted or needed to know about her sex life. I was more interested in hearing about her songs and the album creation process. It turns out, that's actually a small part of a singer's life. It's mostly about the unending amount of time spent touring, and about her personal life. It was both interesting and disappointing to discover that her life has actually been rather ordinary, apart from being famous and having a couple fairly bizarre episodes. Occasionally, I wished there were more dates thrown in to keep the story anchored. Occasionally, I wish people had been better identified; I have trouble keeping track of people who are only explained once many pages earlier if at all. I could never tell if her accounts of events were meant to convey how she felt at the time, or if she still feels that way now. She recounts a number of mistakes that she made in her life and career, but the way she tells it leaves it unclear if she appreciates her share of the responsibility for them. Lest anyone think I am unsympathetic to her trials and tribulations, let me hasten to reassure them that I would not have bought this book if I hadn't been a fan of Janis's work. Whether anyone who is not a fan would appreciate this book is hard to say, but she writes well and reflects the times in which she lived in a way that helps remind all of us what it was like.
This is one of the most engaging nonfiction books I've read. Janis tells the story of her life, her music and the music industry. Nicely written, beautifully read. One aspect that really set this one apart for me was the natural way that Janis sings and plays the guitar at the beginning of every chapter and throughout the book. It has the feel of sitting in your living room and having Janis tell you her life story. Amazing!
I've been a fan of Janis Ian's music since 1967. However, I knew precious little about her personal life. Janis lays out key events in her life, good and bad, without whining about the bad or over indulging in her success. Hers is a life lived out loud without regrets. In the end, it is a story about her music (which clearly is in her DNA) the power of the human spirit and the power of music.
Book opens with Janis telling the story of performing Society's Child in front of an audience with the small number of racial bigots heckling the 15-year-old star.
Report Inappropriate Content