David Bowie: A Life
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 12, 2017)
Reviewed by: Dr. Wesley Britton
When Prince died on April 21, 2016, just four months after the passing of David Bowie on January 10, there were immediate and numerous comparisons made between the two giants of music in terms of importance and influence. I well recall one TV commentator certain Prince was the more influential of the two.
I can’t figure out that reasoning at all. For one matter, by the time of Prince’s first successes in 1979, Bowie had already made a decade-long cultural impact difficult to match. As some of the interviewees in Dylan Jones oral history of the life of David Bowie opined, Ziggy Stardust was where the ‘60s ended and the ‘70s began. A large number of British acts from U2 to Duran Duran acknowledge Bowie as an important influence. Not to mention acts like Mott the Hoople, Iggy Pop, Lulu, and Lu Reed who all benefited from Bowie’s career-saving hand. Later, Madonna and Lady Gaga also pointed to Bowie as a seminal influence on their careers. And all this before Prince set foot into a recording studio.
And, judging from the countless verbal snapshots in Dylan Jones oral history, Bowie’s impact on the many people who knew or simply met him was profound on many levels. For one matter, he was a figure with a deep well of interest from music to the visual arts to theatre and film to fashion to literature. Because of his shifting guises throughout his career, he worked with a wide range of collaborators, producers, musicians, and business advisors. Depending on your point of view, Bowie was simply following his vision or was callous in his leaving some of his associates behind as he changed directions throughout his career.
While painting a “warts and all” portrait of Bowie in the words of hundreds of personal interviews, Dylan Jones presents a more than rounded portrait of an artistic giant worthy of the many accolades Bowie received before and after his death, but certainly he was no saint. In his personal life, he enjoyed a wide range of sexual experiences. Many of them, by 2018 standards, could be considered child molestation. During the ‘70s, Bowie did a bit too much coke. And during the ‘80s, his artistic vision let him down when he crafted some admittedly substandard albums.
But, in the main, most commentators on Bowie in Dylan Jones’ biography remember Bowie in a very favorable light, from his private personal life to his work in the studio to his interactions with, well, seemingly everyone he ever met. From start to finish, Bowie is seen as an innovative artist with drive, talent, a special physical presence as well as intellectual abilities and curiosity. It’s such a personal book that those looking for insights into Bowie’s creative process may feel slighted, but there are no shortage of other books that explore such aspects of Bowie’s output.
I’ve always shied away from using the term “definitive” for any biography as many are comprehensive but usually lack in one aspect or another. Dylan Jones A Life comes close as he actually wrote very little but instead compiled a year-by-year history of Bowie and his circles using the voices of so many observers. It might not be the one and only book you should read about Bowie, but I can’t imagine any other tome out there that touches so many bases. Maybe not definitive, but certainly indispensable.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Aug. 20, 2018:
She’s in a white dress that dances around her ankles, and her hair tumbles in a long sheet of curls down her back. A veil covers her beautiful eyes, and she smiles directly at him. Janie is everything Rafe’s ever imagined she would be on her wedding day.
Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Perfect.
The moment he sees her walking down the aisle towards him, he knows that she’s the one.
Then she passes him, making her way to the man she’s to marry.
A man that wasn’t him.
A man that he knows with one hundred percent certainty isn’t good enough for her.
It seems that her father isn’t the only one who’s having a hard time giving her away. Rafe only wishes he knew why.
Everything about Janie sparks protective instincts he doesn’t feel for anyone, not even his own fiancé.
What he feels for the bride, however, isn’t merely a simple attraction. He knows that something is there just beneath the surface…if only he could reach it.
It has to be something huge, too, otherwise he wouldn’t be drinking whiskey straight from the flask in a church pew and wondering how many years he would do in prison if he shot the groom in front of about a hundred witnesses—half of those being cops.
He was good…but not that good.
A near-death experience cost Rafe almost six months of his memory, but right now he can’t help but feel like a huge mistake is being made on both of their parts. One that’s going to cost him everything.
Then she says I do.
Author note: I, Lani Lynn Vale, solemnly swear that there is NO CHEATING in this book...but looks are deceiving. So hang with me.
LOVING THIS SERIES!
I’ve been crazy about this series from the word go and have loved each book more than the last one. I was honestly at the point where I thought my love for this series was maxed out but nope, I was wrong. This one…this one blew my mind and blindsided me with what has happened…I seriously did not see any of this coming…especially not the tears. My poor hubby came in from taking the dog for his morning walk to find me clutching my e-reader with soggy tissue in hand mumbling “dammit they made me cry!” He patted me on the shoulder and simply said “It’s been known to happen honey.” and went to make his morning tea…with my response of “Not when it’s a freakin’ hockey story. It doesn’t.” well, I was wrong apparently it does.
And that’s all the tear talk that we’ll be having today except to say that there were happy tears and sad tears and frustrated tears and some really pissed, angry tears and that’s the end of the tear talk.
‘Goal Line’ is puts us back inside the crease as we meet and spend time with fellow Canadian Bryan Delaney. The latest addition to the Railers and back-up for Sven the Railers totally adorable bigger than life Russian goalie. Bryan’s life hasn’t been the greatest, but he’s worked hard to get where he, is in spite of the obstacles he’s faced. Leaving his home in nowhere Canada at the age of 15 he found the beginnings of the family he should have had with his billet family before being drafter to the Raptors and can I just say that it’s a good thing he lived in Nowhere, Canada because I seriously want to get my hands on his parents…they do not deserve to be Canadian and we need to deport them to…the bottom of the ocean sounds good so let’s go with that, ok? I really came to love Bryan and at times his sense of insecurity and lack of self-worth more than anything were what brought me to tears, so the love and positive support that he received from Gatlin were like a balm to my soul. Bryan brought out my mother instincts practically from the word go and I have my milk and cookies ready for him.
For Bryan the Railers are a whole new creature when it comes to hockey teams as far as Bryan can see and he’s more than a little lost as to how to fit into this new and different team and when Sven takes him to get some new artwork for his helmet Bryan’s in for one more surprise when he meets Gatlin. Gatlin takes one look at Bryan and sees the history of sadness, heartache and insecurity that Bryan’s tried so hard to hide from the world and all he wants to do is to bring something good into Bryan’s life.
When Bryan gets drafted to the Railers he’s leaving behind more than a hockey team…he’s also leaving behind his first love affair…thank heavens because this one’s toxic city.
There’s a bit of an age gap between Gatlin and Bryan and while I’m ok with age gaps but still not a big fan of them. This one worked really well because of his age, Gatlin had the calm and maturity to be the supportive person that Bryan needed…these two men fit together effortlessly in my opinion and I so enjoyed their relationship…it worked really well for me. That’s not to say that they didn’t have some challenges to get there just that I had no problem believing that they would.
I think one of my favorite things about this book…actually about the series in general is how much we get to see of the characters from the previous books. It’s like getting a bag of my favorite candy when this happens in a series. I have such a weakness for this and because this story is based around a sports team it would honestly be bizarre to have it any differently.
‘Goal Line’ turns out to be a huge game changer for this series and one that I think will be as surprising for other fans of the series as it was for me, but I’m so on board to find out what happens next.
An ARC of ‘Goal Line’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.