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review 2018-08-21 10:44
David Bowie: A life

 

 

David Bowie: A Life

Dylan Jones

Hardcover: 544 pages

Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 12, 2017)

ISBN-10:045149783X

ISBN-13:978-0451497833

https://www.amazon.com/David-Bowie-Life-Dylan-Jones/dp/045149783X

 

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.

 

Huh?

 

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:

https://waa.ai/aHKm

 

 

                

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review 2018-08-03 12:23
Bob Hope On TV

 

 

Bob Hope On TV: Thanks For the Video Memories

Wesley Hyatt

Publisher: BearManor Media (December 15, 2017)

ISBN-10: 1629332178

ISBN-13: 978-1629332178

https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Hope-TV-Thanks-Memories/dp/1629332178

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

No other modern entertainer can claim the longevity or scope of what Bob Hope accomplished between 1919 to 1997, nearly 80 years in show business. Before his death at the age of 100 in 2003, Hope was a vaudevillian, actor on stage, radio, film, and television. He helped define just what a “stand-up comic” is. He was also a singer, dancer, sometime athlete, and author. He starred in 54 feature films, appeared in many more,  and hosted the Academy Awards show 19 times, more than any other host.

 

Those Academy Award Shows are among the seemingly countless Bob Hope TV appearances chronicled by Wesley Hyatt in his Bob Hope on TV.  The heart of his book, not surprisingly,  are the numerous specials Hope hosted for NBC television starting in 1950 which continued until 1997. Among those specials were a number of shows performed live before military audiences for the USO (United Services Organization),   including the 1970 and 1971 Christmas specials taped in Vietnam, now listed in the Top 46 U.S. network prime-time telecasts. Both were seen by more than 60 percent of the U.S. households watching television.

 

Add in all the specials hosted by others and TV shows Hope guested on, it’s obvious Hyatt had a daunting task simply cataloguing but one part of the Bob Hope legacy.      Gratefully, Hyatt gives us much more than capsule descriptions of each Hope TV outing.  Decade by decade, Hyatt gives us useful introductions that describe what Hope’s career was like during each of these periods of his small screen life.

 

I must admit, Hyatt’s critical analysis of each special, in particular,   make it surprising Hope’s tenure with NBC ran for as long as it did.  After the 1950s, Hyatt uses few compliments to describe these programs. Hyatt claims that Hope got further and further out of touch with contemporary tastes and mores,    especially regarding equal rights for women.  During the Vietnam war, Hope was a conspicuous supporter of that unpopular conflict and was a known backer of beleaguered President Richard Nixon.   Hyatt goes beyond these already well-known aspects of Hope’s public life and knocks most of the skits and monologues for much of Hope’s TV career. As Hyatt made every effort to screen as many of the Hope appearances as he could,    one wonders if boredom crept into his critical eye or if Hyatt is using contemporary standards—as in his distaste for Hope’s targeting of gays—to measure broadcasts that might not have always earn high ratings, but remained popular for many reasons.  Audiences kept coming back again and again even as the generations changed. Advertisers usually supported Hope for long periods of time, especially Chrysler (1963–73) and Texaco (1975–85).

 

Whether or not readers agree with Hyatt’s often unhappy critical analyses or not, without question,   you got to be a major fan of Bob Hope to want this lengthy tome.  There’s a whole lot of old-timers in that number. And we must all applaud Hyatt for his incredible task of doing the research for this volume. From hunting down rare and obscure copies of the old broadcasts to screening nearly everything he could find to interviewing surviving participants, notably joke writers like Bob Mills,    Wesley Hyatt has compiled an impressive work of research most libraries should want to shelve, especially those with good collections of books dealing with entertainment. Bob Hope fans of whatever generation you belong to may well want to skim through these pages—Bob Hope on TV isn’t a cover to cover read unless, like Hyatt, all this television minutia is your cup of tea.

 

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Aug. 2, 2018:

https://waa.ai/afwW


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review 2018-07-17 08:10
Release Blitz w/Review - Playing Hurt

 

He’s playing hurt. She’s laying low. And they’re both flirting with disaster. Playing Hurt by Kelly Jamieson is AVAILABLE NOW!

 

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IZAxCi

iBooks: https://apple.co/2sfDWGC

B&N(Nook): http://bit.ly/2JfJFWs

RakutenKobo: http://bit.ly/2xoZRjv

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2soQavI

 

“Kelly Jamieson is my go-to author for hockey romance.”—Jami Davenport

 
He’s playing hurt. She’s laying low. And they’re both flirting with disaster.
 
Chase: The last thing I’d ever want to do is let my team down. After overcoming my bad-boy reputation, I was dominating on the ice. But things aren’t going so well this season, and even my parents think I’m partying again. Now I’m really worried about my career. The only bright spot in my life is the Twitter flirtation I’ve struck up with pop princess Jordyn Banks. Turns out she’s a huge hockey fan—and she’s willing to wager a date on her favorite team. . . .
 
Jordyn: Even though I’m an L.A. fan now, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aces, since I grew up in Chicago. Then I lose a bet to Chase Hartman, and suddenly I’m up close and personal with a pro athlete who’s anything but soft. Not only is Chase the hottest guy I’ve ever met, he’s secretly super sweet. As if I had time for a relationship . . . yeah, right. But when I suddenly have nothing but time on my hands, he’s the only one who understands. Now, with both of our careers at stake, Chase is tempting me to put my heart on the line too.
 
 
 
 
Playing Hurt (Aces Hockey, #6)Playing Hurt by Kelly Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #6, in the Aces Hockey series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and have a better understanding of this amazing series, I recommend reading these books in order.

Chase is definitely off this season. Then it hits a bright spot when he strikes up a social media conversation with a celebrity. His life now appeared to be on an upswing.

Jordyn is a busy person in her own right. Also a hockey fan, she loves the Aces since she grew up near them. Talking to Chase is a bright spot in her life too.

This was such a sweet and sexy story. I loved the characters, and honestly did not want to let go of them at the end of this book. I found this to be a prefect fit for the series, and a great hockey based romance.


***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
About Kelly Jamieson:
 
Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season!
 
Connect with Kelly:
 
 
 
 
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text 2018-04-29 12:24
One of those days

Man, I really miss Steve Irwin & Mr. Rogers.

 

They are some of the "famous" people whose deaths feel really personal, as if they were family. Each time I see mention of them, I burst into tears. There are other famous people whose death feel personal, but I grew up with these guys. Death really gets to me even if I barely knew the person, even if I didn't know them at all. I don't mean only for famous people. Anyone. I've been told it is because I have a big heart, but does my mental health "glitches" play a part in how death basically triggers me into a melt down, depressive state?

 

 

 

 

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