One blogger's take on movies, television shows, books, and music -- the good, the bad, and the bottom line

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The day before yesterday, I was out to lunch [some would say that's my normal state], and, needing something to read, stopped in at a local bookstore. What I ended up with was a James Taylorbio, called Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Story. I'm a big JT fan, so that looked interesting. I blew through it in a day, and here's what I think of the work:

The Good: Halperin uses research and interviews well to tell Taylor's story, especially in his early life and career. I found quite interesting the singer's travails through the early 1980s. I certainly got a much clearer picture of his instabilities and peccadillos in his younger life -- his serious drug use [chronic IV heroin use], and his notorious reputation with the ladies [he apparently was a renowned tail hound].

The Bad: Not the most engaging writing I've ever seen. Lots of typos and missed words in the text. They really should have proofread the book better. My biggest gripe is that the author, Ian Halperin, seemed to grow tired of the subject about halfway through, that is, in about 1982 chronologically. I would have been quite interested in knowing more about why Taylor got so writer's-blocked between 1982 and 1985, and why the gaps between releases got longer and longer. After 1982, the story gets much more sketchy. Also, the book is a litle too fan adulatory, as opposed to even-handed reporting. That got annoying to me.

The Bottom Line: Two flicks. It was an OK read in a pinch, but I wouldn't go out of my way to read it again.


Blogger GTC said...

Hey, Doug,
I was glad to follow Glenn's link to your blog. Since I hardly ever see a movie, it's a good source for me. Take a look at my review of THE ASTRONAUT FARMER on my blog-- Booksforkidsblog.blogspot.com. If you see the movie, I'd like to know what you think about it.

I don't plan to be a movie reviewer, but got into that one because of a reader's comment on my review of the movie of BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. Since the book is a Newbery and a perennial novel study for 4-7th graders, I'd reviewed that one. A parent commented on the misleading trailer for BTT (mostly CGI "orc-oids" apparently) and suggested THE ASTRONAUT FARMER as more inspiring for families.
You're exactly the type of reader my blog is aimed at--parents of school-aged kids who read as children and want the same experience for their kids.
I was glad to see the review of the James Taylor biog. There must be a better one! Keep up the good work!

10:13 AM  
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