This was the first time I had spent much time reading the story of Billy Joel, having listened to his music over the decades. It is a remarkable story and worth telling, mainly because it works out for old Billy in the end. So we have the story of the hard childhood and broken family, the rebellious youth and the struggles at school, juxtaposed with a boyhood driven to practise the piano until he became advanced at playing it. Then we move album by album through his career, which is mostly an upward trajectory. However, we see enough of Billy Joel's character that he becomes a less and less likeable person - it's the massive ego, the poor treatment of his band-mates financially and how he sacks them, the strained personal relationships etc. Despite this, the author pretty much loves every one of the tracks on every album - each chapter covers the period of an album. It is almost as if his music rises above its composer and his petty human traits. And this touches on why this book seems to score either 1 or 5 stars on reviews. On the one hand, the story remains fascinating and maintains your interest through a lengthy book. On the other hand, the book is dreadfully written. It suffers from a lack of sub-editing, poor writing skills that were not picked up in any editing, repetition of sections, and a lack of driving home the main feature of the book - that the personality and the artistic expressions are at such odds. Perhaps the author came to realise with disappointment that his musical hero had feet of clay and could not cope. More so to me the book reflects the modern era of digital on-line writing styles - lack of editing, limited expression and skill-set, disinterest from publishers so long as they shift units and so on. There are better written books and articles (on-line of course) about Billy Joel and his career, especially how someone who writes what sounds like schmaltz to many ears can still be so popular - what some reviewers dub 'schlock rock'. Some of Billy's songs are modern classics and appeal across the generations, but other songs are not and really sound like a cocktail lounge style of tinkering; a display of the artist's skills on a keyboard without necessarily being for the benefit of the audience. The best aspect of the book is that you do end up with a feel for Billy Joel's personality - which is more balanced than the review of his music (since fans will always wax lyrical about their heroes' music).