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Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century [Paperback]

Charles Shaar Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 May 2000
This is the authorized biography of one of the most influential blues musicians of the era. The book tells two stories; how a Delta farmer's son born in 1920 became a bestselling R & B entertainer who cut his first million selling record in 1951 who, at 70 became an international celebrity, elected to the rock and roll hall of fame. Its secondary intent is to depict a social and cultural history, following the Southern black experience of which John Lee Hooker's art is the quintessential expression on its journey from the Mississippi Delta to the music known all over the world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition (25 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140168907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140168907
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read 4 Oct 2001
Not only the story of a 'bluesman' but the story of a remarkable human being and the times he lived through. It is a history of the development of most of the music we listen to today. This book is well written and I found it difficult to put down. A must for anyone interested in blues and popular music
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murray does it again... 12 Dec 2002
The eight years that the author took to research and write this volume where well spent, not only is it a good read, but the information contained in it's covers informs but never bores.
With the passing of John Lee Hooker the world lost it's last link with the orginal blues, personally I am glad that the writer has Mr Hookers life written down so that future music fans can read about a wonderful musician that still influences todays players of the blues.
After "Crosstown Traffic" I didn't think Charles Sharr Murray" could top that but he has with this book.
If you enjoy a well written and researched book seek this one out you will not be disappointed...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Boogie Man 7 April 2014
Charles Sharr Murray's book on Jimi Hendrix, Crosstown Traffic, was a classic. Informative and enlightening on so many levels, even a longterm Hendrix fan would be hard-pressed not to view the music of Hendrix in a new light after reading it. The book also served as a gateway to the discovery of the music which influenced Hendrix, and the music of those whom Hendrix in turn influenced. It was a goldmine of a book for those who enjoy the explorational aspect of music.

With which in mind, I had high hopes for Boogie Man....but you know whenever someone uses the phrase "high hopes" within that context it's usually going to lead to an explanation of feeling let down.

Which unfortunately is the case here.

Put simply, I'm currently halfway through Boogie Man, and having come to it with a knowledge of Hooker gleaned almost entirely from CD sleevenotes or magazine articles, it hasn't left me feeling much the wiser. I certainly don't feel any closer to understanding the man himself. Most disappointingly, I don't feel particularly inspired to explore the music of Hooker any further than I already have, or to explore the music of other artistes who influenced or where influenced by the man.

Exactly what made the Hendrix book so inspiring, is exactly what is missing here.

To sum up; Boogie Man is a pleasant enough read if you don't come to it expecting to be given a deep inside glimpse of the man and his music.

Three stars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Full - but heavy going! 15 April 2010
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There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book. Trouble is, it's a bit overwhelmed by Charles Shaar Murray's writing style. Sometimes it seems more about how smart he is at writing than John Lee Hooker. It just tired me out - I wanted to read about Hooker and his life, but I ground to a halt after a few chapters. I'll go back to it - and I'll finish it - but the book's about two people - the subject and the author.
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