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4.5 out of 5 stars
Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2000
This is an extensively thorough bio of Bob, interwoven with Jamaican history, reggae musicology and religion. The writing is lovely and absorbing stylistically. The political aspects of the life are also looked at carefully and complemented with materials like declassified CIA documents. Most impressive.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2000
If you appreciate the great Bob Marley, the signal weight of this book is shown in two aspects. After finishing the main text, other rewards were found in the rather immense record directory or timetable in the back end, which is fairly much a library of all of the man's music recording activities. The "appendix" facet also in the end pages is a quite involved accessory of more side lights, interviews, and the like. Others tell me they've returned to this biography more than once over time and its apparent why one could, as it's a bit of a world of its own, information-wise, because it has so much about the man and his life works. Rather good value here, as it's up to date as of 2000.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2001
It's amazing how this book manages to chart every word said 50 years ago. The research is brilliant and once you get into it, it grips you. A must have for all Bob Marley Fans!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2004
This book is an absolute must read if you want to know more about Robert 'Nesta' Marley.
A pre-warning however, do not be put off by the first couple of chapters about Ras Tafari, they are heavy going and may require a re-read but once on the life of Marley the book flows beautifully and is one that I found very hard to put down!
Enjoy!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2013
Only a four star read because the chapters on Ziggy and the Melody Makers were IMHO wholly unnecessary. However, the preceding story is a great one. A previous reviewer was right when he urged the reader to persevere with the Nine Miles chapters, the patois is difficult but after a while you're almost there. I will never forget the steamy mornings where G'dad Omeriah could see Duppys rising out of the ground. The African strangeness is all pervasive. Nesta's first bus ride to Kingston is memorable too. Perhaps what the author fails to do is convincingly explain why the ghetto took such a hold of Bob. He was a Countryman after all! Maybe the answer is in the music. Or the dignity that Rastafarianism bestows upon the 'suffrah' in the face of such overwhelming odds. So many parallels between Nesta in Kingston and Malcolm X in Harlem. I would argue Bob lacked some of Malcolm's savvy. But both of them loved their people so. A great read that will stay with me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2011
"Catch A Fire" is the best biography I've ever read about any rock star. It is extremely informative not only about Bob Marley himself but particularly about the factors in his environment which influenced and shaped the man he was to become. It is magnificently researched and highly educational about the culture, politics and history of Jamaica and all of these aspects are essential for understanding Marley's life in its true perspective.
It's by far the most important book for anybody who wants to learn about the life, work and philosophy of a truly remarkable and hugely influential twentieth-century figure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2009
Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley
A brilliant read. Gives you a deep insight into everything from the religion, to the music and politics of Jamaica. It could delve a bit deeper into the life of Bob Marley; like the relationship with Scratch and why it fell apart. I think it tries to hard to set him up as a Legend...which it doesn't really need to as his music did that. But those are moot points, it is a great read giving you a general understanding of all the subject that affected the great man's life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2009
Mr White obviously had a lot of love in his heart for both Bob Marley and Jamaica, making this book a must read for Marley fans, or anyone interested in the roots of Reggae music. The only shame here is that as the author is no longer with us, so I am unable to write to congratulate him on a work so thoroughly researched and meticulously updated.
Five stars all across the board for style, content and the sheer labour of love this work so obviously is.
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on 10 January 2015
Knowing a fair amount about Bob and the Wailers early years (up to 1974) I bought this book hoping to expand my knowledge - but it is absolute pants! Far from adding anything new, it got basic events wrong such as when they left Studio 1, when they started their first label (Wail'n Soul'm) and the course of events in the late '60s and early '70s. So, if like me you are primarily interested in the music don't waste your money on this poorly researched trash because nthe miniscule amount you may 'learn' is actually wrong
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on 26 October 2008
Excellent book that should be read by everyone who listens to the music of this truly legendary artist. Gives you a great background to it and whilst a bit hard to follow due to all the characters in the book it covers a lot of the events that shaped the life of Bob Marley.
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