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Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing Ltd; Paperback edition (12 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859652440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859652445
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,066,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first book I've read about Garcia. Although done as a series of comments, it does move in a more or less chronological order. Weak points for me are lack of dates( which could have been added as an editorial comment, or as footnotes). The good points were that it was the views of those like his first 2 wives, his brother and Greenfield is content not to make comment. I am presently waiting on the Blair Jackson biography and look forward to contrasting them
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely good delivery. Really everything a "Deadhead" would want from a memory of Jerry Garcia. Nothing missing. Excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e43bc6c) out of 5 stars 56 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a5bb8) out of 5 stars This book wore me out 27 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was unable to put this painful, marvelous book down until I had finished it. Starry-eyed twirlers should beware their illusions: Jerry Garcia was a powerful, wealthy (in the end), troubled genius who broke a lot of hearts. But his contribution to his friends and the millions who adored his art stands as one of the most enduring of the last half of this century. He once said, "Anybody who thinks I'm God ought to talk to my kids." Truer words were never spoken, and this book illustrates the folly in putting people on pedestals. Garcia is still my favorite artist, bar none, and this book is priceless for it's clear view into his life and work. It also provides a lot of depth and counterpoint to Rock Scully's "Living With the Dead", correcting some of the wilder tales with conflicting eye-witness accounts. The only negative comment is that the interviews are printed verbatim, and the often broken and incorrect English makes the statements unintelligible. I remember reading several of them 4 or 5 times and still being unable to decifer the intent. But they are the minority. Buy it, read it.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a5cfc) out of 5 stars An appropriate way to do a biography of Garcia 26 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is really a good book, though it left me a little depressed after I finished it. The book begins with a haunting, faded picture of a young Jerry Garcia concentrating intently on his banjo and then proceeds to words by Garcia's brother, Tiff, on how Jerry lost part of one of his fingers and the death of their father. Greenfield lets the people who lived around or with Garcia tell the tale...and what a powerful story it is. The sorry part of it is that it seems like the last 10 years of Garcia's life was like a slow suicide. The center of Garcia's life was music and people who adored him, though it seems he had a great deal of trouble making lasting, emotional bonds to those who loved him. The ones he did make are just sweet. The highlight of the book, for me, is the tale of Garcia's recovery from his mid-80s coma and how instrumental Merl Saunders was in helping Jerry back to life and back to music.
Garcia was a human singularity and this is an interesting portrait of this interesting, adored, and creative person.
Of all the books about Garcia that you want, this is the one you want the most.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a57ec) out of 5 stars An incredible read.... 28 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute must read for any Grateful Dead fan. The beauty of the book is that you have accounts and opinions from (what seems to be) everyone in Jerry's inner circle. Not only does the book allow you to take a deep look inside Jerry's life but it allows you to take deep study of the scene and the characters that were an enormous part of his life.
This book was damn near impossible to put down and will certainly be re-read very soon - just to make sure I did not miss anything the first time around.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a5a44) out of 5 stars A must-have for Deadheads... 14 July 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
...and anyone who wants to know about Jerry Garcia, actually. Like the title says, it's an oral biography: Jerry's friends, bandmates, ex-lovers, and siblings talking about their memories of him. Their words portray Jerry as half musical genius demigod, half womanizing drug addict. It's one of the most interesting biographies I've ever read, and I go through a lot of rock bios so that is saying something. It isn't exactly intellectual reading, since lots of the talk is mainly dishing dirt and gossiping, but it's straightforward. If you're interested in Jerry's life and want to find out both facts and opinions from the people he associated with, this is the perfect book for it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a5894) out of 5 stars A Little Confusing 19 Mar. 2014
By J - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They switched back and forth between people interviewed so frequently it was hard to keep them straight except for Mountain Girl who they relied on heavily and a few others. I wish the author would have had a brief bio and photo of each oral participant at the beginning of the book to introduce us to them and keep them straight...in order that is. Noted a few key persons missing including band members and Jerry's kids. Oh well, I guess they have their own stories to tell elsewhere.
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