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Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend Paperback – 1 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091900425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091900427
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"As near-definitive as we are likely to get. Detailed, shocking and scrupulously researched, it is an addictive and often harrowing read" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

The riveting and shocking biography of Jim Morrison – lead singer of The Doors, poet and icon who changed rock music history and defined an era

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By happiness stan on 1 Sept. 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have never read a book about Jim Morrison this is the one to pick. And even if you've read everything written about him you'll need this.
The story is familiar, but the way it's told here is the most entertaining yet while sticking to facts and steering clear of the outrageous rumors and theories most of the earlier Morrison biogs thrive on.
If you're a new fan here you'll find what you'll need to know about Jim, and an expert probably sees him in a different light after finishing this.
Also the bit part players are portrayed in revealing detail.
Stephen Davis has taken this work seriously, the facts seem to have been checked, and he's had access to some of Jim's notebooks. Many incidents mentioned in passing in earlier biogs are made clearer here.
Like the Doors sang: If You Need Meat, Look No Further!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Englishrose71 on 29 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been a big fan of Jim Morrison and The Doors since my university days (1989!) and I'm an avid reader of just about any books that come out about the group. This book gives insights into the extremely complex personality of Jim Morrison that other books have failed to do (or worse just skimmed over!). There is a great deal more depth to this book than others; it gives some perspectives on why he may have behaved in the way he did to family, friends, girlfriends, band members etc. etc. You can't help but feel disturbed after reading it, but also feel a real sense of loss at how his life ended (he was only 27). Great book - I go back to it time and time again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Mccormick on 23 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By far the best bio I have ever read. It is warts an all and doesn't pull punches in regards to Jim's personality and the often strained relationship with the other guys in the band -- especially towards the end where his relationship with them seems to have totally broken down. This is strength of this book -- it doesn't get sucked into myth and nostalgia. Davis relies on the strength of his research. If you are a fan you will love Jim and the band even more and this incredible tale will stay with you. His last months in Paris are really heart rending.

Only book I have ever picked up and re-read and cannot recommend it enough.

Quite simply a must.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Russell on 11 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was bought this book on its release .. "What do we buy dad for his birthday?". I had read other biographies, and frankly got bored after the fist couple of pages of this one until a forced convalescence bought it back onto my reading list.

It is without doubt the most sympathetic of all the biographies that I have read. It goes beyond the bozo we see displayed in Olver Stone's movie and countless other sources. If you have ever wondered as I have why it is that the Doors have been incapable of recording a decent single song since Jim's death the answer is hidden in this book. Morrison was the Doors, as those of us who first got to hear them in the 60's suspected.

Davis doesn't idolise the man, and neither should he. But I ended the book feeling very sad. Sad about a lost talent, of course but also sad for very mixed up kid (and Morrison was young) who was in over his head surrounded by people who just wanted a bit of him. Unusually, only Pamela comes out of the thing reasonably well - and this is relative. The other Doors, and notably Manzarek, get a bit of a kicking.

Stephen Davis shows us a creative genius warts and all. A very disturbed character, manipulated by those around him who was perhaps just finding himself when he died, Morrison is portrayed as I would have hoped he might have been by others. He leaves us the most amazing legacy of great music and poetry. I wanted better than "Strange Days" etc. This book is the one this wierdo genius deserved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Bibb on 26 July 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read most of the main biographies on Jim Morrison/Doors,and must say this book is by far the most complete and interesting to read.It gives a picture of a man not god-like but human like us all.More detailed than most books,showing his darker side.
Racist,Sodomist,Drunk,Junkie,Bisexual,Woman beater,Shy, Impotent,Washed-up rock star,Morbid.All these are mentioned about the star in this book.If you think of Jim Morrison as a god-like icon don't read this book,but if you want to mostly read the facts,go ahead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "dorisisgay" on 23 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with already a great love of The Doors and Jim Morrison, by the time I finished the book I was amazed, astounded and inspired. The details of how this 60's icon rise and fell so tragically are shared through-out with enthusiasm, you can really feel the struggle that Jim had with stardom and also how the other members of the Doors were the same with Jims drinking. In a word I'm trying to say I loved it!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the first rock bio that I have read, and the style did sound a little strange to me at times. Stephen Davis adopts a tone that, at times, seems to abandon objectivity to be sycophantic to Jim Morrison while being antagonistic, to varying degrees, the the rest of the Doors. It becomes clear that Davis does not like Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and co-founder of The Doors. This, therefore, is the story of the man, not the group, and Davis makes it clear that Jim was in a state of conflict with his partners for much of the time.

The book is sympathetic but not uncritical. Jim's self-indulgence in drink and drugs is catalogued ruthlessly:this is the story of a tortured genious destined to die young. Davis relates how, at a party thrown by Elektra Records for his 25th birthday, he attempts to trash the building because "he paid for it" and commenting at the end "Hey, I made it to 25 - wonder if I'll make 30".

Morrison's aspirations to poetry are analysed, and his early study of Nietzsche and his philosophy that "that which does not destroy you, makes you stronger" is offered as an explanation for his self-destructive behaviour. Sadly, as Occam might have said, the truth is simpler.

Davis' book is comprehensive on Morrison's life. I would have been interested to learn a little more about the writing of his songs and the imagery behind them - which is explained for a few. Davis does not point out just how many of the Doors' songs were in fact covers of others' earlier works - but perhaps he expected people to know that. He covers Jim's death dispassionately, clinically, but with compassion. He doesn't doubt that he did indeed die - he was writing 30 years after his death - and put the blame on heroin, although hinting at the possibility of murder.
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