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Johnny Cash: The Life

Johnny Cash: The Life [Kindle Edition]

Robert Hilburn
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Rock biographies can feel like they are ten-a-penny so it is a refreshing change to read a meaty no-holds barred, non-sycophantic record of legendary Man in Black Johnny Cash...

...The wealth of detail on every page, in every incident in Cash's Life (1932-2002) is both impressive and a joy to read. Unlike so many biographies that are reported incidents jigsawed together, this is almost an eyewitness account with not always favourable opinion, perfecting its colour and gravitas.'

(Nicole Carmichael Sunday Express 2013-11-03)

The result is the most authoritative and revealing portrait to date of the most chronicled figure in country-music history. (Eddie Dean The Wall Street Journal Europe 2013-11-04)

'..finely wrought biography' (Eddie Dean The Wall Street Journal Europe 2013-11-04)

A great story requires great storytelling, and that's exactly what it receives here. Ultimately, Robert Hilburn's biography uncannily resembles its subject: massive and stolid, but with a dangerous glint in its eye. (Charles Shaar Murray Literary Review 2013-11-01)

There is madness aplenty in this excellent life of the turbulent Johnny Cash. (Rod Liddle SUNDAY TIMES 2013-11-17)

A warts-and-all biography follows Johnny Cash, a rebel and outsider, from one drama to the next. It's a must-read. (Will Hodgkinson (Chief Rock Critic) THE TIMES 2013-11-16)

Johnny Cash was a man both extraordinary and ordinary. Every man could relate to him, no man could be him, and only one man could get inside his head - like Robert Hilburn. (Bono)

..a moving, respectful and sympathetic biography. (Alan Taylor SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW) 2013-11-17)

Hilburn's biography has the sort of immense scope and tremendous insight that comes from years of interviewing such a truthful, troubling subject. (Rob Fitzpatrick SUNDAY TIMES 2013-11-24)

How do you write an interesting biography of such a beloved figure?

First, hire Robert Hilburn. he is a prodigious researcher, but he keeps a steady hand on the tiller, and never allows his research to swamp his narrative. He knows his music and music history, but unlike far too many music critics, he avoids the temptation to show off.

(The Economist 2013-11-22)

This is the definitive biography of an American original... (The Economist 2013-12-07)

Robert Hilburn displays a deeply felt affinity with his subject, illuminating Johnny Cash as the moral compass of country music. (Patti Smith)

Johnny Cash and Robert Hilburn are two of the true blessings of my life. Both the best at what they do and each a gifted artist. It's a killer combination. (Kris Kristofferson)

With straightforward prose, and through years of meticulous research, Robert Hilburn unravels the sometimes dark and magical life of one of music's greatest legends. Oftentimes this is a chronicle of pain, whether Hilburn is detailing Cash's early loss of his beloved brother, or the anguish he talked to Rick Rubin about feeling upon the death of wife June, but Hilburn gives much insight into what drove Cash's work. This is a harrowing story of addiction, musical genius, and enduring faith that goes far deeper than any film biopic ever will. In the end, Hilburn has achieved what is most certainly the definitive Johnny Cash biography. (Charles R. Cross author of 'Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain')

Hilburn has pulled off the rare feat of making the dispassionate truth more extraordinary than the myth. (Andy Fyfe Mojo 2013-11-01)

Hilburn displays a quite remarkable empathy with his subject and his writing style is highly readable and totally gripping. The book has just been published in the UK and is surely a must for any serious country music buff. (David Allan Country Music People 2013-12-01)

Book Description

The definitive, intimate, no-holds-barred biography of Johnny Cash.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2682 KB
  • Print Length: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (31 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E0JYS96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,813 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
"Johnny Cash: The Life" by Robert Hilburn is a biography of this distinctive musician who throughout his entire career attracted attention due to his music but also due to his behavior, which was anything but conventional.

Although I don't consider myself being great fan of Johnny Cash there are many of his songs that I like to listen. And due to the fact that I learned most about his turbulent life from a great movie "Walk the line", in which he was exceptionally well-acted by Joaquin Phoenix, I wanted to read this biography.

Inside, reader can find good overview of Johnny Cash's private life and music career that start from his youth he spent in Arkansas, time he spent in the Army and his ups and downs during the exciting music career that somehow ended with his moving "Hurt" video.

The fact is that the author doesn't beautifies things about Johnny's life, revealing some truths that won't appeal to those who previously weren't familiar with this information, for example when he's telling about his first wife Vivian cheating with other girls than June, on cheating June with her own sister, or the real truth how serious drug addict he was.
But as well, he had done some good things like getting Glen Sherley paroled or giving his money to charity.
While telling his story, both good and bad things, the author doesn't take either side nor gives his attitude. Instead he is just telling the facts and leave judgment of Johnny's life to each reader for her/himself.

Sadly, this book confirms what was seen in the movie that the roots of his violent and unpredicted behavior lie in relation to whom he had with his father who preferred his tragically deceased brother, and looked on Johnny as unworthy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 14 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very good interesting book, I bought it for a friend who is a Johnny Cash fan. He absolutely loved it, can't put it down.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on johnny cash 6 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this is the best book on country singer johnny cash that i have read,if you are a johnny cash fan then this book is for you,out of ten i would give it top marks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed both of Johnny Cash's autobiographies, and have a read a number of books about him by other authors. This one is far and away the most detailed and and seemingly unbiased account of his life. I'd recommend anyone, not just Johnny Cash fans, to read this. I'll be reading it again, and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Cash in the raw. 2 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent biography. Having seen Johnny Cash live on 5 occasions and been a fan since 1959 it brought back good memories. I would have liked more cover on his time with the Highwaymen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had a good review and living up to its name. 11 Jan 2014
By Hilary
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good book. My son is still reading. It was a gift for Christmas and he has found several new facts?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
By gibson
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars JOHNNY CASH :THE LIFE 16 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book tells it as it was/is. i know as I have 20+ books on the man,& have been a fan since the 50s
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for fans
Too much unnecessary data

Great facts about Johnny and his life

Really enjoyed the read. Learned about the true man.
Published 26 days ago by wendy finan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great thanks
Published 1 month ago by crigg43
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by GRAHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly fantastic read.
Robert Hilburn has has managed one of the rare feats of creating a biography befitting of such a legend. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jamie M
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Present for my Husband
I thought my husband had everything ever written about Johnny Cash, but he hasn't put the book down. On that basis I have bought another copy as a gift for his brother!
Published 5 months ago by B. M. D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnny cash The life
A great book about a great performer Johnny Cash has almost mythical status in the world of song and his memorable prison concerts are covered along with all sorts of fascinating... Read more
Published 5 months ago by D
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reading.
As a life long Cash fan I wasn't sure of this book but it was brilliant! Not only very informative and factual but written with understanding of what the man went through in his... Read more
Published 5 months ago by david j upton
5.0 out of 5 stars Xmas Present
Bought for my husband for Christmas after watching a documentary on a plane after a holiday. I've never seen him so engrossed in a book!
Published 5 months ago by suzieq
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift
My husband is a huge Johnny Cash fan owning many VYNIL and cds of his.He has read most publications of Johnny Cash and is thoroughly enjoying this book too.
Published 6 months ago by M. Wafer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for hubby
My husband had other books on Johnny Cash but he was most impressed with this one, as it contained more information about Johnny, warts n all. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Helen D-B
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