Making a case for Andrew Farkas' JUSSI being one of the most important opera biographies--and certainly one of the most anticipated--of the decade is a rather easy task. Here was a tenor who, as Luciano Pavarotti has remarked on a number of occasions, laid to rest once and for all the notion that only Italian-born tenors could impart the requisite emotional impact to the great verismo roles. Here was a tenor who not merely excelled in every repertoire in which he sang, but in many cases established vocal and interpretive standards that few, if any, of his successors have been able to match. And here was a tenor, sadly, whose entire adult life was spent in a losing struggle with alcoholism. As Farkas and Bjoerling's widow, soprano Anna-Lisa Bjoerling, recount that struggle, a truly admirable man emerges from the chapters. The Jussi Bjoerling whom Farkas has thoroughly documented (both the research and the prose are almost entirely Mr. Farkas's) bears no resemblance at all to the allegedly irresponsible, petulant and often boorish character found in the memoirs of Sir Rudolf Bing, the writings of Francis Robinson and others of the Bing regime. Instead, Bjoerling emerges as a thoroughly engaging, likable, always approachable man who struggled mightily against a disease that in his lifetime was much misunderstood. As the chapters of this new book amply attest, there was no empire-like rise and fall to the career or to the man himself--no descent into the bottle from a failed career (see the new Lawrence Tibbett biography, also from Amadeus Press, for that sad story), and certainly no diminution of Bjoerling's vocal powers even as his body was failing him at age forty-nine; if anything, as Farkas's research underscores, Bjoerling was arguably a greater singer at the very end that at any other point in his singular career. As with Farkas's ENRICO CARUSO (1990), this book is laden with rarely-seen photographs, recollections of numerous colleagues and contemporaries (and, once and for all, a final clearing-up of the Solti "Requiem" recording incident, cross-documented from correspondence, recording-industry documents, and from one of the very last interviews that Sir Georg Solti ever gave), plus a chronology (by Bjoerling discographer Harald Henrysson), and an exhaustive bibliography. In sum, in Andrew Farkas's new JUSSI, the story of a great singer has found an ideal teller.