Released only a few weeks after Lou Reed's sudden death, this biography is a crude mish-mash of information previously published in books written with much less haste. The last real wave of biographies was published shortly after the release and popular acclaim of the New York album. This saw Reed reinvent himself from an angry techno-punk into an important singer-songwriter offering contemporary social commentary. Of course, this was really what Reed had always done, but perhaps without sounding so serious about it. What then followed were a series of serious albums that never came close to receiving the same interest or respect as New York. And so the biographers moved elsewhere.
The trouble with this book is that it necessarily glosses over Reed's last years and focuses to a great extent on the sixties and seventies - a period that is already well known. Dammit, Reed wrote about it himself, in his songs.
If you want to find a real tribute to The Life, look for Genesis Publications's hideously expensive compilation of new and previously unseen photographs. Or go back to the original source material that Mick Wall has cribbed from. Or better still, listen to the albums. But please don't waste your money on this cheese that was released in haste to make a few Christmas quid out of Lou Reed's passing.