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Love, Janis [Paperback]

Laura Joplin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Aug 2014

A revealing and intimate biography about Janis Joplin, the Queen of Classic Rock, written by her younger sister.

Janis Joplin blazed across the sixties music scene, electrifying audiences with her staggering voice and the way she seemed to pour her very soul into her music. By the time her life and artistry were cut tragically short by a heroin overdose, Joplin had become the stuff of rock–and–roll legend.

Through the eyes of her family and closest friends , we see Janis as a young girl, already rebelling against injustice, racism, and hypocrisy in society. We follow Janis as she discovers her amazing talents in the Beat hangouts of Venice and North Beach–singing in coffeehouses, shooting speed to enhance her creativity, challenging the norms of straight society. Janis truly came into her own in the fantastic, psychedelic, acid–soaked world of Haight–Asbury. At the height of her fame, Janis's life is a whirlwind of public adoration and hard living. Laura Joplin shows us not only the public Janice who could drink Jim Morrison under the table and bean him with a bottle of booze when he got fresh; she shows us the private Janis, struggling to perfect her art, searching for the balance between love and stardom, battling to overcome her alcohol addiction and heroin use in a world where substance abuse was nearly universal.

At the heart of Love, Janis is an astonishing series of letters by Janis herself that have never been previously published. In them she conveys as no one else could the wild ride from awkward small–town teenager to rock–and–roll queen. Love, Janis is the new life of Janis Joplin we have been waiting for–a celebration of the sixties' joyous experimentation and creativity, and a loving, compassionate examination of one of that era's greatest talents.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1st Harper Pbk. Ed edition (14 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060755229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060755225
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I am 21 and only recently stumbled across janis joplin on itunes-i love rock and roll because of my dad however i hadnt heard of any janis joplin records before. When I first listened to her i didn't like it-BUT I kept relistening and now love her!! Because her fame and music was so long ago I really wanted to know more about her and her short life and her too early death-this is the closest you will get to knowing janis as its through her sister's eyes and it really is worth reading, i wish i had had the chance to hear her live and see her perform and this book gives you a better understanding of janis joplin!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Look at the Woman behind the Image 25 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
Like many before me, I feel inspired and really connected to Janis' story. She didn't conform to society's rules, didn't connect easily with most people, and, as a result, became an outcast at her school, her town, her state. She finally did find a group of friends that were accepting - those who opposed the rules that dictated black and whites must live apart, and that it was important that one should only love the opposite sex, and one should settle down into family life as soon as possible without questioning authority. Janis was a teenage beatnik, and a twenty-something hippy. And all that time she was never truly happy. Like most of us, she had a destructive soul that she found hard to control. She was happy doing what she loved but she quickly got caught in a whirlwind she couldn't get out of. Her life ran passed her and she found it impossible to catch up. It probably didn't help that she desperately needed people to like her - she always craved that love and acceptance from her fans, and, consequently, overworked herself to her grave.

Laura's written a beautiful account of her sister's life. Funny, poignant, and full of truth - never leaving out the gruesome bits for sentimental value. Laura isn't afraid to mention when Janis' head began to get too big for her. Janis knew she was famous and, if she wasn't cooed over frequently, would quickly lose her temper and begin to doubt herself again.

It's the truth in the biography that makes it a wonderful thing to read. And I recognised some of my own flaws through discovering Janis' own. This book's definitely a keeper.
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3.0 out of 5 stars worst of the janis books 1 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
worst of the janis books,seemed intent on keeping the joplln name clean janis appeared a victim of port arthur, but was no saint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life 14 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reminiscing about Janis in a conversation and then with her music on You tube got me looking for her biography. There were several to choose from but I figured her sister would have an inside view. Laura writes a most excellent story with personal knowledge of Janis and sensible reflections upon the influencial history of that generation. I found Laura's descriptions of the mindset and actions an interesting and enlightening explanation of what we "hippies" were influenced by, and how. A good combination of psychology and history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Laura Joplin, then Alice Echols 26 July 1999
By David Kleist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Having read both Alice Echols' five-years-in-the-making 1999 biography of Janis Joplin (SWEET SCARS OF PARADISE) and the much earlier Myra Friedman 1973 Joplin biography BURIED ALIVE (which was guilt-laden and frenetic in comparison, although written in intelligent, often poetic prose), I was unprepared for the calm, insightful, and wholly convincing account of Janis Joplin's life by her six-years-younger sister, Laura. Despite the intimate connection with her subject, Laura Joplin is startlingly wise and evenhanded in her analysis of her sister's life and times. I found many anecdotes and details here which for me rang even more true in terms of revealing the REAL Janis than Echols' admirable account. I would suggest that anyone wishing to understand Janis Joplin and her times read both Laura Joplin's and Alice Echols' biography. Janis Joplin will never cease to fascinate intelligent, passionate music lovers. Her life and music probed all the deep questions of life, striving to find a balance between the emotional and the intellectual. Had she not accidentally died, her contribution to the world of art and letters would have been Shakespearean in power. We must love and treasure her Keatsian artifacts even as we yearn forwhat might havebeen.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Janis - I've read them all 10 Mar 2006
By Susan Barchard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When this book was first published, I read a review on it. I don't remember where I read it or by whom it was written. The writer gave the impression that it was written by Janis' straight and nerdy sister who just wasn't part of, and didn't understand "the scene". The writer went on to say that there was some value in Janis' letters and that if you were a true Janis fan that you should probably read it, but recommended other books on Janis over this one. The implication was that Laura Joplin tried to present a Janis that was much straighter and more clean cut than she was in truth. So, having read this review, I didn't bother to read the book, especially since I'd read so many others.

Recently I went to see the Broadway Play Love, Janis and after hearing some portions of the letters read as part of the play, my interest in the book was sparked and I purchased it. Having done so, I think the writer of that review owes the world, and certainly Laura Joplin an apology. This book was beautifully written by someone who, as her sister, could give us insights that no one else ever could. I would like to include here a quote from the book, which certainly proves to me that Laura Joplin understood it all.

She was explaining the talents that each member of Big Brother and the Holding company brought to the group. "Janis brought her roots in blues. She knew the blues, and wanted her audience to know them through her. If the audience sought to have all its senses aroused at a concert, then Janis, as trance enhancer, brought total commitment to her music. Hers was not a music born merely of the vocal cords anyway, but an ensemble piece within her physical presence alone. She coaxed the music with urging arms and strutting steps. She delved deep within herself, so that piecs of her soul seemed to dance along the harmonies and ride the tidal waves of sound that defined her voice."

Laura Joplin does not shrink from her sister's drug and alcohol use, her bisexual love affairs, or anything else. She talks of Janis' insecurities and where they originated. She tells her story with deep honesty. The book includes the Joplin family tree. Not just a list of grandparents names but a small history of each forefather explaining what brought them together and brought her parents eventually to Port Arthur, Texas and also gives the reader a glimpse of the sturdy stock from which Janis came. It shows you a soft and sensitive, loving side of Janis' that we surely knew was there, but the truth of which could only really be provided by Laura's glimpse into personal family history. Of course Janis, growing up in the 50's and 60's would not have been a wild hippy child during her younger years. Hippies hadn't happened yet. The 50's and early 60's were very "straight" times. This book is where you learn how the Caterpillar turned into the Butterfly that she became. I think we are incredibly fortunate that Laura Joplin was willing to set the record straight and willing to share such personal tidbits from their home and family life. There must have been alot of soul searching and emotional moments that went into creating this book and we should be grateful to Laura for having done it. I deeply treasure this addition to my collection of books on Janis, just as I treasure the music that our Janis, queen of the blues, left as her legacy. I hope wherever she is that she is able to know how many people she touched; the ever growing number of fans she still has and how many of us truly always will Love Janis.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bio 5 Jun 2004
By TDS2BE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This an excellent biography about the ENTIRE life of Janis Joplin. It is probably the first Janis Joplin book you should read if you want to learn more about her. It is told from a family member's point of view...in other words, the truth is told. I would think that this book would be the most reliable out of the 4 or 5 janis books that are out. Enjoy this book! it is well worth it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Janis Joplin fans. 24 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
With this biography of Janis sister Laura Joplin has three advantages over other biographers - she can provide details that only family could know, she has the letters Janis wrote home (reproduced here in full and revealing a lot about Janis), and she has been able to include a great selection of photos. Even apart from these advantages Laura provides a good account of Janis' life, giving background detail on the various scenes and excellent insights into Janis.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very interesting read 13 Sep 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book allowed the reader to see Janis as a family member. It showed her innocence and dedication through the eyes of her younger sister. I finally began to understand how her family saw her and how Janis portrayed herself to them. This insite opened my eyes, and as a die hard fan, I see Janis as more of a person now not just an icon.
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