I bought this book to use as research for an essay I am writing for my music degree. Unfortunately, it features very little biographical detail. While I realise the difficulties in finding out the details of Johnson's life, there is nothing in the book which can't be found on the internet or in CD sleevenotes, and there is too much unverified speculation. In fact, the author has missed some very basic information, such as the fact that Johnson's mother died when he was a baby. Instead this is merely hinted at when Blakey writes that the song "Mother's Children..." was very personal to Johnson. On top of this, the book is very poorly edited, often stopping a sentence in the middle of a line, followed by a huge space, with the sentence continued on the next page. Finally, the writing is fairly mediocre, with an over abundance of exclamation marks which becomes very irritating very quickly.
Clearly it is an imppressive feat to have transcribed all of Johnson's lyrics as accurately as Blakey has done, and some of his notes on tunings and things in the guitar parts are very useful. This is pretty much all that is keeping me from giving this book a one star review though, and for the price I paid (around £16) it definitely did not represent value for money. Sadly, I have been unable to find a better book about Blind Willie Johnson, and he is criminally under-represented in many of the general blues histories I have read. So if, like me, you are interested in this book for research purposes then try and find it used and cheap; if you are merely a curious blues fan then I'd advise you to keep your money in your pocket.