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Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix [Paperback]

Charles R. Cross
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 Aug 2006
Jimi Hendrix continues to fascinate, and sell huge quantities of albums, even 35 years after his death. Quite apart from his influence on musicians and fans, a large part of the appeal of his sensational life story lies in the thrill of the era whose values he came to stand for.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books; Reprint edition (8 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786888415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786888412
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,776,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'meticulously researched' -- Mojo 20051001 "Charles R Cross has got as close to the truth as anyone yet in his exhaustive and ground-breaking account of the life of the greatest guitarist in the history of rock.' -- Guardian 20050910 For HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN: 20050910 'One of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star.' -- Los Angeles Times 20050910 'Cross's research is impeccable... he writes with a fine mixture of sympathy and sense, weeding the myth of all its lies and exaggerations but never minimising the complexity of his subject.' -- Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph 20050910 'Wins immediate entry into the rock lit pantheon. Five stars.' -- Q Magazine 20050910 'A superbly researched and harrowing book.' -- The Sunday Times 20050910 'Cross's portrayal of a shy but prodigiously gifted child is a joy to read.' -- Observer 20050910 'Groundbreaking' -- New York Times Book Review 20050910 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'Charles R Cross has got as close to the truth as anyone yet in his exhaustive and ground-breaking account of the life of the greatest guitarist in the history of rock.' Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why so young? 24 Aug 2005
If you like Jimi Hendrix's music you can't go wrong with this book, the writer's obvious love of his chosen subject makes this essential reading for any Hendrix fan. Not only is it crammed full of the detail of Jimi's extraordinary life, but you really do feel like you get to know the man behind the myth, and can appreciate his music even more so.
Jimi Hendrix's influence on music and popular culture cannot be overstated, but his life was a full of contradictions and he always struggled with his rock star status. His four short years of stardom came after an incredibly tough and tragic upbringing, and C.R. Cross has delved deep and chronicled these early years so that the reader gains an insight into where Jimi's musical genius sprang from. The research and interviews with so many of Hendrix's friends, relatives and colleagues reveal a man driven to escape his past but who becomes trapped in the gilded cage his talent created. Although we all know that his life ended in tragedy, this biography thankfully focuses on Jimi as supreme musician, as entertainer, as a man who lived for the moment, rather than raking over every detail of his demise. The mystery and rumours surrounding his death are dealt with compassionately and, it would seem, accurately and one myth is finally laid to rest.
Overall a very good read, offering a moving portrayal of a life lived at "a thousand miles an hour".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography 20 Jun 2006
By jbezzo VINE VOICE
He may have been dead for over 35 years, but Jimi Hendrix continues to inspire musicians, amaze fans and persuade biographers that there is the need for yet another book about his tragically short but influential career. Cross's effort is the latest in a long line that has already included everyone from his bandmates and ex-girlfriends, to former producers - and even his own father. Thankfully this is one of the better efforts; Cross takes the effort to expore Jimi the person, rather than Jimi the guitarist. Having read virtually every book that has hit the market place; this was the first in a long time which told me things I didn't already know - particularly regarding his relationship with his father. Less exhaustive than Harry Shapiro and Cesar Gleebeks "Electric Gypsy" this is nonetheless an excellent read and a must for any Hendrix fan
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well balanced, well researched and informative 20 Aug 2005
By gerryg VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is some interesting new material, reframing, for example his military career and fleshing out aspects of the relationship between him and his family particularly his father. The author has introduced some complexity into Hendrix's relationships (family, "family" and friends) and his life that I have not seen in previous biographies.
While in broad brush terms there is little new, this book presents Jimi Hendrix "warts and all" and does a good job in balancing others' contexts. That sets it apart from most of the others - and the author does a good job of not getting between his subject and the reader.
This biography is probably the most professionally written one to date. The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is because the sources of the material show through in places (though it would be ridiculous to expect a new biography to be stunningly different).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well written 24 Feb 2009
This is a great, easy to read biography of arguably the most innovative rock guitarist ever.
Jimi's tough upbringing and "paying his dues" as a jobbing guitarist for various R&B/blues acts are particularly well covered, as are the huge numbers of hangers-on who sapped his strength, creativity and money.
It also shows how Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and a lot of Jimis family
never recieved what they should following the demise of Jimi of the Experience.
Over 300 people were interviewed for the book and it feels well-researched.

Anyone interested in Hendrix will enjoy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book by a brilliant author 30 Jan 2014
By Bec
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second book I have read by Charles R Cross (I've also read Heavier than Heaven) and it was just as good as the first. You do not need to be a Jimi Hendrix fan to enjoy it
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3.0 out of 5 stars It Does Not Delve Deep Enough 10 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Charles R. Cross's biography on Jimi Hendrix, "Room Full of Mirrors", was an enjoyable and quick read of his life, but it seems to skim through his life and it does not go into enough depth and detail into the man himself. It is great on Jimi's early years, which was covered very well, but it seems to fly through his fame years by merely glancing at the things he did, the shows he performed, and the music he created, instead of getting into the nitty gritty details. I am looking at this book as a good overview of his life, but there are probably books out there already on Jimi Hendrix that are more in depth, and I would suggest to people to turn to those books instead if you are really interested in the man and his music.

But if you just want a quick read though his life and don't want to read any further, this book is still fascinating in its outlining of his tumultuous life. This is the first biography I have read on Jimi Hendrix, and I knew some things about his life and what he had achieved, and also about the drugs and the women, but it took me by surprise the amount he indulged in these things, for about four years straight. Numerous times throughout the book I found myself wishing he had stopped, taken a step back from the scene, and had a long rest from the whole industry and lifestyle of being one of the biggest stars in the music world of his era. If he were able to do that he may still be alive today, but alas, it was not to be.

So, for those who want more depth into Jimi Hendrix and his music, look elsewhere, but for the curious and casual fans this book is worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MADE MY EYES WATER
Having just read the last page of this book , I must say that it was nothing short of amazing. As a massive Jimi fan I would say that this gives a equal account of all aspects of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimi Hendrix Book
Read it in days as it was brilliant, I loved it and Charles Cross really did his homework, its mad but after reading this book I admire Jimi even more.
Published 18 months ago by Gail Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Double Cross
As some subtly detect there are serious signs Cross is a CIA disinformationist. Cross seriously disturbs me because he brought forth the issue of Jimi's claim that he was gay... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ralph Yates
4.0 out of 5 stars Room Full of Mirrors Gwyn's review
For anyone who is interested in Jimi's upbringing and the possible causes of his intrigueing personality and talent, in addition to a history of his musical development, this book... Read more
Published on 27 July 2012 by I. G. Dalley
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy tribute to a legend
I've been a fan of Jimi's work for 30 years and read a lot about his triumph to tradgedy tale and this book provides a very good insight as to the man himself and his background. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by CJ
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad... but then again, not great
I wasn't overly impressed by this book. It was readable and detailed to a point but I'm a big fan of his music and didn't think it gave me a real insight into the character of Jimi... Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2009 by Jas C
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far
I've read a couple of books about Hendrix before, written by those who were supposed to be in the know, eg Kathy Etchingham's book. Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2008 by J. Bodicoat
3.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, but flawed and iritating
I'm just re-reading Cross's book for the second time.
I thought I would give it a second chance. Read more
Published on 24 April 2008 by Chris Crookes
4.0 out of 5 stars Adds Something to the Collection
This biography adds a new dimension to the literature on Hendrix, namely, it devotes much of its space to Jimi's life and career before fame. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2008 by Geoffrey Millar
2.0 out of 5 stars Let Down
Jimi Hendrix was, and probably still is, a legendary rock star.
So how come while reading this I felt as though his life had been pretty tedious? Read more
Published on 22 Nov 2007 by Peter Hendry
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