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Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story [Paperback]

David Buckley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2005
David Buckley's unique approach to unravelling the Bowie enigma, via interviews with many of the singer's closest associates, biography and academic analysis, makes this unrivalled biography a classic for Bowie fans old and new. This revised edition of Strange Fascination comes at a time when Bowie is, once again, on a creative roll, and captures exclusive details about the tours, the making of the albums, the arguments, the split-ups, the music and , most importantly, the man himself. Also including exclusive photographic material, Strange Fascination is the most complete account of David Bowie and his impact on pop culture ever written.

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Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story + Starman: David Bowie - The Definitive Biography + The Complete David Bowie
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New Ed edition (4 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753510022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753510025
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"One of the most authoritative Bowie books you're ever likely to read." (Mojo)

"As a critique-cum-re-establishment of the David Bowie character, "definitive" is pretty much it." (Guardian)

"A fascinating portrait of a fascinating artist ... if you like Bowie and you're into biographies, this is the one to read" (Marc Almond)

From the Publisher

'You must think we out-of-towners are a strange and crazy bunch. Well,I guess we are. We dance a furious boredom',a young David Bowie wrote from his provincial bedroom to DJ John Peel in 1969. Five years later this driven, questing and flawed soul created his androgynous, fanatical rock star Ziggy Stardust as the ultimate revenge of the suburbs. Bowie's subsequent pioneering sexual experimentation, cracked actor showmanship and ability to embrace every musical genre from glam rock to drum'n'bass have made him into the biggest commerical success in rock history since the Beatles and The Stones. He is as much an icon in 2005 as he was during the 70's.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (Not so) Little Wonder 9 Nov 2007
By nigeyb
A wonderful trawl through the highs, lows and mediocrity of David's life and work.

David Buckley really knows his stuff and has interesting, and new - to me, a reasonably knowledgeable fan - observations to make about the myriad twists and turns of David's career.

As a teenage Bowie freak I finally lost interest during the 1980s when David seemed more interested in making money than art. Reading this book stimulated me to revisit his 1970s glory years, and to better understand how and why his career played out the way it did. I enjoyed reading the book with my iPod on, and listening to each track/album as David Buckley brought his expert analysis to bear. If you're reading this, you probably don't need me to tell you that David has enjoyed a musical renaissance since the mid-1990s which - his heart attack aside - gives the book an upbeat ending and a certain symmetry.

Some very random highlights:

- the impact of the Ziggy era and its contribution to Punk a few years down the line
- Mike Garson - keyboard maestro - who is asked at least once a week (1973-present) about his keyboard solo on Aladdin Sane
- David's prodigious mid-70s cocaine intake not getting in the way of creating the majestic Station To Station
- David's more bizarre duets
- how Glam kicked the cr*p out of the hippy dream
- and oh so much more

I think David Buckley is to be congratulated on a great achievement: a fascinating book that does its subject justice. Weighing in at nearly 700 pages it's more for the fan than the casual reader. And you don't need me to tell you that David Bowie is one of the late 20th century's most significant musical figures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great book for Bowie fans 11 April 2014
By Sari
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read another Bowie bio over 20 years ago, I didn't expect to learn anything different about the early years, but I did. I really enjoyed reading this while listening to the back catalogue in chronological order.

After reading the Amazon description I thought the book was updated to include information surrounding The Next Day recording/ reception but it wasn't. A shame really, however a good read non the less.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People stared at the makeup on his face 3 Feb 2013
I've been an on-and-off fan of David Bowie since the release of Ziggy Stardust in 1972, and still believe that the run of fourteen albums he released between Space Oddity and Let's Dance is - with one or two exceptions - a rare example of extraordinary consistency over a long period of time in pop music. This account of Bowie's life and music provides some great insights into how those records were made, and how his well-known penchant for self-reinvention kept his work so interesting and appealing. The other thing it does is to strongly suggest that some of his later work (particularly 2002's Heathen) is equally valuable. Having - like many fans - lost interest in Bowie after 1983, I can't comment on that assertion, but it sounds like it'd be worth picking up some of those discs for a listen.

The author tells Bowie's story in an engaging fashion although, as others have pointed out, there's a good deal of repetition and fragmentation in the text, which suggests it'd've benefited from a final read-through by an editor. They might also have fixed up the sentence on p34 which says that Bowie wanted to "utilise each new innovation as it came along" (rather than, presumably, wasting time on all those old innovations).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read. 16 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have loads of Bowie books so not exactly full on new information but still very well written and interesting with interviews not seen in other books and so different viewpoints on career fact you may already know.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by poor editing 21 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not bad, but far from great either. I bought this as way of getting an overview of Bowie's life and times plus a better insight into his musical methodology. Whilst there are many interesting nuggets contained within I found myself constantly annoyed at Buckley continues repetition of facts. On one page he talks about a Kansai Yamamoto designed Ziggy costume that contained an 'arse flap' and then several pages later reiterates the same fact as though he'd never mentioned it before. He does this continually throughout, check out how often he bangs on about Ziggy's hair style, and it gives the impression that a) the book was written in chunks without going back over the previous sections b) he thinks we won't notice and c) the editor was half-asleep.

His syntax can also be pretty annoying at times with a large number of very pseud-ish statements that really belong in a 6th form student's thesis.

To be fair it is the best that's out there at the moment and an interesting read but I'm expecting Paul Trynka's book to improve on this (if it doesn't there'll still be room for the definitive tale of the most enigmatic of all of Britain's musical legends.

Oh and for the record Dave Aleister Crowley wasn't a 18th and 19th century diabolist. He was a 19th and 20th century occultist. Small point maybe but is once again an example of poor editing and proof reading.
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