Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Full Fat Spread a Little Thin
on 11 August 2011
This is a book about musical ambition and the price it exacts, and Kirk explores that theme very ably by telling Rufus Wainright's life as a race which begins before he is even born in the musical competition between his parents, then continues as a race between his parents and the woman his Dad shacks up with after they break up, and finally between Rufus and his sister Martha. Everyone is after both musical immortality and, in the case of Rufus, the sound of cash registers, and the toll it takes on their lives and relationships is chillingly toted up in this book. There's not a lot here that isn't quoted from other people's interviews, and there heaps of tossed off judgements about particular concerts or albums which seem rather casually made, but the sheer fact of contrasting the progress of this one singular artist with the careers of the family who clearly shaped him makes it a fascinating read. Rather trails off at the end after a chapter devoted to the opera Primma Donna, but hey, perhaps a later edition will find something scandalous to really round the book off with. Not by any means the final word, but worth a read and occasionally provokes a few shudders.