- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (4 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099431831
- ISBN-13: 978-0099431831
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.6 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Van Morrison: No Surrender Paperback – 4 May 2006
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"'No biography is likely to tell you more about Morrison' - Adam Sweeting, Sunday Times"
"A compendium of detail, a neck-aching triumph of research" (Scotsman)
"Here is everything you wanted to know about Van Morrison... Rogan leaves no stone unturned" (Guardian)
"'Remarkably well-researched and deeply engrossing...Rogan's painstaking research yields an abundance of detail...Fascinating'" (Irish Times)
"'This characteristically accomplished biography shows the singer from every angle'" (Observer)
Van Morrison: No Surrender is the definitive biography of one of the most influential figures in the history of popular music.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Rogan has made effort to reveal more of the 60s and 70s music business scene that is typically seen in music bios, and I appreciate that. However, he does not discuss the music, its influences and techniques as I would like, and Rogan and I seem to have very different musical tastes. I bought this book because I read a lot of Van biographies, but I recommend this only for the fanatic, or someone willing to spend money on a book you will throw down in annoyance many times.
If you are the same - i wouldn't recommend this book.
I'm an Englishman living in East Belfast for over 12 years, and frequently go for walks in the evening around Van's original stomping ground and up Cyprus Avenue and the like. Its so evocative. But I have to say - the author of this book would do well to do the same.
He gets the words No Surrender on every single one of the first 30 pages or so. And draws a direct correlation with Van's somewhat singular and grumpy public persona with his upbringing in a very Unionist area. Basically suggesting that all Unionists/Loyalists (and therefore - Van too) are grumpy, bigoted and intransigent.
I love a history lesson (even ones about the Troubles - but they do wear a bit thin and are 10 a penny) but I think there is more to Van Morrison - come to think of it - more to anyone from Northern Ireland (let alone East Belfast) than their political background.
A wasted opportunity Mr Rogan... there's so much soul in Van's music, and so much more to him, his music and his country of birth.
A few ridiculous comparisons are thrown in as well, purely for the purpose of belittling Van and they reflect badly on the author who at certain points is just getting stuck in. Rogan writes for example that the idea of Bob Dylan supporting Van Morrison (which is what happened on a brief UK tour in the `90s) is like having the Beatles as the warm up act for Freddy and the Dreamers. Well I know that if you put the two performers together Dylan is clearly going to emerge as the more significant but really the difference is neither as great or as extreme as the author would have us believe.Read more ›
Since reading the book, I have been reading up on some old interviews online, some of which are mentioned in No Surrender. Now, I am not as well read on Mr. Morrison as Mr. Rogan is. This I admit. I also admit to being quite a big fan of the Belfast Cowboy.
I must insist though, that the artist in the full interviews is simply not the same person as in the small quotes printed in the book. Simple as that. Check them out for yourself online.
Of course Van could and can be awkward etc, but the book just doesn't even come close to an unbiased portrait of the man.
Honestly, I am not blindly defending Van here. I am just mildly shocked to read the entire interviews.
Mr. Rogan doesn't slate the music in the same way, to be fair (most of the time). He just seems to have a personal dislike for Van. He is entitled to this as much as anyone else of course. I just don't understand why he didn't give a little bit more of a balanced view.
As to the comparisons to Ian Paisley...I'm still scratching my head. I grew up in Belfast and as another reviewer mentioned, I know a lot of people that are nothing like Morrison or Paisley. Very odd indeed. I think way too much is made of the fact that Van is a protestant. Also, who in their right mind wouldn't have remained tight-lipped about The Troubles when asked at that moment in time?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrible book. Why write a biography about somebody you dislike so much ?
The result can only be a very biased view. Read more
This book is full of fascinating - and explanatory - detail to interest die-hard Morrison fans. Occasionally, you suspect tha the author may be almost as difficult a man as the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr. Pj Martin
Loved it, all our yesterdays. Would recommend it to any 60s fans although need to know Belfast at that time to really enjoy it.Published on 13 Mar. 2013 by brenda
It has taken me six weeks to read and re-read Rogan's mind-boggling feat of absolute research and commitment. Read morePublished on 22 Feb. 2013 by M. J. Prendergast
Am still reading it but so far it's been an excellent read, very informative about Morrison's early years, very authoritative.Published on 27 Oct. 2012 by Alison Cope
Nasty carve up job on Van Morrison,similar in vein to Albert Goldmans books on Elvis and John Lennon. Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2011 by J. Hutcheson
I don't know whether to be more offended at the generalisation of unionists as dour, angry, miserable people or the constant Van-bashing. Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2009 by Amazon Customer
If you like Ireland and are at all interested in Van Morrison's sense of place, then this book is the one for you. I found Rogan's approach intriguing and novel. Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2006 by SueCath
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