4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Hmmmm...., 8 Jan. 2012
I bought this as I'm a fan of Mr Oldfields music, but his reclusive nature has meant that I didn't know much about the man, and I was fascinated to learn about his creative process.
I did find some informative stuff on the latter, but kind of wish I hadn't had bothered with the former.
Thing is, Mr Oldfield comes across as a humourless, self important, bitter miserablist - and as the book unfolded it just kept getting worse and worse. Yes, I get that he is a manic depressive, but seriously? Tracing his problems back to an incident in school when a girl slapped him for no reason? Boo hoo. Blaming his father for having to get up and leave the house to help people (as a doctor)? Spoilt little brat. 107 pages of this guff before we get to his first album? C'mon Mike - man up.
Once we get to the interesting stuff (y'know - MUSIC) the style settles down, and other than the constant new age rhubarb and ultra self importance (please, no more with the I'm not a musician I'm a cosmic mood conduit stuff), it's really, really interesting. Unfortunately we've wasted half the book by this point, to the point where his post 'moonlight shadow' work is condensed down into a few pages, as if he can't be bothered to discuss his music in detail, other than 'tubular bells'.
This is a real shame, as I REALLY enjoyed the sections about his music, and would happily have traded 30 more pages of that for the first half of the book.
One for himself - maybe next time he could write something less cathartic and more interesting... But then, I got the feeling that this book was more about getting things out of his system than anything else. Just a shame he couldn't do it in a way that would make himself look more of a sympathetic human being.