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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling.
After a few paragraphs I was wondering if Bill Cosby was using a pseudonym and had unknowingly struck on the name of one Country musics best modern song writers.
After one or two chapters I was convinced he had. Here was a book (in the beginning) fit for one of Cosby's famours childrens tales of Fat Harold etc. Except different names different venue. I must admit I...
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Mr. D. C. Shelley

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a biography .......memories of childhood
I have been a fan of Rodney Crowell for a long time, he is one of the great singer songwriters of modern times. I bought this hoping to learn more of his life in music. I should have read the description first. In that sense, it is a disappointment. It has little or nothing to do with his career in music. Having got over that disappointment and that is my fault, I did...
Published on 17 Mar 2012 by Musicfan


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling., 17 Mar 2011
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Mr. D. C. Shelley (Chelmsford, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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After a few paragraphs I was wondering if Bill Cosby was using a pseudonym and had unknowingly struck on the name of one Country musics best modern song writers.
After one or two chapters I was convinced he had. Here was a book (in the beginning) fit for one of Cosby's famours childrens tales of Fat Harold etc. Except different names different venue. I must admit I woke my Wife more than once when laughing at Rodneys tales of childhood when reading this book long into the early hours.

I could not stop reading. Eventually I could not stop wondering where this man obtained such a large heart and soul.

Right from the start this was compelling, honest reading.

As the story progresses Rodney becomes a man guilty of writing a very, very beautiful, humorous and haunting and moving book full of feeling and insight.

I am not that easily moved, but at times I found myself fighting back tears of emotion as he described his part in what might have been at times an ugly period for himself and his parents. Every family has their ups and downs. This story is about far more than that and Rodney masterfully puts together a story of a loving couple
who seemingly ran the whole the gamut of life.

Instead of picking on the negatives (and there must have been plenty). Rodney takes time to pick out the love, goodness and genuiness of a hard pressed couple. He does it with humour, gentleness and love. If he were my Son, Son in law, friend or aquaintence I would be very proud of him. He is none of those but I am proud of him. I would tell him so if given the opportunity and be happy to do so. This writer is a MAN in the fullest, most positive sense. He is not afraid to show his emotions nor is he afraid of familial exposure. He tells it as it was and finds the best of reasons and motives for doing so. This is a very human love story of a man for his wife, and a woman for her man and a son brought up the best way they knew how, and as far as I am concerned thay did an excellent job.

For me a funny, hard, emotional and compelling read.

I honestly feel that most people reliving events such as this would have given us a negative epic and left us with a feeling of resentment for his family and a feeling that he had a chip on his shoulder. Maybe some would have used the opportunity to perhaps 'hit back' or 'even the score' because they may have felt 'hard done by'. Not so with this writer.

Thanks Rodney for sharing such a beautiful, insightful time with us. Very well done indeed.

Don't miss the opportunity of reading such a wonderful story by and excellent writer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a biography .......memories of childhood, 17 Mar 2012
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Musicfan (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chinaberry Sidewalks (Paperback)
I have been a fan of Rodney Crowell for a long time, he is one of the great singer songwriters of modern times. I bought this hoping to learn more of his life in music. I should have read the description first. In that sense, it is a disappointment. It has little or nothing to do with his career in music. Having got over that disappointment and that is my fault, I did read the book. It is well written. He paints pictures with his words. The characters, places and occurrences are described in such a way that one can picture them. His relatives certainly make for interesting reading. He describes his childhood in great detail. He has a love and respect for his parents that once you have rread this book, you may wonder why! His childhood was not one without diffulty or challenges. It describes the times he was brought up in and in that sense it is an interesting social commentary of the times and places. A well written and highly readable book. Like nothing I have read before. Writing this might have been a sort of therapy for Crowell. If you want to read about Crowells life in music, then this isn't the book to buy. I want to read Crowells autobiography....if it written with the quality, openness and descriptiveness of this book, it will be well worth reading. If you interestied in reading about life in Texas for a poor family in the 50s and 60s, this is worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chinaberry sidewalks. Funny sad thought provoking. A delight., 20 Nov 2012
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This book was enlightening in so many ways. Life in rural America in the early twentieth century, life in Houston in the nineteen fifties. Surviving childhood with unpredictable volatile poverty stricken parents. Discovering and developing a knack for writing plaintive beautiful ballads, ironic and funny observational songs which are a joy.
This book was a revelation and for me a Brit an insight into a different world, plus an introduction to an underrated artist.
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Chinaberry Sidewalks by Rodney Crowell (Audio CD - 18 Jan 2011)
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