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4.5 out of 5 stars
I Lived to Tell it All
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 1999
This book is the king of all autobiographies. George Jones, the greatest country singer of all time, HAS lived to tell it, but it's hard to believe. From stories about growing up in Texas with a drunk father, a religious mother, and more than a few close siblings, to tales of corrupt policemen and drug dealers holding him down and shoving cocaine up his nose, to the story of the woman who saved him and herself, this book "tells it all." In the book, George talks about cutting his first record, but only to be told by a local DJ that it's not very good. You will read about the fun times, the bad times, the drunk times, and the near fatal incidents on the road with other stars such as Johnny Cash, Faron Young, and Buck Owens. Jones writes about getting his first number one, his bouts with booze, his marriage to Tammy Wynnette, his cocaine addiction, and finally, his current wife Nancy. If you think you know George Jones, think again. This book grabs hold of you and doesn't let go as Jones, along with Tom Carter and the help of past friends and acquaintances, tells the real story behind all the news articles and rumors that you've probably heard in past years. Along with all the self exsposing stories, Jones adds his own insights, comments, and opinions about life, today's music industry, drugs and alcohol, love, and finally, self-peace. This book is a great read that will either insprire you to or totally discourage you from becoming a country singer. I strongly recommend you read this book. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You will..."live to read it all"...and you'll be glad you did!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 1997
Remember how many times they tried to kill Rasputin? Well, he had it easy compared to George Jones. You'll come away from this compulsively readable and amazingly honest autobiography wondering how Jones was able to walk and talk on a regular basis, much less make some of the most beautiful country music ever recorded. See Mel Tillis break George's arm. See George do something unspeakable to Porter Waggoner's private parts. See bad guys shovel cocaine into George's nose, not that he needed much help. See George drink enough whiskey to kill an elephant. See Faron Young literally burn George's butt. See George nearly die by drowning, crashing, gunfire, lynching by an angry audience, many, many barfights, and various other mishaps. There are kidnappings, a murder, conspiracies, multiple personalities and worse. You won't be able to stop reading. I tried to describe some scenes to a friend and we were both laughing so hard we were crying... because although it's terrifying and sad, it's also incredibly absurd. If they made a movie of this book, it would be a cross between Coal Miner's Daughter, Blue Velvet, Straw Dogs, Citizen Kane and Monty Python's Meaning of Life. The only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because I never figured out how George ever managed to make a record.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2011
I read this book as I have only recently started to listen to a lot of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Together they were pure gold and the chemistry between them on stage was something I fear we will never see the likes of again. Unfortunately the simpleness and innocence of that time is now (unfortunately) lost forever.
Truth be told, I am more interested in Tammy, but she spent 6 years of her life with this man and I wanted to read his version of events to get a balance.
I enjoyed it but if I had to criticise it, I suspect he has exaggerated a lot of what really happened to make him appear even wilder than he actually was.
I was also disappointed in how he portrayed poor Tammy and basically blamed her for not helping him overcome his addiction to alcohol (though in reality she did try). He brushes over Tammy like she was a mistake and portrays his present wife (Nancy Sepulvado) as the best thing since sliced bread. Remember though, Tammy left him, he didn't want to leave Tammy.
Anyone interested in George AND Tammy should also read her book "Stand by your man", for her version of their time together. You can then make up your own mind.
In conclusion, he was an unbelievably good singer and I do love his music, but I just wish George had the courage to really "Tell it all".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2009
I bought the hardback when it was first published (and I still have it). yes, I am a GJ fan but I wont go into what it is about, you can read all about that elsewhere. I will say that I was delighted in hearing first hand from the man about himself, about all those things I had previously heard ,second, third and fourth hand from others about him.
If you are a George Jones or Country Music fan, then this book is one for your collection. There is nothing fake about the contents, the man, himself has spoken. My only disappointment, if you choose to call it that, is, as I understand it, the paperback version contains extra mileage on George but as to what this is I have no idea, save reading the reviews on here. Perhaps, that, in itself was a marketing ploy to boost sales of the paperback version when first published but at any rate from the point of view of value for money, you may be better off buying the paperback version instead of the hard back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I remember when reading the auobiography of football genius George Best, the thought that come to mind was that I was reading the story of a drunk rather than a great footballer (which he was) and how he let down his club and his fans. The similarities between George Best and George Jones are obvious, both were drunks. George Best detroyed his career. George Jones survived and became one of the most revered stars of country music. His reliability, his drug abuse and and his drunkeness must have made it very difficult for those around him. Some of the incidents are shocking such as when he was firing his gun in the bus. He tells it like it was. It is as honest as he can remember. It is a good read and the most surprising thing is that he lived to tell it all! Well worth reading to know more about the singer and the way country music has developed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2013
Enjoyed this book very much. A well written autobiography by the best country singer ever. Delivery took a while but it was so worth the wait. Looking back on his life and the way he treated his body, his wives, his buddies and band members it's a wonder that he lasted until he was 81 years old but I'm so glad he did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2010
A must read for not only country fans ,if you are interested in the reality world of people this is for you.I knew of the work of George Jones but never been a great fan of the man himself,that said out of interest i wanted to find the man behind the hype,this book gives everything you want to know THE TRUTH.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2014
Big fan and have always been interested in his life story. Had so much information from other sources including Tammy Wynette but wanted to hear it from the man himself. What a life and how amazing that he really did live to tell it all. Loved this book and love the music of George (The Possum) Jones.
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on 25 March 2015
Although I like George's music, I realised that apart from him being an alcoholic, I didn't really know much about him.
It's sad that after reading this book, I still don't.
Apart from brief chapters relating to his youth, this book focuses mainly on GF's addiction to booze and drugs - which was basically his whole life.
I can't say that I enjoyed the book. I think some of the events may have been over dramatised for the sake of a good story, but that was needless, as the truth was pitiful enough alone.
Every chapter is full of stories that may be amusing at the start, but get stale quick. Stale and even a bit annoying at his total disregard for people around him.
It's hard to read that someone who snorted a couple of grand up his nose weekly, and that claimed to not care about money anyway, could leave his band unpaid for weeks, and a trail of debt behind him.
I know he was basically out of his mind, but the stories are still hard to swallow.
George Jones made great country music. Personally, I wish I'd just been satisfied with that, as his story isn't too endearing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2002
Being a George Jones(GJ) fan for over 30 years and having heard
the rumours of his life-style (often only secondhand,fifth or more) his book gave me a chance to hear his story. GJ uses an adult narrative which makes pleasant reading without any shortage of colourful and truthful revelations.GJ had some life, his story was worth telling and even if your not a serious fan of his you will enjoy every page.Don't just take several million fans and my word, read it and like me I am sure you will enjoy GJ even more for the telling of his story.
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