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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brave and beautiful
I've been a true Oldfield fan since I was eleven, and was a teenager during his transition phase in 1978. I wish I had known a lot of this then - it would have gone a long way to understanding what was happening to his music. I read this book through in one go on the day I got it and found it quite an experience to reassess all that I'd thought I'd known about Mike...
Published on 13 May 2007 by Dr. Robert A. Josey

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Running out of steam?
Mike makes reference in this book to the fact that with some of his albums (Hergest Ridge & Incantations) he lost enthusiasm before the end. I can't help feeling that's what happened here: There is such detail on the recording of the early albums that I eagerly anticipated reading the same for Amarok (many fans' favourite) only to find that he squashed three albums into...
Published on 18 July 2007 by T. M. Eden


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 2 Mar 2014
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A very personal autobiography which leads one through the life of one of Britain's true cultural genius. Thank you Mike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a must read book for any Mike oldfield fan, 22 Jan 2014
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D. JONES (Manchester England) - See all my reviews
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I'm slightly bias as I have been a massive mike oldfield fan since 1973.
I have had the paper copy for a number of years and found it a fascinating read .
A must read book book for any Mike oldfield fan along with a life dedicated to music by chris dewey
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Changeling: The Autobiography of Mike Oldfield (Paperback)
Fantastic read this is such an inspirational book & not just for Mike Oldfield fans well worth the read I loved it
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Running out of steam?, 18 July 2007
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T. M. Eden - See all my reviews
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Mike makes reference in this book to the fact that with some of his albums (Hergest Ridge & Incantations) he lost enthusiasm before the end. I can't help feeling that's what happened here: There is such detail on the recording of the early albums that I eagerly anticipated reading the same for Amarok (many fans' favourite) only to find that he squashed three albums into literally less than two pages!! (Yet he can still muster up three pages, about the same time, talking about one hot air balloon trip with Richard Branson).

Added to that was the frustration of Mike seeming so uncertain about many of his facts; he constantly says "it was at.....I think" or "it was called something like....." ["My first album was called Tubular Bells I think; something like that anyway" - I'm exaggerating but you get the point].

He even gets major facts wrong like referring to Maggie "Riley" [sic] on Moonlight Shadow as someone who had "done some backing vocals on some of the tours" when in fact she had already sung lead vocals on the last two albums!! Some of this patchy research (e.g. being sure where his mum and dad met) could surely have been solved by one phone call?

Be prepared also for the downbeat ending to so many parts of his life. In just one paragraph he goes from "It was wonderful where we were living..." to "I wanted to leave...I didn't feel comfortable there."

HAVING SAID ALL THAT...there are many, many interesting passages and anecdotes which lead me to still give this three stars despite all my apparent criticisms above.

If you are a fan - will you be engaged by much of this? Yes. Will you be ultimately disappointed? Most probably.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Madness of King Mike, 26 Jun 2007
By 
Peri Urban "periurban" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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There is a law of diminishing returns at play in this book.

It seems that the further back Oldfield goes in his examination of his character and music the more detail there is. The closer he gets to the present the less there is.

In the case of the original Tubular Bells this is perhaps understandable, because it is his defining work and did change the face of music. The album obviously looms large in Oldfield's mind too, since he attributes his entire success to it and seems to link it closely to his psychological state.

Oldfield is a remarkable character, but here his finer qualities are filtered through his own skewed and distorted obsessions with the dysfunctional nature of his family life and his consequent emotional, personal and social difficulties. There is a certain honesty here, but it isn't enough to engage the reader.

It's a hard read, with little to salvage it from its slide towards bargain bin status. Oldfield's spiritual revelations are heartfelt, but informed more by massive drug use and alcoholism than wisdom or fresh insight. The overall feeling here is, thank goodness I'm not him!

Whilst an honest reflection of a troubled character is forgivable, what is less so is the paucity of information and commentary on the last twenty years. It's almost as though the remit was Tubular Bells, rather than Oldfield himself.

Towering works like Amarok are covered in merely a few paragraphs, and casual readers and fans alike will feel short changed.

Hard core fans will probably learn little that is new aside from gaining a deeper insight into the psyche of a somewhat tortured partial genius.
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4 of 6 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.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was a bit disappointing!, 22 Jun 2014
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This book reads like it was written by a child. It's terribly dull in its delivery. I just wanted to permanently yawn. I like Mike Oldfield music & bought Tubular Bells back in the day and loved it then as I still do. Unfortunately he's not a skilled writer but does have a fairly interesting story to tell. A ghost writer may have been a better bet. Can't recommend this boring book but some of his music is brilliant.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting Person and interesting read, 4 Oct 2013
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This was my 2nd copy of this book as the first was lost in a flood, very fast delivery and was in excellent condition
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Changeling Mike has come of age., 28 May 2007
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Ms. T. Aplin "TubularBelle" (Australia) - See all my reviews
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Just finished reading 'Changeling' and it was over way too soon. While I was MOST interested in reading about his early life before TB and those first few years of fame, which Mike has pleasurably supplied, the last 27 years were squashed into a mere 30 pages or so, with each album after 'Incantations' receiving barely a mention and his relationships with his partners and children get barely one sentence each and Maggie Reilly gets very little more. Sally is mentioned by first name only, Anita and his first five children are not mentioned by name at all, or even the fact that he and Anita worked together, all he said was that that break up involved lawyers. Fanny and Jake get mentioned once only, and Maggies name was spelt wrong. I was happy to read him say that Amarok was his favourite album and how fond he is of SODE, and reading about the different emotions he was experiencing during the recording of his first four albums was fascinating, I was quite surprised to hear that he did not enjoy making Hergest Ridge as it is a mighty fine album. His Mothers Death and inability to accpet his Fathers second wife is very sad as his Father is a fine man who did everything he could to help Mikes Mother recover from her illness for several years and was a good father to Michael. He talks about money and Branson a little too much when compared with his family life, but the last paragraph summed it all nicely and gives the fans the comfort of knowing he is not even considering retirement. The photos are a little disappointing too, I always expect to see the best studio portrait of every member of the family, this was shoe box stuff, mostly uninteresting. Only one sentence really disturbed me when he said, "I used to go over to Steve Winwoods house, he was very much into a world of his own, he was into all kinds of things. He had these ferrets, horrible little animals, that he'd get out and show me, wriggling in a sack". I LOVE MY FERRET! (His name is Farken). But I shouldn't complain as the ferrets got more type space than Mikes wives and kids.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Afraid to face the truth?, 14 Aug 2007
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This book is mis-titled; it should be labelled as the biography of Mike Oldfield's music. It has all the depth and power of a nine-year-old's school essay about "What I Did on my Summer Holidays", and a lot less charm. It is just about as poorly researched (!) and superficial an autobiography as I have ever read.

But.

But I'm a fan of his music, and it's difficult to let it go at that - besides which, it is horribly revealing in a voyeuristic sort of way. For instance, he spends a lot of time talking about his early years before the exegesis rebirth experience, yet spends no time at all looking at his marriages and offspring. Richard Branson is given much more space on paper, and yet he still manages to be fundamentally unrevealing about the man and their relationship. If you are hoping for a revealing bit of self-analysis then you will be disappointed; but as a window onto what he really values, it is a fascinating diagnostic tool. A bit like watching a train-wreck, really.
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Changeling: The Autobiography of Mike Oldfield
Changeling: The Autobiography of Mike Oldfield by Mike Oldfield (Paperback - 1 May 2008)
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