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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vast, exhaustive account of Syd's life
This is an immense book. Julian has a rambling, floral style that offsets the vast amount of information on offer but does seem a tad wordy at times. He also seems to be quite infatuated with Syd and constantly harps on about how attractive, witty, intelligent, creative, inventive, beloved, ingenious, groundbreaking, popular, stylish and all-round fantastic he was but...
Published on 26 Nov. 2010 by Reason

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to read.
450 pages of which 200 could have easily been cut out of the final edit.
So annoyingly slow it's impossible to read. Goes on and on over unnecessary details and descriptions.
Respect for the accurate research but this book definitely misses that page-turning magic.
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Claudio AM


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vast, exhaustive account of Syd's life, 26 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
This is an immense book. Julian has a rambling, floral style that offsets the vast amount of information on offer but does seem a tad wordy at times. He also seems to be quite infatuated with Syd and constantly harps on about how attractive, witty, intelligent, creative, inventive, beloved, ingenious, groundbreaking, popular, stylish and all-round fantastic he was but then again this sort of obsession is likely necessary for the writing of a book of such detail.

But don't let the glib rose-tinting from putting you off, as this is perhaps the most authoritative book on Syd that we could ever have hoped for, especially when one considers the information regarding Syd's hermit-like existence post 1970. Much of this seems to have come from Syd's sister and while a lot of it is quite depressing, it's nice to know that he seemed to find some sort of "happy" state in the later stages of his exile and there are numerous fascinating things that we would otherwise never have heard about.

Also very enjoyable is the vast recounting of the London underground scene of the mid to late sixties by numerous people who were actually involved in it rather than looking in for the outside. It certainly paints a different picture to the general consensus and offers up the stark realities to balance the genuinely wonderful, positive things that went on. And those positive things that were always alluded to are explained in great detail, including in-depth descriptions of the goings on at UFO.

Lastly, it's nice to see Roger Waters being painted in a more realistic light than he has been previously. Whilst many seem content to cast him as the villain, Julian thankfully has opted instead to keep things balanced, which I think is the right thing to do as he seemed to genuinely care about and look up to Syd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Labour of love with kitchen sink included, 9 Mar. 2011
By 
Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
With its mass of detail this could be the definitive Syd biography. The detail does get a little overwhelming at times, though, - there's everything from the 60s London 'Underground' to the minutiae of the Abbey Road mixing desk! The first half is especially dense with detail; there is about one paragraph of Syd to five of the social milieu that surrounded him. Even so, this does give a clear idea of the sheer chaos of the times and the demands that were made on Syd throughout 1967. It is amazing to me that he was able to carry on playing gigs at all for as long as he did. One image that stuck in my mind was that of Syd turning up at a friend's place, barefoot, feet bleeding, in a dazed state, only to have Floyd roadies turn up and haul him off to the studio.

This is clearly a labour of love, though, and for this reasons some of the digressions that might irritate can be forgiven. The author even peppers the text with some of Syd's lyrics here and there (why say 'sky' when you can say 'starlit sky' etc). But this just adds to the book's charm. Syd's sister Rosemary has clearly been a great help, and it's good that a biography of this sort has had some family input. There is plenty of detail of Syd's later days, too, and while some of this can be quite upsetting it does appear that Syd achieved some peace of mind towards the end of his life.

Musically, there is also a wealth of detail of Syd's guitar style and playing, much of which I confess went over my head, though it is clear that, even in his most difficult period, he was a hugely talented player. As late as 1973 he was able to jam with the likes of Jack Bruce, which speaks volumes about his ability and 'togetherness'. Only when confronted by the demands of the music business did Syd balk. That's not to say this is a rose tinted view of him by any means; his frustrations and sheer mental anguish at times is plain.

A couple of nitpicks, aside from the occasional factual blip (a year wrong, a track mistaken for another). An index would have been nice, though this would doubtless have taken another year! Also, none of the quotes have specific references, though all sources are listed at the back. Perhaps this was to avoid irritating footnotes, but it does give an impression that the author has had fresh discussions with his sources, when actually it's a 'pick and mix' from articles and books going back over forty years. There's hardly a quote from Nick Kent's famous 'Cracked Ballad' article that hasn't made it to this book, for example. But all in all, if you are discovering Syd for the first time, this is a fine place to start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything included. Except verbs., 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
This is a formidably researched, and consequently formidably thorough and detailed, biography of Syd Barrett. The amount of work which has gone into it is in itself admirable, but research is of no value unless it's applied and Palacios has produced a sympathetic and nuanced account of Syd's life which thankfully avoids cliches and sensationalism. His account of Syd's latter years is particularly moving.

It's not great on analysis of Syd's work or its cultural context, particularly in comparison to Rob Chapman's "A Very Irregular Head", but that's not a criticism of Palacios. Authors make decisions about their approach, and readers make choices about which they prefer. I prefer Chapman's approach, but that doesn't detract from Palacios's achievement here, which is highly impressive.

However, I have to disagree with other customer reviews regarding the prose. Rather than finding this a stylish, smooth read, I found Palacios's style intensely irritating, particularly his pathological fondness for sentences without verbs. Fine once. Irksome twice. Subsequently, enraging.

There's nothing wrong with this book that a decent editor couldn't sort out, but if you find the author's stylistic affectations getting annoying by about 100 pages in, you may well find yourself wanting to throw the book at the wall before you get much further. It's a shame, because that apart this is a commendable, informative and humane book of considerable merit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All encompassing, 17 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
Any written work about Barrett invites a flourish here and there, but that apart this is one of the best researched and most accurate books I have read on Barrett to date.

Julian brings alive that period in the sixties which has fascinated so many. From Syd's early days at art school, through the burgeoning heyday of his band, Pink Floyd, to his later solo days and extensive retirement. All is deftly handled with consideration, precision and integrity.

Many thanks Julian Palacios for this all encompassing Dark Globe
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, 4 Oct. 2011
By 
C. Moise (Baton Rouge, LA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
This is one of the rare rock bios that is not only extremely well researched but impeccably well written. Anyone remotely interested in Syd Barrett or early Pink Floyd will find this book hard to put down. Some of the new eye-witness accounts of live shows from '67 are absolutely riveting. I recommend Rob Chapman's Syd book as well but if you only have room for one Syd book this is the one to get. Like all music books I felt a strong desire to dig out all of the albums and bootlegs and listen to everything all over again.

In comparison Rob's book, "A Very Irregular Head" spends much more time on Syd's childhood and literary influences pulling Syd the writer/poet into sharper view. Julian on the other hand focuses on Syd the band member/guitarist/front man/ songwriter. Rob's book is more Syd the nature boy playing acoustic in his backyard where Julian is Syd with four Selmer 100W amplifier heads set on stun playing London nearly every night for 2 years. Both books are absolutely essential but if forced to choose one I feel Dark Globe is the definitive blast.

Right up there with John Einarson, "Mr. Tambourine Man", Jimmy McDonough's "Shakey", and Everett True's "Nirvana" Julian's Dark Globe.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best analysis on Syd Barrett's work, 10 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
This book is a great contribuition for all interested in the music and the poetry of Roger Barrett.
Here, you can find the historical and artistical context in the Barrett's most important creative years in a exaustive
and careful description.
Besides, Julian Palacios is a great author, he has a very talented way of writing.
I simply love it. A great work on a great artist.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to read., 23 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
450 pages of which 200 could have easily been cut out of the final edit.
So annoyingly slow it's impossible to read. Goes on and on over unnecessary details and descriptions.
Respect for the accurate research but this book definitely misses that page-turning magic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Paperback)
Great
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Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe
Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe by Julian Palacios (Paperback - 1 Sept. 2010)
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