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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for all Alice In Chains fans
The first thing you will think when you pick this up is: oh, it's one of those ghastly vanity press books. Because it does have the look of a self-published work. And, as you'll read, author Adriana Rubio's style seems sloppy and unedited. In fact, it reads like a fan's work. But, if so, probably one of the best books written by a fan of a band.
At times overly...
Published on 13 Nov. 2003 by J. A. Eyers

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not particularly impressive
I bought this book because there is a real dearth of material out there - scandalously enough! - about Layne Staley. The book is badly written, and the author refers too frequently to herself and her own struggle with anorexia. She justifies the self-references by claiming that Layne told her to write about herself. Be that as it may, as a 'professional' writer, she...
Published on 8 July 2005 by N. Gilmartin


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not particularly impressive, 8 July 2005
By 
N. Gilmartin (Wallington, London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
I bought this book because there is a real dearth of material out there - scandalously enough! - about Layne Staley. The book is badly written, and the author refers too frequently to herself and her own struggle with anorexia. She justifies the self-references by claiming that Layne told her to write about herself. Be that as it may, as a 'professional' writer, she should have realised that anyone buying the book buys it for information regarding the life of Layne Staley, and for no other reason! We can do without narcissism in somebody else's biography!

There are some interesting things in the book: some of Layne's own artwork, an early C.V., and lots of direct quotes, both from Layne and his immediate family. These things make the book worth having.

I recommend this book, not because of any intrinsic merit the book may have - it doesn't - but because there is a real shortage of information out there on Layne, and the author at least went to the trouble of collecting various materials together to give all the knowledge-hungry Layne fans out there some rare insights into his personal life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but...., 22 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
While this book does have some useful insights into Layne's life and feelings, in parts the book writes like an eleven year old's school project. In one instance the author describes what Layne's mum made her for dinner which as most would agree, does not help make for a great book . The book also has the failing of at times giving the impression that the author viewed Layne as some sort of god who could do no wrong which is clearly not the case though it wasn't all his fault. In short, the content is there but is covered up by the writings of someone who has done extensive research and has a lot of ideas but has no clue how to get these across, which can leave the reader extremely frustrated! Caution advised.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I regret buying this, 24 July 2005
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
I wanted to know about Layne Staley so I bought this book.... I would have done better just reading pages off the internet. This book was appalling. I don't think anyone should buy it -why? Er - well how about the author was more concerned about talking about 14th century renaissance art for pages and pages at a time and it having no relevance to Layne at all. Also the fact she compared his drug addiction to her anorexia - ???? I don't see how they're the same exactly - at least - she failed to come to a conclusion on that part.

The most disappointing part of all the book is that she managed to interview Layne's mother and sister and yet there is nothing in this book that tells us about the real Layne - as the book states. Instead the author told us about what she ate for dinner there and how complex her meals are because she suffers from anorexia.

Actually - she even interviewed Layne on the phone - or so she claims - we arent told anything else about the interview. She claims he told her something she promised she would take to her grave with her. Her claim to fame "I was the last person to interview Layne Staley before he died"

Big porkies if you ask me - I seriously doubt what she said - probably because it's so badly written!

Oh - I do forget - there are pictures of pots Layne made as a child in school. Wow. If that's what you want to see then great - buy this book. But remember this book is purely about the author - who went to visit Layne's mam and failed to find out anything interesting.

Conclusion - Don't buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Purchase with real caution...., 23 Jun. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
...because this really isn't an impressive book at all. The author provides no real insight into Staley - despite some reasonably close access to family members. The book is badly edited and Rubio's prose is self-indulgent, sloppy and blatantly not her first language. It's marginally better than John Brandon's dreadful Mike Starr book, and she gets full marks for enthusiasm and passion for her subject, but you'll digest this book quickly and come away none the wiser.

There's a good book to be written on Staley out there somewhere.... this aint't it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for all Alice In Chains fans, 13 Nov. 2003
By 
J. A. Eyers "jaeyers" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
The first thing you will think when you pick this up is: oh, it's one of those ghastly vanity press books. Because it does have the look of a self-published work. And, as you'll read, author Adriana Rubio's style seems sloppy and unedited. In fact, it reads like a fan's work. But, if so, probably one of the best books written by a fan of a band.
At times overly self-referential (Rubio's asides to her own problems with anorexia seem out of place) and never less than sycophantic toward Layne Staley, this isn't cutting edge investigative journalism. Nor is it a warts and all unauthorised biography. It is very subjective, and Rubio frequently climbs onto her soapbox about certain issues, such as drug abuse.
No, this book is the kind of book you'd imagine your own aunty writing about you. Much of it is devoted to information garnered from interviews with Layne Staley's mother, though you get the impression these were fond chats about the man rather than intensive grillings. At the end of the book, Rubio even refuses to comment on Staley's death out of respect to his family.
However, it's the involvement of Staley's family that makes this special. You can't imagine professional biographers getting so intimate. This leaves the book with certain unorthodox advantages, such as family photos, reproductions of Layne's artwork, plus diary entries and work-in-progress song lyrics that evoke memories of Kurt Cobain's recently published journals.
At the end of the day you're left with the impression that Rubio very much adored Layne Staley. There are so many cynical cash-ins around for notorious bands like Alice In Chains, so it's nice to find one that's honest, heartfelt and a fitting tribute as well.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling Insight Into the Life of a Great, 9 May 2003
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
This book really is a chilling look at laynes whole life, from thinking his father was dead, to his father returning, then right through the tangled career in Alice In Chains, and then the last ever interview before his tragic, if not surprising, death on April the 5th 2002.
The inspiration for some of the lyrics that Layne used in Alice in Chains stemmed from the early trauma of thinking that his father was dead. This book takes you through this experience, and to what was probably the start of Laynes death. When his father returned, he offered layne heroin, and the authour does an excellent job of trying to make you realize what Layne must have felt like.
The next step goes into his life in Alice in chains. The highlight of this band is undoubtably "dirt", and "Angry Chair" guides you through the life of heroin that inspired this album, and the continuous fall-outs that Layne had with other members of the band, especially Jerry Cantrell. These fall-outs eventually ended in the demise of the band, and after this Layne virtually dissappeared from our world.
Then we have the last ever interview with Layne before he died. It came-about when Layne found out that "Angry Chair" was being written, and he wanted to get his side across. This is the best, and worst part of the book. Layne Staley sais "I know I'm dying, I'm not doing well. My liver is not functioning and im throwing up all the time" and continues "The pain is more than you can handle. It's the worst pain in the world. Dope sick hurts the entire body. I know i'm near death." He was. Just four months later he was found dead. Rubio also received Staleys support for the book, he said "Go and write about the real meaning of drugs, be smart, use your brain. Go and write for the people that i never wanted their thumbs up about this drug use."
Lets hope people listen to what Layne said, and what Rubio sais in the book, and that people will learn from Laynes tragic life, that drugs kill. It killed Layne Staley, and Alice in Chains.
This book is a must-have for any Alice in Chains fan, it guides through Laynes whole life, from the very beginning to the very end. Chilling, but brilliant.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars only for hard core layne/aic fans, 3 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
i bought this book for the same reason as many, i think layne staley is a brilliant, influencial musician and there is a real lack of info out there on him. In my opinion the author has taken Laynes advice "you should write about yourself" a tad to far..i bought the book to read about Staley who i find mezmerising, and instead i got about 20 pages of the author's struggle with anorexia...the info that is put in about layne tho is revealing and tragic, u do get an insight into wot inspired him and made him the way he was...a must for anyone who admires staley as much as i do.
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book?, 14 July 2004
This review is from: Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician (Paperback)
This book is so badly written it is laughable. I bought it to try to find out more about the singer after seeing the 'unplugged' session. I am an English teacher and was itching to get my red pen out while I was reading it. It is ungrammatical, sentimental, totally lacking in any intelligent interpretation or analysis. At one stage I thought it must be a poor translation from another language. I am bewildered as to how such an amaturish attempt could have been published. I got to the end of the book where it becomes obvious that this was an exercise in rehab for the writer...or a scrap book 'project'. I suppose there is so little information out there that publishers will grab anything remotely saleable for those desperate fans..and this is written by one of those fans. Don't bother buying it.
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