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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but spotty
I was very much looking forward to this Van bio since I'd read Heylin's very impressive one on Dylan. However this is a bit of a disappointment.
As another reviewer has remarked - there are some surprising gaps here. It isn't just info - or at least some speculation - on the meeting between Van and Cliff Richard - the most unlikely pairing since Bowie and Bing. For...
Published on 15 Jun 2005 by G. J. Mcintyre

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never again
If I had it to do all over again I wouldn't buy Van Morrison's biography by this author. The same could be said about his biography of Bob Dylan. They are wordy, opinionated, and boring. He was so scathing about Van Morrison that it took some months before I could bring myself to listen to his music again. I didn't expect hero worship, but this was...
Published on 5 Dec 2005


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but spotty, 15 Jun 2005
This review is from: Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography (Paperback)
I was very much looking forward to this Van bio since I'd read Heylin's very impressive one on Dylan. However this is a bit of a disappointment.
As another reviewer has remarked - there are some surprising gaps here. It isn't just info - or at least some speculation - on the meeting between Van and Cliff Richard - the most unlikely pairing since Bowie and Bing. For many pages Heylin talks of how much respect Van had for Dylan and he gives much fascinating insight into the meeting and subsequent relationship between Van and The Band. But at no point do we read any info or speculation on Van's initial meeting with Dylan. There's also the curious case of Van's ex-wife Janet Planet and her son Peter. Clearly this isn't Morrison's son but we never find out any more info on the matter.
Also - as with the Dylan bio - there is much opinionated stuff but with Van this seems less justifiable since I feel that his material provokes a more subjective response. E.g. most would agree that Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" is greater than "Knocking on Heaven's Door". But to trash "Almost Independence Day" and then go into raptures about "Summertime in England" doesn't seem such a clear-cut matter. (I would agree that the former song may be counted a failure but it's a magnificent one that I wouldn't want to be without.)
However Heylin is a very amusing and readable writer and much of his comments on Van do seem to be very perceptive. This isn't a book for those who simply want to hero worship Van. (Ritchie York's Into the Music is the book for that - if you can find it!)
This is a very honest and sometimes hilarious read despite all my reservations.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never again, 5 Dec 2005
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This review is from: Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography (Paperback)
If I had it to do all over again I wouldn't buy Van Morrison's biography by this author. The same could be said about his biography of Bob Dylan. They are wordy, opinionated, and boring. He was so scathing about Van Morrison that it took some months before I could bring myself to listen to his music again. I didn't expect hero worship, but this was character assassination.
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Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography
Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography by Clinton Heylin (Paperback - 28 Aug 2004)
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