Top positive review
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brave and beautiful
on 13 May 2007
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 Oldfield.
I don't think I have ever read a biography quite like this. It seems to be a real reflection of Mike's character. It is moving, funny, revealing and philosophical. There are quite a few unintentionally humorous parts - and that is good, because the reader gets a generally unfiltered view of Mike's take on life.
The person who emerges is haunted and vulnerable, and not like your usual moronic rock star. If I wasn't an Oldfield fan I would still be fascinated by the story of his life, his perceptions and psychology.
This a proper auto-biography. There is a musical journey through the 60's onwards - and Mike's comments on punk are hilarious. Then there are some colorful stories and anecdotes - like a fifteen-year-old Mike being reprimanded by Keith Richards for 'thrashing' his guitar then hiding in a corner.
And there is the deeper level of pain and distress, the serious issue of mental illness and how it was treated thirty years ago. That is where the 'brave' comes in. The documentary aspects of this side of the biography are gripping and upsetting.
The 'beautiful' is that Mike Oldfield emerges as a flawed human being - gifted to genius level - but compassionate, kind and aware of the 'mystical'/spiritual side of life. After a while I could hear his actual voice speaking in the writing. He is amiable, reflective, puzzled, enthusiastic, and really amusing.