Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great biography of a great man
This is one of my favourite books. The best Marvin Gaye biography. You get to know Marvin the man, his character deepest thoughts and his personal struggle between his religion and temptations from his interviews with David Ritz. One of those books you just can't put down.
Published on 14 May 2009 by Lightblue22

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Soul......................
A view of this Motown legend from a part time collaborator and friend, so you are served his take on the man and he doesn't pull any punches but leaves you feeling that the man didn't really find what he was looking for in life.
Published 19 months ago by Zed


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great biography of a great man, 14 May 2009
This is one of my favourite books. The best Marvin Gaye biography. You get to know Marvin the man, his character deepest thoughts and his personal struggle between his religion and temptations from his interviews with David Ritz. One of those books you just can't put down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative!!!, 6 Dec 2010
By 
nmollo (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My first experience of the "Motown Sound" was listening to a BBC radio show devoted to the company when I was about 12 or 13.

The music has a rhythm and energy that I had seldom heard in the pop music of the early 1980's. I knew nothing about the artists. At such a young age the distinction between black and white music was not a factor. Then I heard a sound I had never heard before......within seconds I reached for the cassette player and pressed "record". I had captured a short part of a song I could not explain but found compelling, joyful and addictive.

The song was "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.

That song made me force my Mother to buy me my first long playing vinyl album and since that day I have had an undying love for the music of Marvin Gaye. This love of Marvin's music extends to an early appreciation of the underrated yet classic album "Here, My Dear" which in 2007 received glorious "Expanded Edition" treatment.

Marvin Gaye always appeared to me as a sophisticate with a suave and cool exterior. I knew that he had been murdered by his own Father but the greater details about his life where of little consequence when his music seemed to tell me all I needed to know about the artist.

Recently I purchased from Amazon "Where Did Our Love Go?" by Nelson George and "Divided Soul" by David Ritz. I wanted to learn finally and authoritatively about about Motown and particularly about the life of Marvin Gaye.

I read "Where Did Our Love Go?" by Nelson George first and was a little disappointed. The book is very short considering the subject and many interesting facts are omitted. It is well-written but feels slightly rushed. I expected a more in-depth study of the label and its artists. Indeed the book begins with a discussion of the word "authoritative" and challenges the concept due to faulty memories and revisionist intentions. But a biography can be authoritative even if it contains slight errors or perpetuates certain myths. To be authoritative in the biography format is to cover all the bases with a wealth of research and present all of the available facts. In this case "Where Did Our Love Go?" by Nelson George fails simply due to the huge amount of material this biographer chooses to omit.

"Divided Soul" by David Ritz on the other hand is authoritative. David Ritz is confident enough to know or seek out his subject and the biography is a revelation. The disturbing elements in Gaye's character are explored in depth yet there is a sympathy for the man much like those around him had, even when he was behaving at his most belligerent. The paranoia Marvin suffered so greatly in his later life is clearly a result of his cocaine use. This drug has the power to induce extreme paranoia. Cocaine taken regularly, when a person is already mentally confused, fragile, depressed or disturbed only exasperates those conditions.

The lasting impact of this excellent biography are in two areas of Marvin's life. The first is illustrated by a picture of Marvin standing on stage in nothing but a small black "jock strap" with his trousers around his ankles. This "humiliating" image shows how Marvin perversely believed that this was what the audience wanted.

The second is the idea, believed by his family, that Marvin was in fact in control of his actions right up to the last and his murder was in fact a conceived and conscious plan to finally rid his Father from the family for good. This idea is made more palatable by the fact that Marvin gave his Father the gun that indeed finally killed him.

David Ritz's book is one of the best biographies I have read and it should been seen as the authoritative examination of Marvin Gaye's life. I am sure Marvin himself would have been very pleased with the revelatory, sometimes shocking yet wholly honest content of this excellent biography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any fan of Marvin Gaye, 9 Jan 2011
By 
This has to be the most complete and honest book ever written about Marvin Gaye. The detail is so intricate and there is so much onformation about the man, his life and his music. Excellent bookd and one I will read again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The only Marvin Gaye biography worth reading, 25 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
Even Marvin's former wife Janis Hunt rates this book. I say this because so many of the great Marvin Gaye's relatives hate it and I can see why. It's brutally honest about Gaye's conflicted sexuality; misogyny and delves into his childhood for answers to what made Marvin Gaye so complex. I always loved Marvin Gaye and his music (I grew up to What's Going On and as a teenager it was always on our record player ..yep in those days we had record players with needles discs and all) but this book made me love and respect him even more and immediately order Here My Dear from Amazon. Which is amazing.....I can't believe I'd never heard of this album before. I also hunted down interviews and performances by Marvin on YouTube which had so much more resonance for me now I know the background to his story. I recommend a very moving short interview of Marvin with his father Gay senior, apparently recorded for a Japanese audience. Marvin Jr's desperate need for approval from his father underscores one of the major issues driving his insecurities and in the light of the eventual denouement (his dad brutally kills him) it's so moving and sad. Marvin Gaye's vocal chords must have been amazing as all the crack cocaine and other drugs he took did not really affect his voice, even towards the very end, just his overall performance where he became a sad sexual parody removing almost all his clothes etc. This book is revealing about Marvin Gaye, brilliant on his childhood and unusual almost cultist, religious background, his first and second wives (Anna Gordy and Janis Hunter) and Motown generally. Very knowledgeable about the music Marvin made and his influences. The only sour/fake note author David Ritz sounds is when he goes on and on about his deep friendship with Marvin. It doesn't matter whether he and Marvin were close or not. It's not a book by a friend anyway. A friend couldn't have been that coldly honest about Marvin Gaye. The extensive research is deep and good enough (despite not interviewing Marvin's ex wives) to deliver an honest, shocking, scary, moving, intimate and rounded portrait of one of the greatest singers and song writers of all time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Soul......................, 27 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
A view of this Motown legend from a part time collaborator and friend, so you are served his take on the man and he doesn't pull any punches but leaves you feeling that the man didn't really find what he was looking for in life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Complex, 28 Aug 2011
By 
H. Church (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I read biographies and it states that the main character has a complex personality, I rarely agree. Marvin Gaye, however was the most complex, fascinating, talented and damaged person I have ever read about. Cleverly, the author has managed to capture the torn soul of this destructive artist and bring him to life. Read this book, you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars unputdownable, 30 July 2014
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. I really felt like I got to know the great Marvin Gaye and gained an understanding of why he done some of the strange things that he done. This book follows his life from childhood until his untimely death. He was indeed a tortured soul. Reading this made me relisten to all his music.Amazing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 9 July 2014
By 
K. L. Pearson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
Great book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 9 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
This book was a great insight to one of Motown's greatest artists. It was so well written and I fully immersed myself in the book. Sometimes reading biographies they feel fabricated, but this book felt honest. One of the main things I liked was that it covered the lives of other Motown artists, which means you learn a lot about others as well
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars a great book, 19 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye (Kindle Edition)
if your in to your soul music and motown this is a must , to read about what went on off stage quite informative and i think quite shocking to read just what marvin gaye was like
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews