7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Many Lives of Tom Waits (Hardcover)
Writing a book on Tom Waits is similar to making a Muhammad Ali documentary. The subject matter is so entralling that it would be almost imposible not to produce a piece of work that people would find interesting. An interesting read, however, is not a guartentee of quality though. I read this book in a couple of days and enjoyed it inspite of the author, not because of him. Tom Waits is a facinating character and I would recommend this book to people interested in finding out more about his life and music.
There are however, as Patrick Humphies frequently says of his subject, some fundamental flaws with this book. The sparcity of knowledge about Tom has led the author to fill out the book with unnessesary information about a host of associated artists. Francis Ford Coppola manages to get one full chapter dedicated to him, whilst Tom's album Blue Valentine manages to only get a few paragraph's. Granted, there is a link between Coppola and Waits, but the background into the film-maker was over-done.
The opening section of the book is also rather cringworthy, as the author 'sets the scene' for the book in the style of an early 70's Waits monologue. It typecasts the subject and almost put me off the book before I had begun.
There are better Wait's books out there and inevitably the best one is 'Innocent When You Dream' which, like the aforementioned Ali in 'When they were kings' just allows the subject to speak for himself and missing out the middle man. But as I mentioned above, it still is worth reading as Tom Waits is such a facinating character.