Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Searching for the baby in the bathwater, 10 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Cash: The Autobiography (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Johnny Cash, but this autobiography left me unsatisfied. The good first, though. Cash is never better than when recounting his childhood in rural Arkansas, describing the joys without romanticisng. He's also candid about all the ways he's screwed up. His account of addiction (and rehab, relapse, rehab...) is harrowing. I'd call it self-lacerating, but there's no hatred here, just an honesty that sees no need to hide anything.

Unfortunately that frankness isn't there when it comes to other people. Cash doesn't have a bad word to say about anybody, and that's very nice of him - but it's frustrating to see person after person praised for being the greatest ever. I get that he'd want to give a shout-out to his grandchildren, roadies, and hairdressers, but all that stuff is interesting to exactly nobody but Cash himself.

'Cash' badly wants trimming. It isn't just the endless tributes to people over the years: there are long descriptions of his various houses, cars and expensive hobbies that make him sound frightfully wealthy (we know, we don't need to be reminded); tangents on topics from afternoon naps to his reading habits; and attempts to address criticism that date back to the seventies (like his work with the Carter Family). His music never lost its fire, but in 'Cash' he sounds like an old man.

The book could have used a far more ruthless editor. As it is, it's shapeless and flabby, even at a mere 313 pages.
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