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on 20 February 2017
Brilliantly written, well researched, not simply a factual biography but both comic and tragic at the same time, all in all a rompingly good read.
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on 19 April 2016
Very interesting read.
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on 23 January 2012
A biography which entertains as it informs. It is very readable, full of outlandish stories that did not make it into Peter Webb's 1988 biography. I found the earlier years the most interesting, before Hockney's rise to fame. A major bonus in this biography is the ability of the author to draw on Laura Hockney's diaries. The entries quoted are a marvellous Alan Bennett-type foil to Hockney's new metropolitan ways. Thus Laura confides to her diary during one of Hockney's visits home from college: 'Met Mrs Todd who was pleased to see David but not keen on the blond hair'.

The book responds sensitively to the pictures, without losing sight of the fact that this is principally biography, not art history. It is particularly strong on the prints, which Hockney (we learn) first opted to do because he was hard up and the materials in the print department at the RCA were free.

I would have liked more photographs of both people and places mentioned, as well as the work. There is a mistake on page 315 when the author suggests Blake and Palmer were Pre-Raphaelites. They were not.

Nevertheless, this is an excellent book.
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on 28 December 2011
Greatly enjoyed this biography which not just describes Hockney the artist but particularly Hockney the man, his doubts, delights, hopes and disappointments and, not least, the frequent returns to his roots and family in Bradford. I am greatly looking foreward to the second volume!
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on 8 January 2012
This biography is not only full of interesting facts, it is written in a very easy and readable way. It is also very witty. I can recommend this book to everyone and am looking forward to part II.
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on 21 February 2012
Once again an interesting and informative book covering the early years of his career. Quite gossipy with lots of 'dips' into his mother's diaries, which are interesting in themselves. His art is covered too and many works are explained but without being dry and tedious like so many artist's biographies.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait for the second book. I have read some negative reviews by some (pretentious)writers and can only say that I am glad they didn't write this book as it would probably have bored me to death!
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on 4 April 2014
I confess, love the look of this biography with a fresh
approach to imagery and layout - indicative of the
creative years of the subject and mirroring the social
milieu at the time. Have met Hockney and still wonder
at his intensive creative output and honest outspoken
views on everything. Very well researched book
with lots of accurate detail and atmospheric on every
page. Looking forward to reviewing the second part soon!
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on 30 January 2014
An excellent book which reads easily, not always the case with this type of publication.Never dry or dull.Well researched and written with wit and feeling.Highly recommended.
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on 29 April 2015
Well written and extremely interesting, I can say the same for volumn 2
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on 18 May 2015
Excellent read. The standard for others. Mr Hockney is the English Picasso and Mr Sykes captures the raging glory of Mr Hockney's brilliance. All the flaws and achievements are here. Wonderfully open.
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