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Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin Paperback – 1 Feb 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Owl Books (NY); Reprint edition (Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805053948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805053944
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,140,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A richly detailed portrait. Echols stares unflinchingly at the fault lines of the '60s counter-culture." --Susie Linfield, "Los Angeles Times"
"This Life's a real Pearl." --Bob Gulla, "People"
"A serious biography-it does the important stuff well." --Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post"
"In Echol's creation Joplin emerges as a true original, compelling, confounding, and rife with contradictions." --Lisa Shea, "Elle"


A richly detailed portrait. Echols stares unflinchingly at the fault lines of the '60s counter-culture. "Susie Linfield, Los Angeles Times"

This Life's a real Pearl. "Bob Gulla, People"

A serious biography-it does the important stuff well. "Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post"

In Echol's creation Joplin emerges as a true original, compelling, confounding, and rife with contradictions. "Lisa Shea, Elle""

Book Description

* The definitive biography of Janis Joplin - rock's first female superstar, the queen of sex, drugs and rock n' roll whose music expressed the recklessness, defiance and energy of her generation --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
This brilliant book is both a biography of Janis Joplin and a cultural history of the 1960s. Scars Of Sweet Paradise is a very thorough and in-depth look at Joplin's life and times and at the same time an exploration of the quiet suburban life versus the lure of the counterculture. The bohemian underground, unlike some idyllic portrayals of it, had its share of cynicism and destructiveness.
Much of this book deals with this evolving underground as it relates to the music, gender relationships and the merger of art and commerce. It is the story of a generation's restless and reckless life on the edge, from which Janis and many others never returned. The author conducted over 150 interviews and spent 5 years on research to produce this comprehensive work on Joplin and her era.
The Janis that emerges is a complex, multi-faceted personality that inspires admiration and sadness. The story begins in Port Arthur where Joplin's early life is described, including her first exposures to rock and folk music. It follows her to college and her first taste of the bohemian life then on to her first visit to San Francisco and eventual return to Port Arthur.
She went back to SF and her career began to take off. It is fascinating to read about the colourful personalities that she mixed with in San Francisco: the friends, the lovers and the musicians. Echols is a skilful narrator, seamlessly blending Joplin's moves and her relationships with the rise of her career. There are plenty of quotes from contemporary musicians that really illuminate this mythologized period in history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great insight into what life was like in a Texas in late fiffties early sixties,perhap's explaining Janis's out look and what made her tick.Janis like many other talented artist's seemed determined to self destruct in spite of her outward toughness an inner softer side lay hidden.A very good read can recommend.
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Format: Paperback
Janis Joplin has always intrigued me because of all the references made to her even after her death as a rock and roll icon and because she died in the year I was born -1970.I certainly was not disappointed when I read about her life story in Alice Echols biography,'Scars of Sweet Paradise, The Life and Times of Janis Joplin.'What an excellent book!
The author approaches Joplin's life story with candour and empathy as she charts the life of the girl from Port Arthur,Texas whose feeling of being an outsider in small-town Texas would develop into her uniqueness and fascinating individuality as one of the female musical icons of the sixties.
Alice Echols' biography is well written and also highly informative of the sixties, the sixties counter-culture: hippies, drugs, physchedelics,The West Coast of the US with San Francisco becoming the mecca of the beat -nik culture. She also describes clearly and vividly the emotional turbulence of Joplin's life that would eventually overwhelm her and destroy her life and musical career.
What I found interesting about this book is how Joplin's rise and fall takes place against the background of an America that was rapidly changing, the civil rights movement, the impending war in Vietnam, the women's rights movement all run parallel to her own struggles of being a woman in a male dominated rock and roll world. A wonderful and talented woman, a tortured soul and what a shame that the world lost a legend too soon. I would recommend this book to anyone who was keen on reading a great music biography. Janis rocks!
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By A Customer on 31 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
ALice Echols did a superlative job with this book. I learned about a side of Janis that I always thought she had, but never heard anyone else discuss-- the young girl in pain. Also, Ms. Echols writes Janis's life as the truly great performer she was. She was the first of her kind-- the first white woman with the guts to show her pain in her songs. WIthout Janis, there would be no Melissa Etheridge or Patti Smith or Courtney Love or Sheryl Crowe. I continue to hail the great one. Thank you, Alice.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
This brilliant book is both a biography of Janis Joplin and a cultural history of the 1960s. Scars Of Sweet Paradise is a very thorough and in-depth look at Joplin's life and times and at the same time an exploration of the quiet suburban life versus the lure of the counterculture. The bohemian underground, unlike some idyllic portrayals of it, had its share of cynicism and destructiveness.
Much of this book deals with this evolving underground as it relates to the music, gender relationships and the merger of art and commerce. It is the story of a generation's restless and reckless life on the edge, from which Janis and many others never returned. The author conducted over 150 interviews and spent 5 years on research to produce this comprehensive work on Joplin and her era.
The Janis that emerges is a complex, multi-faceted personality that inspires admiration and sadness. The story begins in Port Arthur where Joplin's early life is described, including her first exposures to rock and folk music. It follows her to college and her first taste of the bohemian life then on to her first visit to San Francisco and eventual return to Port Arthur.
She went back to SF and her career began to take off. It is fascinating to read about the colourful personalities that she mixed with in San Francisco: the friends, the lovers and the musicians. Echols is a skilful narrator, seamlessly blending Joplin's moves and her relationships with the rise of her career. There are plenty of quotes from contemporary musicians that really illuminate this mythologized period in history.
Read more ›
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