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There Will Be Rainbows: A Biography of Rufus Wainwright: And the Story of Loudon Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409103420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409103424
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"an informative and intriguing portrait of a fascinating artist, and the family who made him" (MONTREAL GAZETTE)

"this biography, like Wainwrights best music, is orchestrated to perfection" (RECORD COLLECTOR) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The first ever biography of one of the most fascinating singers to have appeared in the last 50 years.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this as a used book from my local Oxfam bookshop (it still had the press release in it). If I hadn't been able to browse it I probably wouldn't have bought it as I am not a huge Rufus Wainwright fan. However I am a massive Loudon Wainwright fan. The publishers have missed a trick here. The cover should make it clear it is about the whole family not just Rufus. The book tells their whole story from the 1960s New York coffee bar scene right up to the present day. It also includes Loudon's wife Kate and her sister Anna McGarrigle (also very important folk musicians). It's an interesting read with some wonderfully odd footnotes that link all kinds of things you wouldn't have thought were connected. And it actually made me want to go and buy some Rufus Wainwright albums. Like the Barney Hoskyns Tom Waits book (see my earlier review) this suffers a little bit from not having any new interviews with the main stars (which is why I rate it 4 stars not 5)but there are plenty of other interviews such as the director of a film that Rufus was in as a child. To me at least it was full of stuff that I didn't know and painted a vivid portrait of an unusual and extremely talented musical family.
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Format: Hardcover
I completely disagree with Mozfan. The reason that this book works so well is because it does take the time to explain where Rufus came from and the situation with his family. It's impossible to really appreciate how Rufus's attitude and music came to be without knowing about his family. And when you discover just how competitive they all are it becomes an even more interesting story. I also liked the way that the author took the time to explain non-musical events such as the rise of AIDS in the 1980s when Rufus was in his teens and how it affected that generation of teenagers. I don't read many music biographies as I generally find them trivial but this book was well researched and entertainingly written and understood that it is important to put artists of any kind into context with their peers and predecessors. This book was obviously published before Rufus's new opera was performed and it would have been interesting to read about that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I confess that of all the McGarrigle and Wainwright clan, it is Rufus that I find it most difficult to warm to. As a follower of his parents, I suppose Rufus was always there, but it was only with the publication of 'Release the Stars' that I became a fan. I like this book, but do feel that the title needs changing. To my delight I found a history of the whole family and some insightful, often harsh, appraisals of their recordings. Having said that, when it comes to Kate and Anna my critical faculties just don't exist, but he did make me re-evaluate 'The McGarrigle Hour' favourably. It was good to read a book that treated their music with respect. It is an ongoing story, I would have welcomed some background on the Mittenstrings. Good book ...
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with Bob. I wondered about buying this because although I like Rufus I don't think he's the greatest singer in the world. In fact his voice is sometimes mediocre. I am, however, interested in the whole Wainwright/McGarrigle clan, so I was pleased when I saw that it's about much more than just Rufus. His sister Martha, mother Kate McGarrigle and father Loudon feature prominently and others such as Teddy Thompson make guest appearances.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book about musical ambition and the price it exacts, and Kirk explores that theme very ably by telling Rufus Wainright's life as a race which begins before he is even born in the musical competition between his parents, then continues as a race between his parents and the woman his Dad shacks up with after they break up, and finally between Rufus and his sister Martha. Everyone is after both musical immortality and, in the case of Rufus, the sound of cash registers, and the toll it takes on their lives and relationships is chillingly toted up in this book. There's not a lot here that isn't quoted from other people's interviews, and there heaps of tossed off judgements about particular concerts or albums which seem rather casually made, but the sheer fact of contrasting the progress of this one singular artist with the careers of the family who clearly shaped him makes it a fascinating read. Rather trails off at the end after a chapter devoted to the opera Primma Donna, but hey, perhaps a later edition will find something scandalous to really round the book off with. Not by any means the final word, but worth a read and occasionally provokes a few shudders.
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Format: Hardcover
Very interesting read though not really a biog of Rufus Wainwright - more a family history. And for those of us who have seen the interviews or read the newspaper articles that the author is basing his book around there are an alarming number of misquotes and inaccuracies in the text. That aside however, it is still worth a look if only to encourage the reader to go in search of the truth from a more direct source.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Rufus - he is the best singer/songwriter in the world today. This book gives a good insight into his and his family history. The only thing I didn't like is the author's personal opininons perhaps he should have stuck to the facts in certain areas of the book.
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