on 28 July 2011
Chapman has written an excellent book, which entirely avoids the `mythical approach' to Syd, so common in rock journalism, relying instead on a scholarly approach, fusing sociological, historical, psychological and literary prisms as a means of approaching Barrett's life and trying to understand who he was, and divining what moved his spirit.
Chapman has collected an impressive array of sources here - he has interviewed Barrett's sister, nephew, friends and girlfriends, as well as collecting quotes from previous band mates and years of obscure and mainstream press sources.
It is a most beautiful and moving book, and if you are at all interested in Barrett, then Id say it is a book you must have on your shelf, and it is a book to read, and re read, and treasure.
Its value is in its scholarly foundation, as well as in its emotional and spiritual worth. Chapman has totally by passed the absurdity and hagiography of the music press and produced a far deeper work of significant value.
One closes the book still left wondering and asking many more questions about Syd - Chapman's text does not pretend to have 'resolved the mystery' of Syd's world. But one feels lifted up by the spirit of Chapman's work, and further inspired by the poetic muse of Barrett.