Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio
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About the Author
Donald Clarke lives in Austin, Texas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It seems strange therefore, that the book, unlike most biographies, contains no bibliography, no references and no footnotes. For a work that is in other ways scholarly, these are grave omissions, and make reading it difficult and sometimes annoying. Donald Clarke refers frequently to books he has read on his subject, but fails to list them so that his readers can consult them. He clutters up the text with small details that would be better footnoted, to keep the text clear and relevant, and also includes details of the sources of his evidence, so it is impossible to look up a reference without scouring the text first. This means that one has to hold a great many details - names, places, dates, etc. - in one's head in order to understand the narrative.
Unfortunately, something also seems to have gone wrong with the printing - a large percentage of the letter 'i's in the book do not have dots on them, particularly in the first half of the book. In some words with two 'i's, one has a dot and the other hasn't, which is distracting. There are also quite a few gaps of about 6-7 characters for no apparent reason, leaving the reader wondering if something is missing.
Despite all these annoyances, it was worth persevering with Donald Clarke's sympathetic and well-informed biography, which gives a very detailed account of the life of Lady Day and an investigation of the motivations and feelings of the great singer herself.
it is rather dense but this is unavoidable when ranging through the harlem club scene and its remarkable musicians, through the situation in the recording business in the early 40's and when everywhere the complexities of billies psyche are under examination.
clarke also generously points to other written works that would be of interest to the jazz buff. this book really sets the whole thing straight about who really loved billie (the few) and who used her (the many) but never does it shower pity on her, as so many books, articles, record sleeves and TV biogs have. a habit that weakens her legacy, in my view.
she is the greatest jazz singer of them all. this book shows you why.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Donald Clarke is not only an excellent writer but he also is a very scrupuous recorder. If you are buying one book about Billie Holiday then buy this one.Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by philipthepheasant