After watching Walk the line a couple of times I decided I wanted to know more about the man. It is a really personal and well written account of himself and I would reccomend anyone interested in learning more to buy it
Having only been fully introduced to the musical genius of Johnny Cash since his death, I was eager to explore the man in more depth.
This autobiography is more than I could have hoped for. Containing tales of hope, struggle, ambition, self-destruction and redemption, Cash articulates his life reflectively, revealing his opinions and beliefs in a prose that ties the present to the past. He talks fondly of family and colleagues, presenting a humility and honesty that resonates to the reader.
In particular, I found the stories of Cash's drug addiction intriguing, dark and astonishing at the same time. The drug-induced incidents he describes are articulated with amazing clarity...sometimes in direct contrast to events which can be considered non-essential to the overall picture.
By the end of the book, my impression of Cash is of someone who has found contentment in religion and family, and is riding the wave of new-found popularity in his career. The gratitude Cash feels for this contentment is clear, and ultimately provides the book with a humility characteristic of the man.
I'd start by saying I agree with one of the reviews about this book, in that it can make your teeth grind hearing Johnny say how great everyone in his life is and was. I firlmy believe this is due to how at peace he was whilst writing this book though. Beyond that I would say this is a great insight into a true music legend and an artist who battled many personal demons to gain recognition again later in life. He is brutally frank about his addictions and the effect this had on his career and the people close to him. I was hoping to read more about his relationship with his Father, which is only touched upon later in the book, but in a way it is explained why there is not more about their relationship. Even if you haven't got the slightest interest in Johnny Cash or Country music in general I would still recommend this as a very easy, entertaining read.
A little disappointed. Majority of the book is him talking about other people, which is great if that's what you're looking, but I wanted more stories from him and a little more insight. Glad I read it though.
I read this book whilst on holiday and found it to be very well written and honest.
Although I liked some of Johnny's records I never knew that much about the 'Man In Black' and I found his tale to be an honest account of his life - warts and all.
What I also enjoyed was the information he gave about his friendship with other stars he worked with like Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Waylon Jennings etc and the enjoyment he had working with those people. Johnny Cash obviously loved June Carter and indeed his whole family and he has told the story from his heart.
This book was written with great honesty and emotion. It is a reavealing read, especially with respect to the inner feelings and motivations of the man himself. It is, however, a pretty mixed read and I expect you would really have to be a big fan to read it with an uncritical eye. There is a lot of religion in the mix, which is okay if you are a Christian, but tedious for a reader of differing, or no religious interest. There is also a very large overall percentage of the book that virtually lists all of the people he admired, was influenced by, needed to thank, or apologise to, were members of his family, or just got a mention. If you are not a big Country/Gospel fan then you'll find all that a bit tedious too. On the positive side, there is some beautiful prose and some tear-jerking moments. He deals with his adiction problems in a very open manner and there is some good anecdotal material.
I gave this book 5 stars, because not only was johnny cash a very exciting man but also this book just makes you want to read more and more every page you go through. this book was so cheap it was hard to not buy it, and it was the best buy I have ever made truthfully. So for all you book readers out there make sure you buy this and I promise you that you will not be disappointed!
I enjoyed reading this book, though, as another reviewer stated, he does praise other people a lot, perhaps too much. It became a bit too much, but I also think he came across as fundamentally sincere, so ok with me - I didn't think it a biggie when reading. Also, there are some good stories, as one might expect. He has a knack for spinning a good yarn, but some parts of the book is also just facts, and that is less than inspiring - but it IS an autobiography, so that has to be in there too. Overall, a good read, in my opinion, for me it has been inspiring, if a bit disturbing hearing him battling it out with his demons, and I am not sure he ever - truly - beat them, I think he went out/down fighting. I had hoped that a man who is (I assume) as spiritual as him, would have been able to find more peace in his life. I don't think the book really gives the impression that he succeeded fully on that account.
As I said, I liked the story, and as a person who has a growing interest in religion, the many stories Johnny Cash shares about his own path towards redemption (setbacks and all) inspires me. However, for people who find religion distasteful (for whatever reason) I wouldn't recommend this book, since he has a lot of words to spare for christianity, or religion. In my opinion, since it has had a large influence on his life, I can't see why it shouldn't be in his autobiography. My only problem with it is, that there is a sense that he is 'too hungry for the spotlight for his own good', and it is a shame and a painful truth that he was not able to balance that more in his life. But at least he has been honest in sharing, for which I will give him credit.
This book is a brilliant insight into the life of Cash, as told by the man himself. He is a great story teller, right from the first chapter you're hooked. Look out for his little snippets in there about "The Gospel Road" etc. If you love Johnny & June, you'll love this, a must have 10/10.
I first came across Johnny Cash's music the year before he died - and I'm no spring chicken. His recording of 'Hurt' was life transforming. Here was raw human emotion sung as never before, and that by a dieing man. Several CDs later I found this book.
Like his music, this book is unique. His style is reflective, alive and deeply personal. This is no he did, then I did, then they did, style of account as most autobiographies are. Instead we hear Johnny Cash speak in reflective mood from places of real meaning to him. It comes across more as a blog than a book, written as and when he had time, reminiscing on people, places, events and drugs he knew.
Yes, drugs makes up a lot of this book. He hides no sins. He shows regrets. But, he remains the Man in Black.
And he remains a blue collar, farm-boy American. A Christian. A father. A husband. A talented man. A unique man.
This is a lovely, and easily written, way to get behind this very public man, and to see him as he was. A book for the real Johnny Cash devotee. And if you aren't one yet, go out and buy one of his Nick Rubin American recordings. Astounding.