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Nice package, suspect content
on 3 January 2011
The Do-Not Press publishes very attractive books on quality paper, with very nice covers. On the surface, this is definitely not a cheap and nasty production.
But, as has been pointed out, there's plenty of typos, missing words, grammatical errors in the text. More importantly, there's just not that much in the way of biography.
Farren wants to paint a picture, not report a non-fiction story. His purple-prosed mythologizing isn't the worst of the genre, but it does go too far. Every once in awhile the author needs a fact to support the last few pages of flowery prose, and he quotes something from a previous biography of Gene Vincent. There are no quotes of any friends, family, associates of Gene Vincent: the author did not do any original research and relied on secondary sources and anecdotes he had heard over the years, plus most valuably, his own experience as a serious fan of Vincent's during the 1960s.
That's when the book is at its best, when Farren is recalling his own experience watching Gene play, or describing the scene in early 1960s England, or in discussing the actual music. He had some good and insightful things to say about the recordings; I wish there was more of that, and a few more biographical facts, and a bit less of the Jim Morrison comparisons.