This review is from: Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century (Paperback)
Charles Sharr Murray's book on Jimi Hendrix, Crosstown Traffic, was a classic. Informative and enlightening on so many levels, even a longterm Hendrix fan would be hard-pressed not to view the music of Hendrix in a new light after reading it. The book also served as a gateway to the discovery of the music which influenced Hendrix, and the music of those whom Hendrix in turn influenced. It was a goldmine of a book for those who enjoy the explorational aspect of music.
With which in mind, I had high hopes for Boogie Man....but you know whenever someone uses the phrase "high hopes" within that context it's usually going to lead to an explanation of feeling let down.
Which unfortunately is the case here.
Put simply, I'm currently halfway through Boogie Man, and having come to it with a knowledge of Hooker gleaned almost entirely from CD sleevenotes or magazine articles, it hasn't left me feeling much the wiser. I certainly don't feel any closer to understanding the man himself. Most disappointingly, I don't feel particularly inspired to explore the music of Hooker any further than I already have, or to explore the music of other artistes who influenced or where influenced by the man.
Exactly what made the Hendrix book so inspiring, is exactly what is missing here.
To sum up; Boogie Man is a pleasant enough read if you don't come to it expecting to be given a deep inside glimpse of the man and his music.