I am struggling to reconcile the glowing reviews of this book on Amazon with the the book I have just read - having read the reviews, I was very much looking forward to receiving my copy, but I'm afraid it was an enormous let-down.
Imagine the level of fawning over an artist you get in a cheap fanzine, interspersed with huge numbers of personal reminiscences from the author which are of little to no interest to anyone else (example sentence - "Neither my cousin nor my friend Chris were great fans, but both loved the album...") - well, that's what you get here, but spread out over 200 pages. On top of that, it is illustrated with the sort of dreadful "pencil sketch of the artist I currently have a crush on" pictures that get sent in to fanzines by teenage girls. That anyone can have the sheer front to charge the price being asked for this book (vanity publishing, anyone?) for writing of such low quality beggars belief.
There are a few interesting insights into Oldfield, mainly quoted from interviews, that I hadn't read before - but not many. The pages at the back with a comprehensive list of rarities and unreleased tracks are really the only part of the book worth reading. Sean Moraghan's "Mike Oldfield - A Man And His Music" - a book which has been soundly criticised in the past by Oldfield fans - is orders of magnitude better than this effort, in terms of writing style, content and value for money - I strongly recommend buying that instead.
To be honest, I do feel somewhat unkind laying into what is clearly one man's labour of love, but on the other hand, I'm a customer who has paid an enormous sum of money for a book, and I expected something professional as a result.
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