Ok, you want to read a book about Tom Waits this probably the best out there. A recluse when it comes to the press this is an unauthorized bio.
Hoskins is very careful to make sure you know how protective Waits innner circle is of the artist.
That said it seems to be a combination of biography and the authors memoir of being a Waits fan. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the authors detailed analysis and history of Waits recordings up to the point of publication.
Unfortunately I question some of the validity of Hoskins research. On page 432 he calls Branson Missouri, Branford? You wonder how did that get through and what else is weak? Exactly the kind of thing Waits is wary of validating his mistrust of the press, the irony is hilarious.
Consequently I give it a 2 1/2. If you are a fan read it with skepticism.
This book was sort of a guilty pleasure for me. The author - British music critic Barney Hoskyns - attempts to pry into the determinedly private life of his subject. We ask & expect so much from our heroes and artists.// The story within the story is kind of funny - Hoskyns' frustrating attempts to get first-person perspectives, info & stories - when he himself appears to be such a great fan. It's amazing how loyal and protective others were of Waits. I think that says a lot about the man - and more power to him.// Nevertheless, it's a valuable reference source to Waits' work, for those not familiar with the breadth of his oeuvre. It is quite broad and prodigious, at that. // Music critics have contributed so much to my own understanding and appreciation of music. I love hearing what people like about songs; their emotional response; an insight or background. I hope ol' Tom is comfortable, after all, with the book...
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