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"British rock journalist Paul Trynka captures seemingly every glitter-god pretension and Lycra outfit, interviewing scores of friends, bandmates and detractors. The result is the most complete and compelling portrait of Bowie's life ever assembled."—Andy Greene, Rolling Stone
With extensive research, a well judged reappraisal of the work, and an impressively nuanced approach to the drives that have motored the many lives of David Bowie, Paul Trynka has delivered a sharp, elegant and convincing volume on the man that brings freshness to a familiar story.—Mark Paytress, Mojo
Truly definitive... Trynka's second successive exemplar of the rock biographer's art.—Ian Fortnam, Classic Rock
Something special...The book includes interviews with those who know Bowie best, from childhood friends to those working most closely with him today....This is a terrific book, and readers will be rushing to relisten to the artist's back catalog. Not to be missed.—Bill Baars, Library Journal
"Rich in observations from the collaborators and lovers [Bowie] burned through with roughly equal ruthlessness, the book is thorough enough to satisfy all but the most obsessive acolyte."—Chris Klimek, Dallas Morning News
"Paul Trynka's new book, BOWIE: STARMAN, ...a deeply researched and closely observed accounting of Bowie's life and career. Sure, there's plenty of sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll anecdotes. But Trynka takes us well beyond all that rock-star stuff and digs deeply into those peculiar confluences of gifted musical personnel and roiling creative juices that have produced Bowie's oeuvre."—Mark Baker, Paste
"Trynka hews to Bowie's own narrative...the author's musical credibility is unquestionable. For the rock fan, pop-culture junkie or curious passerby, there's plenty to be entertained by."—Maureen Callahan, New York Post
"Drawing upon more than 250 new interviews with friends of Bowie and on previously published interviews with Bowie, former Mojo editor affectionately chronicles the life and music of Bowie from his childhood and youth to the high points of his career, his recent heart attack and almost total disappearance from the music scene...Bowie, in Trynka's hands is a man who has never settled for the predictable."—Publisher's Weekly
Everything you always wanted to know about the Thin White Duke.Everything.
Musically speaking, David Bowie never quite reached the critical or popular heights of fellow UK rockers the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin—granted, that was due in part to poor timing, as he came onto the scene at the tail end of the British Invasion. Yet despite his inconsistent catalog, he's managed to remain in the public consciousness for more than 40 years, which explains why he's proven to be a fascinating subject for long biographies. In 2009, Marc Spitz delivered the doorstopperBowie: A Biography, and Nicholas Pegg is set to releaseThe Complete David Bowie in late 2011. So does Ziggy Stardust merit all this coverage? Former Mojo editor Trynka offers an emphatic yes. The author gave Bowie's contemporary Iggy Pop the same treatment withIggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed (2008), an insanely in-depth, honest and readable biography. Here, Trynka once again covers it all—the music, the movies, the marriages, the shifting personae, the drugs, the drugs and the drugs—in a breezy, chatty style that often reads as a novel. The author remains objective about Bowie's music, most notably during his lengthy discussion about how much of a hand his sidemen played in the development and recording of his records, and the fact that Trynka isn't sycophantic about David's undeniably hit-and-miss discography helps legitimize the project. But despite its numerous positive attributes, the bookis exhaustive to a fault. By the time most readers are three-quarters of the way through, they'll probably want to listen to "Space Oddity" and "Heroes," then call it a day.
Bowie nerds will love it, and music nerds will admire it; regular nerds and most others will think it's about 150 pages too long.
Posted November 21, 2013
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