Will You Read? Bruce
Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin; Touchstone; October 30, 2012; 494 pages
Genre: Rock biography
Synopsis: Bruce, the Boss, Springsteen, whatever you call him, you know who he is. New Jersey’s poet laureate and singer-songwriter for the masses gets an updated treatment in Peter Ames Carlin’s new biography. This time around, Springsteen worked with Carlin to provide the most accurate picture of his life and career. We learn about his early days playing clubs on the New Jersey coast as well as the heartbreaking decision to break up the E Street Band in 1989 and how it affected the members of his musical family.
Review: “[T]his is no hagiography. Carlin portrays Springsteen as moody and surprisingly lacking in empathy, sometimes treating his bandmates with derision and expecting his early girlfriends to do his laundry. Those details make the rocker’s tale all the more engaging, as beneath his gravelly-voiced demigod exterior lurks a flawed and talented human being.” -Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly
Related Books: Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts by Dave Marsh; Magic in the Night: The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen by Rob Kirkpatrick.
My Gut Reaction: Carlin works hard to include every part of Springsteen’s life in this biography. We hear from ex-lovers to family members and bandmates. While sparse on Springsteen’s recent life in New Jersey and on the campaign trail, the music is what matters here, and Carlin does a good job sketching this rock star’s trajectory. I will definitely pick it up at some point. This may not be the first biography I get to this year, but for the Bruce completist, this will be a welcome addition.
What do you think?