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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

STARMAN - David Bowie, The Definitive Biography
Paul Trynka
Hatchette Press

By Shane Pinnegar

 


Trynka, ex- Mojo Magazine editor – recently wrote a pretty good and thorough bio of Iggy Pop called “Open Up And Bleed”. In my review of that book [Read it here] I summarised “this book paints a thoughtful and interesting picture of both Jim Osterberg and Iggy Pop, a solid chronology of the man’s life, and many fascinating insights into the man and his work”.

 

“Starman”, however, is a different kettle of fish.

 

Without any actual input from its subject, Starman gets bogged down in a never-ending showing off of facts by the author – especially in the book’s first half.

 

That’s not to say the subject isn’t fascinating – Tynka shows Bowie to be an amazing and influential artist (even though this influence isn’t fully discussed), and one who would stop at almost nothing to succeed in his formative years.

 

Through interviews with many of the musicians who have worked with Bowie over the years, and through Trynka’s obvious extensive knowledge of and passion for the man’s work, “Starman” paints a fascinating story of a fascinating and driven artist.

 

The soullessness and clinical approach to the writing actually mirrors Bowie’s mercenary and (allegedly) soulless nature early in his career, and to Trynka’s credit the prose warms as his subject slowly becomes more human over 5 decades.

 

Despite a few points where the barrage of facts became boring and I was tempted to put the book down, “Starman” proved a worthy and interesting read, but calling it “The Definitive Biography” is perhaps overstating the case.

 

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