At a hefty 550 pages this book covers David Bowie’s story from childhood to teenage years, from pre-stardom struggles to superstar success and eventually, of course, to death, while covering everything else in between including sex and drugs, marriages and family, songwriting and musicianship.
Dylan Jones interviewed 182 people for this book; many of them famous, many of them previously unheard of, but all of them had some connection to David Bowie and stories to share, both positive and negative. He also refers to his own interviews with Bowie which were conducted at various points in his career.
“I wanted to write about the man, the person himself” not “the metaphor we have come to know as ‘Bowie'” Jones states in the preface.
The book is written chronologically, in the style of a collection of talking heads. If you’re looking for detailed analysis of Bowie’s career then this is not the book for you.
However, if you want to hear authentic testimonies and experiences from the people who knew him personally and professionally then this book is full of fantastic stuff. It’s like a social history, really, of the times we were lucky enough to have Bowie among us.
I’m not the biggest Bowie fan but even I was hooked on this book, and it has helped me discover some of his music that I was less familiar with.