Waiting in the Sky

Dwight Garner in the NYT reviews Paul Trynka’s new Bowie bio:

David Bowie: Starman is a better-than-average rock biography, but just barely. It’s patient and respectable without being quite likable, without ever quite becoming your friend. When you put this heavy thing down, it doesn’t call out to be seized back up again quickly. You may begin to circle its bulk warily.

Bowie biographies (like Elvis Costello biographies) are, by and large, a useless if not downright depressing sub-genre. It’s a really curious thing, especially given just how adored these guys are by white, male rock critics. I’ve read two Bowie bios (one-and-a-half, actually; I had to put one of them down it was so dull), spent at least one afternoon in a library many years ago flipping through two or three others, and I’ve distrusted the notion that it could be done ever since. Trynka’s sounds like it’s probably better than the others, but the bar ain’t exactly high.

5 thoughts on “Waiting in the Sky

  1. Have you read the David Buckley one I recommended last year? Still the best.

  2. This comment is absurd: ““For the fans, Bowie’s continuing absence seemed an almost unforgivable desertion.” Quite the opposite: it’s Bowie’s insistence on staying away that has earned him my respect.

  3. I confess I haven’t yet read either, but I’ll take you guys up on it at some point.

    I wish Rob Sheffield would write a Bowie biography. We should start a pledge drive or something to make this happen.

  4. Rob Sheffield never gets that book. That book is perfect for him, it’ll make him a big star–and I’m gonna run him out of the business!

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