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This Thing Called Life: Prince's Odyssey, On and Off the Record Hardcover – October 6, 2020
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"Peculiar, intriguing, lyrical. An earnest vamp on Prince’s life."
“Karlen draws from his recollections, notes and tapes, to paint an illuminating and intimate portrait of a supremely talented and complex artist.”
About the Author
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250135249
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250135247
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.55 x 1.14 x 9.54 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #251,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Neal Karlen was Prince’s “acquaintance” for over 30 years, and even calling Prince that was reaching. Even so, Prince felt a kinship with the fellow Northsider from MPLS, and was the one journalist who Prince felt comfortable with going on and off the record to. In confiding in Prince, Karlen saw a man who was painfully human, yet so caught up in his own hype that he never allowed himself to BE human. Prince was the king of pain...Physically and emotionally. And “This thing called life” is a sad, painful read.
I enjoyed the read, despite some flaws. I do believe the book could have been edited some, and cut down by some pages. Despite being a convoluted read, there’s something about “This thing called life” that makes it the most honest, believable Prince book I’ve read (and I’ve read my share of them), hence four stars. One can see the parallels and contradictions of Prince, which resulted from Prince’s own need to recreate his “image,” at the expense of his humanity. He writes about him as Prince Nelson from North MPLS, because at the core of Prince’s being, he wasn’t a demigod: He was Prince Nelson from the Northside. Prince too saw Karlen as the real deal because he didn’t fall for the Prince Kayfabe, which was why he was so honest with him.
What Karlen leaves for us readers to think about is that Prince gave us way more than what us fans paid for, and it was a steep cost to his physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But then again, that too was part of the act. Sadly, the gimmick hid all the things that made Prince human, which is what ultimately killed him.
Note: some of the harshest reviewers here are Stan’s who believe that Prince was murdered by WB’s and the Illuminati. I know who they are. Never mind them
I would definitely recommend this to any Prince fan. It gives us a compelling and different perspective on the man. Its definitely not your typical "he was born June 7th 1958...in 1984 he released Purple Rain" type of biography. Instead we get a look at him through Neal's eyes. And Neal was a friend...
2/3 of book is speculations about Prince's thoughts and wishes.
The author sure knows how to stretch a book.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2020