A wild, lyrical, and anguished autobiography, in which Charles Mingus pays short shrift to the facts but plunges to the very bottom of his psyche, coming up for air only when it pleases him. He takes the reader through his childhood in Watts, his musical education by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker, and his prodigious appetites--intellectual, culinary, and sexual. The book is a jumble, but a glorious one, by a certified American genius.
As fictionalized autobiography goes, it rocked in some places (near the beginning) but the dialogue within quotation marks became saccharine - especially around the middle. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter C. Neibert
Love his music, but after reading this, not sure I'd like the man. Low rating is not because I don't like the man, but because it did sound a little self-indulgent at times, and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sensei Oddsox
I read this book years ago and had to put it down halfway through. I love his music and though I can understand and accept that he was difficult to work with, after reading what I... Read morePublished 6 months ago by blutenist
Mingus was a great musician but not a great writer. I love his music!Published 7 months ago by Alex Howard
I don't agree with this guy's lifestyle, but he told an interesting story.Published 8 months ago by Jenny
brilliant book, given to me by a writing teacher as a gift. that was a compliment. Mingus is every bit as great with words as with music. Raw, edgy, sock it to em prose. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Annie Lanzillotto author of L is for Lion