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The Life of Byron Jaynes Hardcover – May, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1 edition (May 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393017214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393017212
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,767,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By s. m. campbell on July 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
i love this book. it went out of print far too quickly. i first found it almost two decades ago in a a used-book store in winnipeg. it is an amazing trip through the long, slow, devouring of innocence that was the 1960's. (side note here, it is very hard sometimes for me to believe that my childhood times are now a recognized historical period. i have always taken pride in that fact that my birth coincided with both john glenn's flight & the freedom riders setting out to mississipi.) much of the literature about that time is dated, or just plain bad, but, this book holds up. written over a decade after the sixties ended, kunstler has enough perspective to veiw the times with a clear eye. the basic plot, (the reason that i got it, for it is a story that has always haunted me.) is that jim morrison-here called byron jaynes-really did fake his death, & went on to create a new identity & life for himself. (in case you didn't know-this has been a legend for the past thirty years.) usually, i avoid roman-ala-clefs, because you keep pausing in your head, or, in my case, keeping a chart of who is supposed to be who, in any case, it is very distracting. (i read mostly sf/f, & they have a sub-genre called alternate-history, where the use the real names & peoples, just how things might have been different, & it goes from there.) however, this book just grabs you by the throat, & doesn't let go. it helps one make sense of this that crazy, wonderful, insane time, even though it began & ended in violence. i don't miss the worst parts of that time,(ie: vietnam, the assasinations, the civil rights murders, altamont, the manson family, triumph snatched from stopping at the moon, not going back or carrying on outward,-dammit, we could have a colony on mars now!) but, i sure resent the world now.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Life of Byron James is an encapsulated view of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. And, in my opinion, an response to members of the Jim Morrison Cult who want to believe that he isn't really dead. Its the happy(?) "Well, what if it went this way . . ." ending to an otherwise tragic life. Kuntsler's knowledge of rock'n'roll comes through on every page. I've read it more than once. And I'm always sorry that it ends. . .
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By Mark Fleischmann on May 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having covered the rock & roll scene for Rolling Stone before decamping for his fiction and nonfiction book career, Kunstler was there, and makes full use of his knowledge and feeling for musicians. A fine, highly readable book.
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More About the Author

James Howard Kunstler is probably best known as the author of "The Long Emergency" (The Atlantic Monthly Press 2005), and "The Geography of Nowhere" (Simon and Schuster, 1993). Two other non-fiction titles in that series are "Home From Nowhere" (Simon and Schuster, 1996), and "The City in Mind" (Simon and Schuster, 2002). He's also the author of many novels, including his tale of the post-oil American future, "World Made By Hand" (The Atlantic Monthly press, 2008). The sequel will be published in the fall of 2010. His shorter work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Metropolis, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and many other periodicals.

James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He attended New York's High School of Music and art and SUNY Brockport (BA, Theater, 1971). He was a reporter for the Boston Phoenix, the Albany Knickerbocker News, and later an editor with Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975 he dropped out of corporate journalism to write books, and settled in Saratoga Spring, New York, where he has lived ever since.

Kunstler's popular blog, Clusterf**k Nation, is published every Monday morning at www.kunstler.com and his weekly podcast, The KunstlerCast, is refreshed every Thursday.

Kunstler is also a serious professional painter. His work may be seen at www.kunstler.com