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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933354743
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ryan Adams is usually performing in some city on the globe at any given moment with his longtime band the Cardinals. Adams is known for his prolific nature, which in the last ten years has produced various international hit albums. Adams has also produced Willie Nelson's Songbird album and contributed to records by Toots and the Maytals, Beth Orton, the Wallflowers, Counting Crows, and Cowboy Junkies; additionally, he has appeared on CMT's Crossroads with Elton John. He was a longtime Manhattan resident before relocating to France in 2009, and he listens to A LOT of heavy metal.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Smith on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been a big Ryan Adams fan since the Whiskeytown days, and Heartbreaker is a classic album. I was really excited when I heard this book was coming out. Sorry, but I think Ryan should have kept this one to himself. I know he had a serious drug and alcohol problem, and the text reads like a drunken/stoned rant about some girl(s) he's trying to connect with but is failing. I heard that he got cleaned up, but maybe he hadn't yet when he decided to go ahead and publish this book. Maybe with a clearer head, he would have thought otherwise. It's as if he gathered up all of his journal entries into a pile and threw them at the feet of his publisher. Who knows? Maybe Ryan felt he needed to publish this mammoth volume to purge himself of all his demons. If that's the case, I understand, but he does a better job at singing his pain through song.

No big deal. I'm sure some readers will get a kick out of some of the passages. The book definitely has its moments and does provide an almost painfully naked glimpse into his psyche. Maybe if it was edited and pared down a bit, it might have retained a more cohesive shape. An almost 300 page book of poetry is usually an anthology of some better poet's work, not a first collection, and Leaves of Grass this ain't.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Policoff on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I did buy this originally because I am a big fan of Ryan Adams' music, but
I've read it through, and reread parts, and think it is definitely worth
reading even if you aren't a fan, or don't know his music. Most of the poems are long, and there is quite a bit of obscenities, though they didn't see gratuitous to me. But people should know that, in case it offends them. I started to list some of my favorite of the poems--Papaw Special (for his grandfather), You Will Not Miss Me When I'm Gone, For My Father the Drunk, Electric Blue--but the list got too long. Not every poem in here works, but I found much to savor and I hope it isn't dismissed as just another vanity project by someone famous in another field--it's much better than that.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Blevins on May 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this move to books was a flawless move for Ryan Adams. This book is an enchanting journey through the many worlds that Ryan is able to create with his words. His songs are merely a slight glimpse into a world that he can describe beautifully in this book. I read the whole book in one day and found myself coming back to phrases or lines coined in some of the poems and thinking how apt and revealing they are. Ryan is such a master at hitting the mark and writing that are so close to the bone. Some songs for me are too close that I couldn't even listen to them after a break up. Just too much. This book is very much like that in that so much has seemed to happen to this guy and so much was said, it's hard to grasp it all in the first read. Many multiple readings are required to really fully grasp how much is revealed in this debut. I can only say bravo! I look forward to more releases such as this.
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