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Love, Janis Paperback – April, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Acid Test Productions (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888358084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888358087
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,575,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blues singer Janis Joplin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27, is recalled here by her sister, who seems as square as Janis was hip. Although the portrait opens inauspiciously with a yawn-inducing chapter on the family tree, it gains momentum as it describes the performer's adolescence in Port Arthur, Tex. She emerges as a woman who resisted stereotypical feminine behavior; no student, she dropped out of college twice--first to move to Venice, Calif., later to live in San Francisco. Her warm, exuberant, apparently infrequent letters to her concerned family glorify the late-'60s Haight-Ashbury scene, where she gained notoriety and wealth with the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The book chronicles the singer's drug and alcohol abuse, her famous friends (who included cartoonist Gilbert Shelton and musician Country Joe McDonald) and her overwhelming fame. Despite her sister's occasionally disapproving, jealous tone, fans will welcome this intimate, poignant look at a fondly missed superstar. Photos. 60,000 first printing; first serial to Rolling Stone; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Beginning with Joplin's death, focusing backwards for a short family history, and then to the personal and professional life of this blues star, this book is written with both love and objectivity. YAs will identify with the young woman's adolescent angst, her search for purpose, her support of social justice, her friendships, and the seriousness with which she approached both art and life. Joplin's disillusionment with college, her introduction to the music and the Beat scenes in California, and her involvement in drugs and advocation of sexual experimentation are acknowledged, set in context of the turbulent '60s, and accepted as part of Janis. Students should enjoy the conversational text enhanced by interviews with her friends and professional colleagues, the wide variety of personal photos, and most particularly, the large collection of letters written between September 1964-April 1970.
- Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This an excellent biography about the ENTIRE life of Janis Joplin.
TDS2BE
This isn't something that's completely evident at the beginning, but it slowly unveils itself throughout Laura's writing process...and very eloquently as well.
Antoinette Black
This book showed a side of Janis that was so much like us and showed that she was really an insecure girl wanting acceptance like the rest of us.
Pamela Bodine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Susan Barchard on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
When this book was first published, I read a review on it. I don't remember where I read it or by whom it was written. The writer gave the impression that it was written by Janis' straight and nerdy sister who just wasn't part of, and didn't understand "the scene". The writer went on to say that there was some value in Janis' letters and that if you were a true Janis fan that you should probably read it, but recommended other books on Janis over this one. The implication was that Laura Joplin tried to present a Janis that was much straighter and more clean cut than she was in truth. So, having read this review, I didn't bother to read the book, especially since I'd read so many others.

Recently I went to see the Broadway Play Love, Janis and after hearing some portions of the letters read as part of the play, my interest in the book was sparked and I purchased it. Having done so, I think the writer of that review owes the world, and certainly Laura Joplin an apology. This book was beautifully written by someone who, as her sister, could give us insights that no one else ever could. I would like to include here a quote from the book, which certainly proves to me that Laura Joplin understood it all.

She was explaining the talents that each member of Big Brother and the Holding company brought to the group. "Janis brought her roots in blues. She knew the blues, and wanted her audience to know them through her. If the audience sought to have all its senses aroused at a concert, then Janis, as trance enhancer, brought total commitment to her music. Hers was not a music born merely of the vocal cords anyway, but an ensemble piece within her physical presence alone. She coaxed the music with urging arms and strutting steps.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By David Kleist on July 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Having read both Alice Echols' five-years-in-the-making 1999 biography of Janis Joplin (SWEET SCARS OF PARADISE) and the much earlier Myra Friedman 1973 Joplin biography BURIED ALIVE (which was guilt-laden and frenetic in comparison, although written in intelligent, often poetic prose), I was unprepared for the calm, insightful, and wholly convincing account of Janis Joplin's life by her six-years-younger sister, Laura. Despite the intimate connection with her subject, Laura Joplin is startlingly wise and evenhanded in her analysis of her sister's life and times. I found many anecdotes and details here which for me rang even more true in terms of revealing the REAL Janis than Echols' admirable account. I would suggest that anyone wishing to understand Janis Joplin and her times read both Laura Joplin's and Alice Echols' biography. Janis Joplin will never cease to fascinate intelligent, passionate music lovers. Her life and music probed all the deep questions of life, striving to find a balance between the emotional and the intellectual. Had she not accidentally died, her contribution to the world of art and letters would have been Shakespearean in power. We must love and treasure her Keatsian artifacts even as we yearn forwhat might havebeen.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By TDS2BE on June 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This an excellent biography about the ENTIRE life of Janis Joplin. It is probably the first Janis Joplin book you should read if you want to learn more about her. It is told from a family member's point of view...in other words, the truth is told. I would think that this book would be the most reliable out of the 4 or 5 janis books that are out. Enjoy this book! it is well worth it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
With this biography of Janis sister Laura Joplin has three advantages over other biographers - she can provide details that only family could know, she has the letters Janis wrote home (reproduced here in full and revealing a lot about Janis), and she has been able to include a great selection of photos. Even apart from these advantages Laura provides a good account of Janis' life, giving background detail on the various scenes and excellent insights into Janis.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book allowed the reader to see Janis as a family member. It showed her innocence and dedication through the eyes of her younger sister. I finally began to understand how her family saw her and how Janis portrayed herself to them. This insite opened my eyes, and as a die hard fan, I see Janis as more of a person now not just an icon.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
These letters from Janis to her family are warm, poignant and heartbreaking. They chronicle how quickly she moved, from folk-singing "beatnik" to counter-culture icon, and how even this lightening pace wasn't fast enough for her. And they reveal a longing for acceptance that we all sensed from her stage persona and her music. Hearing the dates on the letters as we move with her from Texas to SF to the world, I shuddered, thinking "So little time left, dear, and you don't even know it." Of course, none of us knows what life has in store for us, and that makes Janis' story in her own words all the more moving. That Laura loved her sister and wished she knew her better comes through in these pages. The story is unique to the Joplins, yet universal to all, and I recommend it. I subtracted one star for the reading by Debra Winger. At times I thought she was an inspired choice. Her smoky voice is so reminiscent of Janis'. But at other times I was exasperated, when Ms. Winger stumbled and gave me the impression she was reading these words for the first time.
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